Lovejoy, the dealer with an eye for antiques, a hand for forgery, and a nose for trouble (Paid and Loving Eyes, 1993, etc.), is put up for sale himself as ""Slave For A Day"" in a charity auction and knocked down to wealthy, imperious Valerie Arden for an outrageous sum. But Valerie's interested in more than Lovejoy's legendary prowess as an expert (and nearly as legendary prowess beneath the sheets). Along with her husband, Carl, visiting expert Simon Doussy, diamond merchant Gee Owen, and practically everybody else in this endearingly slapdash tale, she's involved in a gigantic seam that will send Lovejoy on a sightseeing trip to Wales. There he'll learn that his light-fingered friend Lifter has been burned to death in a car he never would'ye stolen, and he'll meet the landowning Col. Faraher and his eager wife (more dishonesty) and sporting club president Sir Winston Delapole (still more) en route to the fabled (or salted?) Roman gold works at Mynydd Mai. As in George V. Higgins, the backchat swallows most of the pale plot. But what backchat! Once again Lovejoy proves himself an expert on antiques, human nature, and everything else.