SPEND GAME by Jonathan Gash


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Outing #4 for cuckolding, fast-dealing antique dealer Lovejoy of East Anglia--a chatty narrator-hero whom many readers will continue to find more smugly swinish than irresistibly roguish. This time the treasure-hunt begins when Lovejoy's crony Leckie is hit-and-run murdered by thugs. . . just after having purchased some items from the estate of the late Dr. Chase. Priceless antiques, thinks Lovejoy--and he tries to get his hands on them. But it turns out (as Lovejoy duels the thugs with help from Leckie's comely cousin Moll) that Dr. Chase's furniture is worthless--except for the clues it contains, clues to nearby buried treasure: an all-silver model train buried for over 100 years, ever since an underground mountain railway collapsed on its opening day. So Lovejoy winds up burrowing into the mountain (via a well), followed by thugs, with a climactic physical ordeal. Good action, then, and a nice comic character in chirpy, gun-toting Moll--but it would all be a lot more involving if Lovejoy (who lectures this time on treen and silver) were a little bit less of a pig.

Pub Date: May 20th, 1981
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields/Houghton Mifflin