A stylish US debut for Australian author Wallace, who begins his story in Sydney, moves it to tim Riviera, then returns to Sydney for an amusing, trick-the-tricksters finale. Ne'er-do-well Essington Holt has just lost his girlfriend to his best friend, consoled himself with his best friend's secretary Karen, and come away almost empty-handed from all art auction, where he met gallery owner Miles Jackson. when he's summoned to the Riviera home of Aunt Eloise, who insists that he discover what happened to her six Degas monographs--the ones on her wall are forgeries, she says. Is Auntie senile? Were the insurers nefarious? Is the next-door neighbor a forger? Did Holt see identical Degas prints in Miles' gallery? To catch the forger, Holt becomes one--and he is drolly, inordinately fond of his new career. It leads to a strange partnership, a sad death, a call to Karen to come help, and Karen setting in action the dupe-the-crooks comeuppance--which turns their forgery/auction seam against them and dismantles their plan to make themselves extremely rich. Sophisticated, urbane, and imaginative; Essington and Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy would undoubtedly appreciate each other. Deft plotting and--for a change--a witty, cerebral caper.