This eighth tangle for antique-dealer/sleuth Lovejoy is even more loosely, shaggily plotted than usual--but there's extra charm (and a lavish variety of educational tidbits) to keep his fans happy. The dotty trail begins when a gorgeous social-worker outbids the cheeky, womanizing narrator-hero for a genuine 18th-century Japanese bamboo firefly cage (which everyone else at the auction believes to be a modern bamboo box). Did the lovely Maud know the cage's true value? No: she bought it because of its similarity to a cage carved out of coal in her possession--which may contain clues to buried treasure! And eventually Lovejoy figures out that the cage actually represents, in miniature, a nearby gun-fort on the sea, with hints about treasure in its labyrinthine interior. But when it turns out that the fort is being used as a hiding-place by an evil antiques thief, Lovejoy--avenging the death of a dear old tramp--is soon engaged in chases on land and sea, traveling by donkey-cart much of the time (source of lots of charm). . . and winding up trapped in the fort before a climactic death-duel at sea. With digressions about everything from longcase clocks to the horrors of wood-restoration to the molding of silver (Lovejoy's current home-project): the most endearing Lovejoy in quite some time, thanks largely to a donkey-confidant named Germoline.