MOONSPENDER by Jonathan Gash


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Another free-form adventure--even more meandering than usual--for chatty, womanizing antique-dealer Lovejoy of East Anglia (Pearlhanger, The Tartan Sell, etc.), this time rather halfheartedly involved with (among other things) the greed for Roman archeological finds in the neighborhood. To start off with, Lovejoy is hired--by a wealthy collector--to find out if rumors of antiquity finds in the area are true. Almost immediately thereafter, Ben Cox of the Suffolk Archeology Trust begs Lovejoy to help out with nabbing illegal treasure-hunters known as ""moonspenders."" Soon Cox is dead, of course. So is a local electrician (""accidentally"" gored by a bull). And hovering behind many of the scenes are nasty gangster-chief Sykie and haughty landowner Ryan, whose wife is smug Lovejoy's latest conquest. (She even hires him to manage the Ryan estate.) Are all these mishaps and suspicions connected? Yes, in a scattery fashion. Moreover, Lovejoy's hectic agenda also includes the arrest of one crony, the problematic wedding of another, rumors of witchcraft, a poacher's disappearing corpse. . . and the redecoration of a posh new restaurant by a cartoonishly flamboyant homosexual. And before things are sorted out (more or less), Lovejoy will have to fabricate a superb fake Roman bronze in order to trap the uninteresting killer. Overstuffed but oddly colorless and limp, with only sporadic brio in Lovejoy's sardonic patter: one of this patchy series' weakest entries.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's