Published in Great Britain under the title The Cat Nappers, this is the last Jeeves and Wooster story written by Wodehouse.
Bertie has spots on his chest and his doctor recommends some time in the country. He winds up in a location near where his Aunt Dahlia is visiting friends. Bertie almost gets married to a girl he proposed to before. He has two different people who want to beat him up; one wants to pull his insides out; the other want to thrash him within an inch of his life.
All in a week’s work for Jeeves. By the end, all is set right.
But the story is not the thing; it’s Wodehouse’s writing. When Dr. E. Jimpson Murgatroyd, the doctor told Bertie to stop his man about town ways and move to the country, he was “like a minor prophet about to rebuke the sins of of the people””. This story also has the equatorial African explorer Planck make a reappearance.
I started the project of reading all the Jeeves and Wooster stories in August 2010. I enjoyed it immensely. The stories span from 1917 to 1974; even though the stories are timeless, a little history of the 57 years shows through here and there. The plots have a certain familiarity but the writing carries one past any hint of boredom. My roadmap can be found here on my blog.
If you, like me, took on the joyful task of reading all the Jeeves and Wooster stories, then put this on your list; otherwise, go to “The Code of The Woosters.” I also read the final short story, The Greasy Bird, written after Much Obliged, Jeeves and before his final novel. In that story a man attempts to extort Bertie due to a misunderstanding of a marriage proposal.
If you plan to read this look for a used copy somewhere; it is a rare book and a new copy goes for over $150.