For : A story for Susan and Germoline, Erica and Betty, with thanks to Paul for the rock bit. . . . This book is most humbly dedicated to the ancient Chinese 'unpredictable Ghost' god, Wu Ch'ang Kei, in the hope that He will favour this story with His prolonged readership. One glance from that god brings a fortune in treasure.
This story begins where I did something illegal, had two rows with women, one pub fight, and got a police warning; all before mid-afternoon.
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The trouble begins for Lovejoy when a "small portable Japanese box" is sold at an auction under Lovejoy's nose. He wants that box - a genuine antique firefly cage - but someone else wants it even more. Because it might be the first clue to a secret worth murdering for. Unfortunately, the victim battered to death on the Essex marshes was a friend of Lovejoy's..and it becomes a matter of personal vengeance. The donkey, Germoline, feels the need for vengeance as well, even as Lovejoy is softening to assist the killer after his own rescue from the sea .
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CRIME & MYSTERY. I don't like to pack too much into an ordinary day and this one had already been pretty eventful - two arguments with women, a fight in a pub, a warning from the Old Bill and a fiasco at auction that lost me an exquisite antique Japanese firefly cage. The trouble was, somebody wanted that little gem even more than I did. It was the key that would unlock a secret they'd to anything to keep under wraps, even murder. If only they could only have gone about their dirty deeds without involving me or my friends, they might have got away with it all, but when the master craftsman bravely trying to teach me the art of gadrooning fell foul of them and paid for it with his life, they had me to deal with...… (more)