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The Lies of Fair Ladies, by Jonathan Gash

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Think of the price of stamps and melons. I was having a blazing row about a melon. Savvy Savvy's a supermarket. Their only superlatives are their blinking prices.
I read a bunch of Lovejoy books back in 2012-2013, and eventually gave up because I couldn't take the narrator's narcissism and misogyny. On impulse I thought I'd try one more, and although Lovejoy himself is still very annoying, I felt that the author was pointing and laughing at him, perhaps more than in some of the other books, and that his revolting behaviour led to visible consequences. The plot is a decently intricate murder mystery, resolved by Lovejoy with minimal help from the police, against a background of seedy local politics around the river Deben.

Speaking of that river, I want to give a shout to Lord Deben, formerly John Selwyn Gummer, who as a Conservative minister was one of the bogeymen of my youth, but has now become an eminently sane voice against Brexit. How times change, eh?

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