Jonathan Gash, Lies of Fair Ladies

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Jonathan Gash, much loved author of the Lovejoy sleuthing series appears in his only signed limited edition. This is the deluxe lettered state with five raised bands on biscuit harmatan leather and the additional signature of H R F Keating.

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Jonathan Gash was as a lad a runner on antique market stalls. When he was older he attended college and became a doctor of tropical medicine. The market stall antics of passing on wares to the right customer staid with him later in life when he became a crime writer. The long-running Lovejoy series is known for its cast of roguish characters and the schemes they get up to. Lovejoy is a “divvy” or one that can discern who is genuine from the fake items that seem to flood the market.

The BBC ran a highly popular television adaptation with Ian McShane in the lead. Lovejoy, a bachelor, prefers the company of his dealer friends when he is not drawn into the arms of a pretty female; these tend to manipulate his better judgement, resulting in distrust and a little tantrums. Not so much murder and mayhem, as antiques and antics, as H R F Keating observed in his appreciation. Hence, this books title. HRF Keating

This is the deluxe lettered edition – the ordinary numbered are long since gone – with five raised bands on biscuit harmatan leather and the additional signature of H R F Keating to that of the author.

5.00 out of 5

1 review for Jonathan Gash, Lies of Fair Ladies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rating by H R F Keating on May 21, 2012 :

    Extract from the Appreciation by H R F Keating

    “Antiques and antics. The combination, taking antics to mean sportive sexuality, could hardly be bettered as an attraction for the reader seeking simple enjoyment. But to that potent pair Jonathan Gash adds another quality, one so strikingly evident that, like the dazzle of the sun, it tends to obscure what should be revealed. That is charm. A charm none the less heart-warming for being, shall we say, boisterous. Together they have made this series of crime stories featuring Lovejoy, antiques dealer, antiques lover to the core, and woman lover (to the core again) a repeated delight. They give pleasure even to those of us immune to the glamour of antiques (a few sober citizens) and free from the fascination of innocent voyeurism (There must be some ulta-sober citizens). But to put this heady cocktail into our bloodstreams Jonathan Gash needed a whole array of technical skills. And – lucky man – these he has, or taught himself to have. First, he knows how to construct stories that are essentially farces. He knows that before you get to the gloriously improbable finale you must lay down a solid base of sensibly probable circumstances. In The Lies of Fair Ladies we have the series of quiet minor hints that come to Lovejoy telling him something major in the criminal line is afoot. We have his step-by-step discovery of the first body (and its very down-to- earth description). All of which, plus a dozen other everyday touches, prepare us for the extraordinary events that take place at – I won’t say where, or what, or how, or why. Then Jonathan Gash knows how us ignorant readers need the often unnoticed quality of shape in the books we think we are delighting in simply for the tale. In your classic whodunit this is the widening-out from the finding of the corpse followed by the narrowing-in to the discovery of the murderer. In the Gash books, almost always, it is Lovejoy getting wind of a marvellous treasure and eventually, surmounting piled-up obstacles, reaching it (Generally deprived of any private gain, so as to be ready for a new adventure stony broke as ever)”.

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