Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on 10 April 2013
Like a lot of people I used to watch 'Lovejoy' on the tv, and also as my local library at the time stocked the books I read the novels as well. I should point out that if you have never read any of the books before and only seen the tv series then it is only fair to say that there are differences; the books are darker for a start.
Jonathan Gash is of course a pen name for John Grant (who also wrote under other names as well). This novel, first published in 1977 was the first Lovejoy book, and I believe it won that years John Creasey Award (now known as the New Blood Dagger award). Lovejoy finds himself with a new client intent on finding the legendary 'Judas Pair' of duelling pistols. Lovejoy at first thinks that he has some kind of nut on his hands, after all the pistols are just a piece of legend, Durs Egg made twelve pairs of such pistols, no one has ever come across a thirteenth pair, which would be the genuine 'Judas Pair'. But Lovejoy of course finds himself drawn in when his client says that his brother had not only had them but was killed for them as well. And so Lovejoy finds himself caught in a dangerous game, where even his life is at stake.
To be honest you can work out who the killer is within the first third of this book, although it takes Lovejoy a lot longer, but then this isn't really about who the killer is, but the ingenious way the murder was committed, so if you like 'Jonathan Creek' then chances are you will enjoy this. Of course the other thing that draws you into this and other Lovejoy novels is the way the character gets caught up on other antiques and tells about the tricks of the trade.
This is an entertaining read, but I was surprised to find an above average number of typos in this, which was a bit of a surprise, as this publisher is usually pretty good.