A Lovejoy Murder Mystery
I always think that a genuine friend is like a genuine antique - you'd go a long way to find one and you'd do anything to stop one getting broken. When an Italian gentleman made me an offer I couldn't refuse, stopping my friends from getting broken meant stealing a very valuable antique.
'Somebody else has got my antique and I want it back,' was how he put it.
'Who has it?' I asked.
Without a flicker of a smile he replied, 'The Pope.'
If you think of the Vatican as a big church where the Pope lives, then think again. It is a complete walled city with its own shops, its own bank and its own armed security in the shape of the ridiculously costumed Swiss Guards. Look a bit daft, don't they? But they're well trained and well armed young men. Well, if stealing antiques from the Pope was easy, everybody would be doing it, wouldn't they?
Highly ingenious, vastly enjoyable, and stuffed with a magpie's selection of antique information. - Times Literary Supplement