Nothing but trouble can ensue when Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia instructs him to steal a silver jug from Totleigh Towers, home of magistrate and hell-hound, Sir Watkin Bassett. First he must face the peril of Sir Watkin's droopy daughter, Madeleine, and then the terrors of would-be Dictator, Roderick Spode and his gang of Black Shorts. But when duty calls, Bertram answers, and so there follows what he himself calls the 'sinister affair of Gussie Fink-Nottle, Madeleine Bassett, old Pop Bassett, Stiffy Byng, the Rev. H. P. ('Stinker') Pinker, the eighteenth-century cow-creamer and the small, brown, leather-covered notebook'. In a plot with more twists than an English country lane, it takes all the ingenuity of Jeeves to extract his master from the soup again.
The author of almost a hundred books and the creator of Jeeves, Blandings Castle, Psmith, Ukridge, Uncle Fred and Mr Mulliner, P.G. Wodehouse was born in 1881 and educated at Dulwich College. After two years with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank he became a full-time writer, contributing to a variety of periodicals including Punch and the Globe. He married in 1914. As well as his novels and short stories, he wrote lyrics for musical comedies with Guy Bolton and Jerome Kern, and at one stage had five musicals running simultaneously on Broadway. His time in Hollywood also provided much source material for fiction. At the age of 93, in the New Year's Honours List of 1975, he received a long-overdue knighthood, only to die on St Valentine's Day some 45 days later.