Michael Bevan attends an auction he would normally avoid because he noticed some valuable Japanese scrolls in one of the lots. The bidding is fast and furious with his friend and fellow book dealer, Gareth Hughes, bidding for the lot because he discovered a rare first-edition Colette with an inscription by Hemingway. A third bidder gets into the action, an unsuccessful book dealer, who is obviously bidding for someone else.
The mysterious third bidder wins the lot. Before the tough-looking henchman can collect the books, Gareth makes off with the Collette. Michael accuses him of it at a pub later that evening, and they come to blows. Unfortunately, the next morning Gareth's body is found and nearby the murder weapon belonging to Michael.
I chose this book because I thought reading a mystery in which the main character is an antiquarian book dealer would be unusual and interesting. The opening chapters of the book used the book dealer theme well, and I enjoyed them. However, the dirty books played more of a role in the second half of the novel, and the action got rather kinky before the end.
I enjoyed the book, but I would caution any reader who is squeamish about kinky sex to steer clear of it. On the positive side, the book is filled with odd characters that are fun to read about and the plot moves swiftly. I will be interested in seeing more books in this series.
I reviewed this book for Net Galley.