Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer
New York : Doubleday & Co., 1976. Book Club Edition. Hardcover. 214 pages ; 21 cm. A clean, vibrant copy without any markings and sound binding.
Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
Oil bonanza and instant riches were the exciting hot inside tips stirring up wild speculation on Discovery Oil, a promising new firm drilling in England's North Sea.
But behind the scenes was the redoubtable Harvey Metcalfe, a smug millionaire businessman with twenty-five years of shady deals behind him. And when the truth about Discovery Oil was revealed, the bogus corporation's stock plummeted.
Overnight, Metcalfe's four victims—an English lord, a doctor, an art dealer, and an Oxford don—found themselves at the short end of a masterfully conceived million-dollar stock swindle, and seemingly doomed to bankruptcy. Instead, the four got together and decided to take revenge—each in his own special way stealing back from Harvey just what had been stolen from him. Not a penny more, not a penny less.
Thus begins Jeffrey Archer's amusing novel about the madcap adventures of four fledgling con men trying to beat an old pro at the game he knows best.
Jeffrey Archer became the youngest member of the Greater London Council when, in 1966, he defeated the Labor leader, Lord Fiske, at the age of twenty-six. He became a Member of Parliament only three years later.
Then, in 1973, on the advice of an assistant VP of an American bank, he invested $1 million in a Canadian company—the VP assuring him that the bank itself was heavily involved in this company. But in September 1974, a visit from Scotland Yard informed him that his shares were worthless.
Overnight, Jeffrey Archer was penniless and was prevented from seeking re-election. Instead, he wrote NOT A PENNY MORE, NOT A PENNY LESS.
Alas, Harvey Metcalfe had done it again. The perfect crime. And while the smug Harvey settled back for a. victory cigar, his four irate victims fumed!
The A-Flat Swindle in Four-Part Harmony
Slowly, methodically, they went about their tasks—an unlikely team of conspirators:
Stephen Bradley, an American mathematical genius at Oxford who had lost $250,000 of his inheritance on Metcalfe's oil scheme. But his grandfather's parting advice stuck with him: don't get cross, get even, and Stephen planned to play on Metcalfe's self-flattering image as a great philanthropist to do just that....
Dr. Adrian Tryner, a good-looking and personable society-row doctor who made a fortune catering to rich and elderly women with imagined complaints. What could be better than his own intimate knowledge of hypochondriacs?
Jean Pierre Lamanns, a stylish impresario who ran London's most prestigious art galleries with immaculate taste and unfailing judgment—that is, until the day he misjudged Metcalfe's oil stock. But Metcalfe had a weakness for impressionists, and Jean Pierre had a plan....
Lord James Brigsley, a handsome scion of the British aristocracy who had the silver spoon snatched right out of his mouth. But if Lord James's scheme got derailed when he fell in love with a beautiful woman, that gave him still another idea...
From the high-stakes windows at the Ascot Downs to the ivy-covered intrigue of Oxford—a high screwball adventure of four fledgling con men and their four dazzling schemes to outswindle a swindler, and sting the crook for every cent he had stolen from. them....
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