Cover image for The rich and the profane : a Lovejoy novel
The rich and the profane : a Lovejoy novel
Gash, Jonathan.
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.

Physical Description:
344 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Avid fans who have been awaiting the twentieth Lovejoy mystery will snap up Jonathan Gash's new and priceless collectible. The Rich and the Profane finds Lovejoy Antiques, Inc. in a spot of bailiff trouble and the rascally sleuth himself hoping for a free dinner--and maybe more--from a luscious lass who wants him to coach her in shoplifting a cheap Edwardian necklace. A more likely source of income may be her aunt, the steel-eyed Mrs. Crucifex--whose brother, the Reverend George Metivier, has reputedly gambled Albansham priory into deep debt and wants Lovejoy to assess the value of its antique treasures. Sticky-fingered Lovejoy enlists his lowlife friend Gesso to break and enter,but Gesso, after bungling the priory burglary, disappears. So does Prior George, whom Lovejoy suspects of foul play. Trailing him, and one really hot painting, to the Channel Islands involves sidestepping the local law by posing as a show-biz impresario, checking out the local talent--in every sense. Soon, just staying alive becomes a juggling act. Razor wit and wonderful forays into antiques lore prove Lovejoy once again "one of the most likable rogues in mystery history " (Chicago Sun-Times).

Author Notes

Jonathan Gash, best known as the creator of the character Lovejoy, is the pseudonym of John Grant. Grant was born on September 30, 1933 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He was educated at the University of London and the Royal College of Surgeons and Physics.

In the mid-1970s, Gash began writing to relieve some of the stress of his career as a physician. The first Lovejoy novel, The Judas Pair, won the Creasey Award for the Crime Writer's Association of Great Britain for best first crime novel. A number of other novels, Lovejoy's and otherwise, have followed.

(Bowker Author Biography) Jonathan Gash was born John Grant on September 30, 1933 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He was received an M.B. and a B.S. at the University of London, a M.R.C.S. and a L.R.C.P. at the Royal College of Surgeons and Physicians and has also earned D.Path., D.Bact., D.H.M., M.D. and D.T.M.H. He achieved the rank of Major in the British Army Medical Corps and was posted to Germany. In 1955, he married Pamela Richard, and they had three daughters.

Grant had served as a general practitioner in London, a pathologist in London and Essex, a clinical pathologist in Hanover and Berlin, a lecturer in clinical pathology and head of division at the University of Hong Kong, and a microbiologist in Hong Kong and London. He was also the head of the bacteriology unit at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, from 1971 to 1988. He is a fellow of the International College of Surgeons and of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine.

Jonathan Gash is the author of The Lovejoy Novels, whose first was "The Judas Pair" (1977). It won the Creasey Award from the Crime Writer's Association of Great Britain for the best first crime novel of the year. Some of the other titles in the Lovejoy series are "The Vatican Rip" (1981), "The Gondola Scam" (1983), "Jade Woman" (1988), "Lies of Fair Ladies" (1991), "The Grace in Older Women" (1995), and "A Rag, a Bone and a Hank of Hair" (1999). He also has a series that features Dr. Clare Burtonall with the first being "Different Women Dancing" (1997). He has also written "The Incomer" (1982) under the pseudonym Graham Gaunt and "Mehala, Lady of Sealandings" (1993) under the pseudonym Jonathan Grant.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Trying to keep track of a Lovejoy plot ain't easy, but it sure is fun. Seemingly thousands of ancillary characters are involved in an astonishing variety of scams, schemes, thefts, and affairs, and in the middle of it all is Lovejoy himself--the perpetually broke, slightly shady, but thoroughly lovable antiques expert. This time Lovejoy's help in pinching a necklace is solicited by a beautiful young lady (and Lovejoy rarely refuses anything requested by beautiful young ladies). His plan, however, soon goes awry, providing the catalyst for a wild adventure that leads our hero and his entourage to Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. While the plot rambles along, Lovejoy imparts several fascinating lessons on how to recognize, forge, and steal valuable antiques. Because these pearls of wisdom usually take the form of funny anecdotes, Gash avoids boring readers with his obviously extensive knowledge; on the contrary, even those who find antiques a snooze will be thoroughly entertained. The Lovejoy TV series has made him a popular character (at least with cable subscribers), but those who only watch and don't read will miss out on Gash's stylish prose. Fans are certain to delight in this twentieth Lovejoy caper, which proves once again that he is the undisputed King of the Rogues. --Jenny McLarin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Perpetually bereft of funds, the rascally Lovejoy once again relies on charm, guile and luck to replenish his supply of groats, make "smiles" with various women and keep from getting interfered with by the Plod. Beautiful young Irma Dominick, trained by Lovejoy to steal, gets arrested by the Plod for trying to lift a jug from an auction house. And Irma's aunt Jocina wants Lovejoy to identify antiques that will be sold supposedly to fund a failing prioryÄwhose prior, Lovejoy believes, is "making smiles" with Jocina behind her husband's back. That same prior wants Lovejoy to identify antiques that he can sell to support his gambling debts. Reconnoitering the abbey with his pal Gesso, Lovejoy finds a valuable painting that he nicks and disguises. Then, traveling incognito as the famous impresario Jonno Rant, Lovejoy trails Jocina and the prior to the Channel Islands, all the while pretending to set up an entertainment spectacular. But the project is usurped by the real Rant, and Lovejoy's life is threatened by more than one group interested in the painting. With this dervish of comic activity and a romp that ends in a circuslike venue, Gash is in top form. Fans will celebrate Lovejoy's 20th outing (after The Possessions of a Lady, 1996) as a welcome return of one of the most unusual characters in mysteryland. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Lovejoy appraises the antiques of Albansham priory, whose prior has gambled away its funds‘and maybe done worse. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.