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This novel is the memorable first in the long and funny Blandings Castle series of novels and short stories by the inimitable Wodehouse. The Earl of Emsworth has the same problem as all noblemen: what to do with his airy-fairy youngest son, the Hon. Frederick Threepwood who perhaps takes too much after his father in intelligence and absent-mindedness. He’s finally got hitched to Miss Aline Peters, the sweet but too malleable only daughter of American millionaire Mr J. Preston Peters who has taken furiously to collecting scarabs. His dyspepsia, you know. When the latter is sure honest unsuspecting Lord Emsworth has pinched his Cheops, he engages Ashe Marson, a young man of good appearance, as a valet to steal it back on a country weekend at Blandings, but there are more people after the reward of £1,000 than are good for Mr Peters’ digestion, such as Miss Simpson, Aline’s lady’s maid and school friend. The efficient Baxter, likened to the Pooh-Bah of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado, just knows something is afoot with that scarab, and it will indeed disappear, but the thief will be someone totally unexpected. When Aline finally sees the light, Lord Emsworth’s astute and opinionated son-in-law, Colonel Horace-Mant makes a mistake and Ashe can claim his reward with just a little help from his own detective creation Gridley Quayle Investigator, things go back to what they were: the quiet and unpretentiously happy pottering world of Blandings, where everything is quite correct. Right ho, guv’ner. Capital and so forth.--Submitted by kiki1982.
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