Heavy Weather ★★★✬☆

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Title: Heavy Weather
Series: Blandings Castle #4
Authors: PG Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 218
Words: 82K


From Wikipedia.org

Plot introduction

With the Hon. Galahad’s reminiscences removed from the market, publisher Lord Tilbury is anxious to get hold of the manuscript, while Lady Constance Keeble and Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe want to lay hands on it for quite other reasons. Lord Emsworth fears that Parsloe-Parsloe is out to spoil his prize pig Empress of Blandings’ chances at the forthcoming county show, and keeps detective Pilbeam on hand to keep watch. Meanwhile, Sue Brown is anxious to hide her old friendship with Monty Bodkin from her jealous fiance Ronnie Fish, giving his mother Lady Julia a chance to talk him out of the unsuitable marriage…

Plot summary

Monty Bodkin, despite his wealth, needs to hold a job down for a full year so when he is sacked from his job, he jumps at a tip that his old job as secretary is available, especially on hearing that his former fiancee will be on the premises.

Hearing that Monty is on his way, and concerned about Ronnie’s jealous nature, Sue heads to London, dines with Bodkin and warns him to be distant. On the train back, they both encounter Ronnie’s formidable mother and claim not to know each other. Lady Julia, having seen Sue and Monty at lunch together, tells her son about their suspicious behaviour, and Ronnie is at once convinced that Sue loves Monty.

Meanwhile, Connie and Parsloe-Parsloe, unaware of these developments, task Percy Pilbeam with obtaining Galahad’s manuscript, used to ensure Sue and Ronnie’s marriage is permitted. Lord Tilbury, also wanting the book, visits the castle and is rebuffed. Leaving, he calls on the Empress, but is locked in a shed by Pirbright the pig-man, instructed by a suspicious Lord Emsworth to guard the pig closely. He is released by Monty Bodkin, who he persuades to steal the book by offering him a year’s guaranteed employment—he is worried about his tenure at the castle, as Lord Emsworth suspects him, being the nephew of his rival Parsloe-Parsloe, of scheming to nobble his pig, the Empress.

Beach, catching Pilbeam in the act of grabbing the book, tells Galahad and is instructed to guard the book himself. When he overhears Tilbury and Bodkin plotting in the garden at the Emsworth Arms however, he sees the task is too much for him and hands the book on to Ronnie Fish. Fish is distracted by his loss of Sue’s love, but once the storm breaks feels better; he sees Monty Bodkin, drenched from the rain, and is friendly towards him. However, when he sees “Sue” tattooed on Bodkin’s chest, his mood turns sour once more.

Sue, having heard Ronnie’s kind words, is also cheered and rushes to find Ronnie; when he is once more cold and distant, she breaks down and breaks off the engagement. Bodkin finds Ronnie and asks him a favour—to get Beach to hand over the book, explaining he needs it to marry his girl. Ronnie, inwardly furious, chivalrously hands it over. Gally sees Sue is upset, learns all and confronts Ronnie with his idiocy. He explains about Bodkin and Sue, and Ronnie forgives her. Gally then confronts his sisters, threatening them once more with his book; although Julia is at first unmoved, when Gally relates a few of the stories it contains concerning her late husband “Fishy” Fish, she is defeated.

Bodkin, having engaged Pilbeam to find the book for him, tells the detective he is no longer needed, revealing where he has hidden the manuscript. Pilbeam steals it, planning to auction it between Tilbury and the Connie-Parsloe syndicate, and hides it in a disused shed. He informs Lord Emsworth that Bodkin released Tilbury, and Bodkin is fired. Pilbeam is summoned to see Lady Constance, and primes himself with a bottle of champagne. She is insulting, and Pilbeam vows to sell the book to Tilbury, who he calls promising to deliver it, but he retires to bed first to sleep off the booze.

Lord Emsworth, having moved the Empress to her new sty for safety, finds her eating the manuscript. Pilbeam sees this, and hurries to Connie and Parsloe-Parsloe, but is denied his fee when they find the pig has eaten the book. He then rushes to the Emsworth Arms, and gets a cheque out of Lord Tilbury, telling him the book is in the pigsty. Bodkin is on hand, however, and destroys the cheque and warns Emsworth by phone that someone is heading for his sty. Later, full of remorse, he offers Pilbeam a thousand pounds to employ him for a year in his agency.

While Emsworth is being badgered by his sisters into denying Ronnie his money, a mud-spattered Lord Tilbury is brought in, captured by Pirbright. Gally and Sue then appear, informing Emsworth that Ronnie has the pig in his car and will drive off with it if denied his cash. Emsworth coughs up, and the happy couple depart, much to Gally’s satisfaction.

My Thoughts:

I was afraid this series, with it’s running gag about Lord Emsworth’s pig and the scandalous book and the young couples in love would get tiresome. I stand here to proclaim to you that so far, that fear has not materialized. I laughed my head off, yet again, at another Wodehouse humorous plot that was insane.

I hate to say it, but really, that first paragraph sums up my entire experience with this book. I was afraid it was going to be bad, it wasn’t and I had a great time. What is nice is that this is not a re-skinned Jeeves and Wooster. The butler in this series is most definitely NOT Jeeves and while most of the young people fit into the Wooster mold, none of them are Wooster. In some ways its a fine distinction but it gives this series some extra oomph and, I think, staying-power.

Of course, when I was reading Jeeves, by the third book I wasn’t thinking it would get tiresome either. See, I can make up drama about books with the best of them. And sometimes, you just gotta make it up because otherwise you end up writing a review that consists of “I enjoyed this book”.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

20 thoughts on “Heavy Weather ★★★✬☆

    1. Indeed! If I start laughing out loud while reading and Mrs B asks what is so funny, we both have learned that I just need to say “Wodehouse” and it is all good. She can’t stand his kind of humor, so it’s kind of a short cut.


  1. Yeah, portly old Beecham is a very different kettle of fish from Jeeves. Plus I guess running a household is a lot more demanding than being a gentleman’s personal gentleman (although that’s pretty demanding if the individual in question is Bertie Wooster).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read P.G. Wodehouse for the first time in February with no clue whatsoever what I was in for. I read Something New, or Something Fresh, depending on where it was published, and I really enjoyed it. I was chuckling almost throughout the entire book. I’d then read that he tended to write about the same or similar characters, and was even mocked for it by reviewers of the time, and he even went so far as to write a book to address one scathing review, effectively writing exactly what the reviewer had described it as. Pretty funny. I look forward to reading more by the author. Seems a great place to go when I’m in the mood for something a bit lighter and to brighten my spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pace yourself and you’ll love his stuff. He does write the same characters doing the same stupid things, so too much too quick wears quickly. But spaced out, oh man, it is SO funny 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have never read Wodehouse but could use some humor so this might be something for me to look into. One of those authors I’ve heard of but never really been aware of what they have written hmmm

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d highly recommend this Blandings Castle series or his Jeeves and Wooster series.

      On a side note, I know you’ve been at blogger and active. How does the social side of things work for you? With the shenanigans WP is pulling I am seriously considering moving back to blogspot for my “main” blog. But WP really does notifications well 😦


      1. Blogger does seem kind of hit or miss with comments and notifications. My biggest problem is replying to comments because I’ve been so busy lately, but that’s more of a me thing. But generally I’ve been happy with the social side of Blogger. I’ve thought of switching to WP just because it looks more polished but yeah hearing about some of the things they’re doing, maybe I’ll stay put?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I would NOT recommend making the move to WP right now. Let things settle for a good 6-9months and see what happens with the current shenanigans they’re pulling.

          When life isn’t so busy for you, how do you keep track of all the places you’ve left a comment on blogger?


          1. Yeah, I’m thinking that too. And honestly? I don’t really keep track. 🙂 I just have a more or less usual slate of blogs I check and I try to remember to go back and check. 🙂

            I did used to use Bloglovin though, but not as much anymore. I still get a daily (I think?) notification

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Looking forward to it. Depending on when it goes live it might be friday before I get to it. My mom is flying in tomorrow and tomorrow evening is going to be wicked busy. But I’ve got a clear plate for the weekend, so watching and writing about that detective fellow 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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