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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 29 May 2013
I found the description of Lovejoy's slapping of his girlfriend in the first few pages very disturbing-especially the casual way it was written-quite a good story but wouldn't recommend to any of my friends-bought the 4 kindle books in series but won't be rushing to read them-Carol Carruthers
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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.
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on 10 August 2010
This book is responsible for introducing the world to Lovejoy, a disreputable but likeable antiques dealer from deepest, darkest Essex. As another reviewer has mentioned, beware any reader who is hoping to meet Ian McShane's lovable TV creation. This Lovejoy is much more raw, conniving and at times, downright nasty, but in my opinion, he is all the better for it.

I would thoroughly recommend this book. The characters are brilliantly constructed, the plot is gripping AND the reader is given all sorts of insider information on the murky world of antiques to boot. I will definitely be reading more of Mr Gash's books!
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2007
What Lovejoy does not know about antiques, is not worth knowing. He is associated with the most disreputable people and is permanently broke. He is the champion of the underdog and drives the most extrsordinary car. Women dote on him and he makes good use of them. It is a delightful introduction to a great series.

I have been inspired to read more. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 29 May 2013
Interesting read. Also informative snippets regarding antiques. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to other Lovejoy stories. I also enjoyed the T.V. series and it's interesting to compare the book style with the T.V.
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on 26 May 2013
First read this a looooong time ago, just before the tv series made it big in the uk. I remember being delighted by the books, and horrified at how frivolous and 'nice' they had made the tv episodes.

Basically, if you are expecting books that are like the tv then don't waste your money. This Lovejoy is altogether darker, harder, more compassionate and frankly, brilliant.
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on 28 May 2013
An interesting story of the antique world. The story is about Lovejoy trying to locate these fictional guns for the brother of the deceased man supposedly killed by one of the Judas pair of guns. Lovejoy starts his search not believing in their existence but as his search continues it becomes clear they do exist especially when his girl friend is murdered.
A lot of the book is taken up with antiques and explaining about them but Jonathan Gash does not over do it as he soon gets back to the story although I am sure some people will disagree and say that he does over do it. Anyway the book kept me interested all the time and I was always looking forward to the next chapter which is always the mark of a good read.
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This was the first Lovejoy, but I warn American viewers of the Lovejoy telly series NOT to expect the books to be like Ian McShane's Version. This Lovejoy is not quite so loveable. He is shifty, ready to cheat anyone, ready to step over the line if he thinks he cannot get caught, he has a temper, kids shove him around, all his old girlfriends - and there are legion - use him as babysitter. He has a very odd selection of friends - most of the telly characters do not show up to late in the series of books - he has very little respect for women as a whole, other than how he can use them, he barely pays his bills, loves animals, is a big mooch and lives on fried bread and tomato sandwiches. He lets people shove him around, only to turn around and stick up for the underdog.
All in all, at times you might find Lovejoy very unloveable if not downright disgusting.
Ah, but to those that stick with it, you soon find that Lovejoy is an acquired taste that can leaving you howling.
This first one revolved around a pair of missing antique dualing pistols. If you get through to the end and find yourself enjoying the book, you will want to read the rest in the series...though you will always find Lovejoy at times rather disgusting!!
Highly recommended for those wishing their mysteries laced with Brit wit and humour, and that is off the beaten path.
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on 28 May 2013
never before read Jonathan Gash but thought I would have something different.I have enjoyed it so far not quite finished and have 3 others to read.
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on 9 May 2013
Purchased for my Kindle. The story is quite good - but the SPELLING MISTAKES IN IT ARE DREADFUL. I don't think I have ever read a book with so many mistakes.
I don't think I will be buying another book by this author if that is the best they can do.
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