THE GRAIL TREE by Jonathan Gash


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It was nice to hope that, with experience, Gash's adventures for British antique dealer Lovejoy would become more like books by Dick Francis (who blends the horserace info into the mystery) and less like chatty lectures. Unfortunately, just the opposite has happened: the third Lovejoy is, more than ever, heavy on the digressions and weak on the detection. When super-expert Lovejoy is asked by dotty Rev. Henry Swan to agree to look at Swan's hidden treasure-supposedly the Holy Grail, some sort of old cup--he's naturally quite dubious. But when Henry's boat blows up (with Henry and the cup on it) before Lovejoy can see the Grail, he becomes more interested, eventually figuring out that Grail or not, the missing cup is worth a fortune; and then the greedy culprits are easy to spot. True, all that's about a short-story's worth of story. But Gash gets a novel out of it--with cutesy sideshows (about Lovejoy's lousy car, his feisty trainees, his adoring women) and with the usual antique tidbits (about Cuban mahogany, antique gloves, faked furniture, the care of amber, etc., etc.). Even more than before, then--only for the sort of readers who'd much rather have a subscription to Antiques than to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Pub Date: June 25th, 1980
Publisher: Harper & Row