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Here’s the scenario: ‘Lord Clive’ purchased his grand-sounding lordship for £3,500 at one of those ‘Lord of the Manor’ sales where titles fetch anything from two thousand to two hundred thousand pounds. It gave him an idea: why not buy a second one cheaply, then sell it high? Where better to sell it than in America? (Clive is not politically correct. In fact, he’s about as incorrect as you can get.)
To help him in this scheme he enlists the aid of the beautiful and intelligent Jane Strachey – who finds helping Clive to be a risky business. He lives by trickery. When he finds himself in a mess, who better to dig him out than the impeccable Jane? He sends her back from San Francisco to rural England to deal with his irate American victims as they fly across to collect their lordship. Victims include a Californian wine-maker and his gorgeous wife, (go, Clive, go) a shrewd businessman, a hell-fire preacher and a hard-bitten New York gangster.
Strachey needs more than good looks and a silver tongue to save her. Although Clive offers sympathy – from several thousand miles away – it’s not a great help when lawyers pounce and guns slide from holsters. Can Strachey deal with the mayhem on her own? Or, as the cover suggests, will Strachey lose her shirt too?
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A brilliant page-turner from “the best of Britain’s darker crime writers”
– The Times
“A fast-paced caper, full of black humour and double-crossing action of the highest calibre… James has a knack for the vernacular of his larger-than-life villains and provides laughs by the barrelfull. Could make a great movie, in the right hands.”
– The Guardian
“Although he is better known for his work in noir, this is a much lighter read. Skilfully he reveals his characters’ motives both good and bad, and then playfully subverts them. It is refreshing to read a thriller that is not weighed down by the bleak worldview held by Patricia Cornwell, Barbara Vine et al. A real rollicking romp of a book with interesting twists and turns. A light, humorous, very readable book.”
– NewBooks magazine
“I haven’t laughed so much in years. A really brilliant read.”
– Mike Jecks, famed medieval crime author