Yet another chapter (the 19th) in the up-and-down life of Lovejoy--antiques expert supreme; magnet for attractive women; and dud at everything else (The Grace in Older Women, 1995, etc.). This latest installment finds him penniless, homeless, and mystified. Who's buying the underpriced, unrecognized treasures he has spotted before he can get to them? Even sodden old Tinker Dill, his longtime friend and barker, comes under suspicion, although Lovejoy continues to look for Tinker's runaway teenaged Australian niece Vyna. Meanwhile, Lovejoy's affair with fashion expert Thekla is over, but somehow he winds up back north, in his hometown near Manchester, running an antiques auction that's to be followed by Thekla's fashion show starring a procession of the local museum's priceless Victorian clothes. Along the way, Lovejoy discovers his old pal Spoolie (a vintage-film expert) murdered in his bathtub; almost gets charged with the bashing of hospitalized designer Viktor Vasho; and barely misses being wiped out by a firebomb hurled from a car. The untidy resolution to these puzzlers, and a dozen more, is frenzied, bloody, and near-nonsensical. The good stuff is history and antiques lore from CroMagnon caves to late Wesleyan chapels; lessons in scams and fakery; a string of picaresque characters, and Lovejoy's slangy, stream-of-consciousness style. Great fun in its inimitable, rollicking, often frustrating way--but not for everyone.