Last week I wrote about Susan's chase around London in search of "rare" 1951 pennies that could be exchanged for up to ten pounds. However, one collectors' site I visited claimed that the 1951 penny is one of the most overrated collectible coins in the world because it isn't really all that rare and certainly not very valuable.
However that may be, the quest for rare coins is an exciting part of the story and the pennies are featured on the spine of the book. The most prominent of the pennies is dated 1967.
Apart from the Gascoignes, the miserly Sir Arthur Symes, known to the gang as the Wicked Baronet, or Bad Bart for short, is also up to his old tricks in this story. The front cover, posted in the very early days of this blog, shows him peering into Bluebeard's Chamber at Susan's house. The old crook plays a prominent part in this story, including using Bill for what can only be described as hours of slave labour.
The book, like many Susan stories, is packed: Susan and Tessa are eyewitnesses to a hold-up at the bank, Charlotte comes into her own as an artist and Susan is determined to help Maggie from the art gallery. At the art gallery, a local artist, Mr. Tertius Smith, has tried to go modern and created an awful oval metal ball that the gang nickname's Mr. Egg. And Tessa from St. Ronan's brings an element of fun when she is invited to spend Christmas in Wichwood Village. She dresses up Mr. Egg with Bill's coat and a balaclava, incurring the wrath of the injured Mr. Smith. My favourite of all the Jane Shaw books I've read so far.