The Vatican Rip
By Jonathan Gash
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?
Jonathan Gash is the pen name of John Grant, who also wrote under the name of Graham Gaunt. Born in 1933 in Bolton, Lancashire, Grant trained as a doctor and worked as both a GP and a pathologist. He also served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, where he rose to the rank of Major, and was head of bacteriology at the University of London's School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His first Lovejoy novel, The Judas Pair, won the Crime Writers' Association prestigious John Creasey award in 1977. Grant lives in Colchester, Essex.
- Other details
- Publication date:
07 Nov 2013
- Page count:
Highly ingenious, vastly enjoyable, and stuffed with a magpie's selection of antique information. — Times Literary Supplement