Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Jonathan Gash

PhotoBiography
Born in 1933 as John Grant, Jonathan Gash grew up in Bolton, Lancashire, the son of millworkers Peter and Anne. After receiving his medical degrees he became a practicing physician. One of the odd jobs he took as a premed student, a stint in a London antiques market, became the beginning of a lifelong interest which inspired his prolific series featuring the gifted but roguish antiques' dealer, Lovejoy. In 1977 Gash started writing the series on his daily commute to London as an enjoyable distraction from his medical responsibilities. Twenty years later he began another mystery series featuring a female detective character, Clare Burtonall.

What he writes: Set in a rural English village, the Lovejoy series features a witty, loveable rogue who has two obsessions: antiques and women. In his never-ending search for the rare and valuable antique, Lovejoy imparts his extensive knowledge about antiques to the reader as he finds himself caught up in mystery, intrigue, and sometimes murder. In contrast to the Lovejoy series with its village setting and lively tone, the Clare Burtonall novels have a dark tone and an urban setting in which the primary protagonists are often hardened criminals and drug addicts. The mysteries are solved by an unlikely pair of amateur detectives, Clare Burtonall, a medical practitioner, and a streetwise character named Bonn.

 

List of works
 
Lovejoy Series
  The Judas Pair (1977) The Very Last Gambado (1989)
  Gold by Gemini (1978) The Great California Game (1991)
  The Grail Tree (1979) The Lies of Fair Ladies (1992)
  Spend Game (1980) Paid and Loving Eyes (1992)
  The Vatican Rip (1981) The Sin Within Her Smile (1993)
  The Sleepers of Erin (1983) The Grace in Older Women (1995)
  Firefly Gadroon (1983) The Possessions of a Lady (1995)
  The Gondola Scam (1984) The Rich and the Profane (1998)
  Pearlhanger (1985) A Rag, a Bone and a Hank of Hair (1999)
  The Tartan Sell (1986) Every Last Cent (2001)
  Moonspender (1986) The Ten Word Game (2003)
  Jade Woman (1988)  
     
Clare Burtonall Series
  Different Women Dancing (1997)
  Prey Dancing (1998)
  Die Dancing (2000)
  Bone Dancing (2002)
  Blood Dancing (2006)
 
Award
Dagger Award — John Creasey Memorial Award for Best First Crime Novel
 
What the critics say
The Lovejoy series:
“Lovejoy is “flawed indeed” — scrambling “for a living” and “turning a dishonest deal or two,” his speech “ribald,” his manner “offensive” — yet a “genuine hero… faithful to himself.”
New York Times Book Review (August 1979)
The Clare Burtonall series:
In Different Women Dancing, first of the series, Dr. Clare Burtonall’s character is overshadowed by Bonn, a male prostitute who assists in the investigation. The “characterization of Bonn fully evokes the gentle nature of this man living in a world where sex is a commodity, letting the listener understand how Bonn maintains his humanity through it all. The emotions involved in ruthlessness, murder, love, and passion are all brilliantly conveyed.” — Library Journal

 

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