51. The Sleepers of Erin by Jonathan Gash
Publication: E. P. Dutton, Inc. (April 22, 1983), Hardback, 214pp / ISBN 0525241639
Read: February 27-28, 2010
Summary from Amazon:
Everybody wants it, and some will kill to possess it. Lovejoy is on the loose once again as he embarks on a madcap search for a priceless Celtic antique. Half a step behind, however, are a couple of mayhem-minded antiques dealers, a woman of extraordinary beauty and intelligence, the police, and a motley crew of “interested parties”. Assault, false arrest, kidnapping, blackmail, and murder all add up to the high cost of finding and keeping an antique that only Lovejoy can identify. With time out for a romantic interlude, Lovejoy nobly fights to hold on to the treasure — and to his life.
I was already pretty familiar with the Lovejoy mysteries through the TV show, since I’ve seen about…four seasons? And it’s pretty much awesome antiques-related mysteries where everybody is ugly (except the wonderful Phyllis Logan!) and Ian McShane has even more ridiculous hair than he does today. It’s funny and weird and a great show, overall.
The Sleepers of Erin is much like the TV show. It’s number seven in the series, but I don’t think it’s necessary to read the earlier ones, really. Or maybe I just think that because I’ve seen the show and I already know the basics? Whatever, it’s a good book and I really enjoyed reading it.
I liked how the mystery was interwoven with antiques lessons from Lovejoy. I liked the characters, even when they were gross (Lovejoy’s slightly misogynistic). It was slightly violent but very exciting, and the ending was perfect. If you haven’t seen the show this would be a good book to start out on, and if you have seen the show this is probably closest to what you’re used to, so it’s good to read.
I will warn you, though, if you’re used to the show: Tinker in the books is not the same as the Tinker on TV. TV Tinker is a dapper drunk man with witty things to say. Book Tinker is a disgusting near-homeless man who smells like a dumpster and isn’t nearly as funny. The difference was quite a shock!
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