The Sin Within Her Smile

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE SIN WITHIN HER SMILE is the seventeenth Lovejoy mystery. Jonathan Gash first gained his knowledge of the world of antiques while working for various antiques dealers to help put himself through medical school. Always irreverent, the character of Lovejoy has proved to be a winning creation for Gash. As the narrator of Gash’s mysteries, Lovejoy is never at a loss for dishing out cynical or satiric observations on a variety of topics, ranging from beautiful woman to greedy rich people. Lovejoy has a habit of getting himself involvement in some shady antiques deals. He must use all of his substantial survival skills to extricate himself from even the most threatening of situations.

In THE SIN WITHIN HER SMILE, Lovejoy is sold as a slave in charity auction for the large amount of two thousand guineas. Lovejoy has difficulty explaining why anyone would pay so much for him, but before long he has other more pressing concerns. He finds himself on a journey to Wales with a group of mental patients. As in the other Lovejoy mysteries, the cast of characters is bizarre to say the least. At the center of the mystery is a scam involving Renaissance and early Christian antiques. Gash takes the time to give a detailed explanation of the historical significance of these rare items. The reader must pay attention in order to unravel the world in which Lovejoy finds himself caught. Eventually, Lovejoy makes sense of the scam, but not before there is more than one murder.

THE SIN WITHIN HER SMILE may not win over the uninitiated reader, but for the tried-and-true fan it will certainly satisfy on many levels.