Lovejoy gets married!
Languishing in the nick for an antique scam that went belly up, Lovejoy gets an offer he can’t refuse from Ellen Jaynor, the brains behind The Anglers Manglers Speed-Datery. If he’ll come along, chat up Laura Moon and agree to marriage, an early prison release will be arranged. But with Lovejoy nothing’s ever that simple, and whoever said you can’t scam a scammer didn’t know what he was talking about. In the space of a week, Lovejoy’s loony bride-to-be has involved him with delegates from 16 groups representing the world’s Lost Tribes, who want him to substantiate the authenticity of their priceless antiques. Oh, and by the way, would Lovejoy also find Laura’s ex-husband, who absconded after murdering a young girl? The following week finds Lovejoy even busier. Three of his chums are topped. His illegitimate son Mortimer pops up, then gets kidnapped, prompting Lovejoy to flee Somnell House, the repository of all those antiques, just before it burns to the ground. With so many pretty women to make smiles with (Lovejoy’s term for a bit of sex), he barely has time to confront the only woman he’s ever really trusted, more fool he, as she sails off with her inamorata from Blackpool’s North Pier, accompanied by a boatload of the Lost Tribes’ valuables.
A picaresque tour de farce. If you crave linear plotting, Gash (The Ten Word Game, 2004, etc.) will send you screaming for Tylenol, but nobody dissembles more brilliantly.