Paid and Loving Eyes by John Grant

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Paid and Loving Eyes

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

A physician by trade, Jonathan Gash gained his knowledge of antiques by working for antique dealers in order to help pay for medical school. PAID AND LOVING EYES is the sixteenth Lovejoy mystery, and there seems to be no loss of inspiration, for this has to rank as one of the best yet in the series. As always, Lovejoy has two supreme loves. The first is antiques, and the second is women. Both of these loves can—and usually do—lead Lovejoy down a path fraught with danger. Based in East Anglia, Lovejoy does his best to scrap out a living as an antiques expert. He possesses the gift of being able to “divvy”—or authenticate—almost any antique. Even with this special gift, Lovejoy never seems to make enough money to live the good life for any length of time. Almost against his will Lovejoy is a rather ethical character and cannot bring himself to cheat people he knows, merely to make a good deal of money.

As PAID AND LOVING EYES begins, Lovejoy is working as a driver for Gaunt’s Tryste Service in order to stay financially afloat. As always seems to be the case with Lovejoy, he is also having a passionate affair with a wealthy married woman, known to him only as Almira. Before long, though, Lovejoy finds himself rapidly being drawn into a dangerous scheme of international proportions. Hired by a French businessman, Monsieur Troude, to make use of his special skills, Lovejoy has to leave his natural environment of East Anglia and fend for himself in the complicated European antiques market of Paris and Zurich. Gash includes a generous portion of antiques lore, as well as rapier wit and fast-paced action. Violence surrounds Lovejoy, and he must make use of all of his remarkable survival skills in order not to become another victim of this forgery and smuggling scam. In PAID AND LOVING EYES, Gash has created an eccentric and exciting adventure, in which his colorful character, Lovejoy, lives up to his reputation of knowing his way around both antiques and beautiful women.