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A former friend, Max Hunter, who believes Lovejoy had an affair with his wife, kidnaps Charlotte and plans to kill her. But he gives Lovejoy a sporting chance to find him by leaving a series of clues.
Tinker disappears, and Lovejoy sets off to find him. He arrives in Devon, where he discovers that Tinker's real name is Archie and that he has a sister whose hotel business is threatened by a rogue property developer. Charlotte and Beth join them and they look for ways to raise money to save the hotel.
Meanwhile, Tinker has lost the key of Charlotte's safe-deposit box.
A tough-talking business man hires Lovejoy to recover a sixteenth-century samurai sword which has been stolen from him. Another dealer, Lovejoy's mentor Jim Leonard, buys the sword at an auction, but it is promptly stolen from him by Joanna, the daughter of the original owner. Lovejoy stays on the trail.
Lovejoy takes an antique gun to a London gunsmith to be repaired, but the armorer is having landlord problems. Meanwhile, an acquaintance of Lovejoy's, Texas Greenberg, is on his way over to buy something special.
Lovejoy is called in by Lord Dunwich to value a silver communion set, and Lady Dunwich wants him to find her some antique prints of the lost town of Dunwich-by-the-Sea (which is now under the sea). Charlie has done a moonlight flit, leaving his old dad in charge of Felsham Hall, and there are some unlikely characters around - a mad Greek priest, a Dutch civil servant, and a strange woman...
The police set up Tinker, so that they can get a favour from Lovejoy. They want him to check out an up-market pawnbroker who is suspected of receiving antiques stolen overseas.
Lovejoy buys a nineteenth-century dresser for a song, after getting advice from a Caribbean specialist.
Meanwhile, Charlotte has mixed feelings about being left holding someone else's baby.
In the last episode of Lovejoy, our hero gears himself up to marry Charlotte, and his old life begins to splinter. Jane Felsham returns with a splash, and without Alexander in tow - will Lovejoy have to choose between her and Charlotte?