First Published: 1946
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Series: Jeeves and Wooster #7
Trapped in rural Steeple Bumpleigh, a man less stalwart than Bertie Wooster would probably give way at the knees.
For among those present are Florance Craye, to whom Bertie has once been engaged, and her new fiancé ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright, who sees Bertie as a snake in the grass. And that biggest blot on the landscape, Edwin the Boy Scout, who is busy doing acts of kindness out of sheer malevolence.
All Bertie’s forebodings are fully justified. For in his efforts to oil the wheels of commerce, promote the course of true love and avoid the consequences of a vendetta, he becomes the prey of all and sundry. In fact only Jeeves can save him…
Another sunny few days, another Jeeves and Wooster. I didn’t enjoy this one quite so much as The Code of the Woosters or other previous books but I’d be very had pressed to try to pinpoint why.
In Joy in the Morning (Jeeves in the Morning in the US), Bertie is forced to visit the village of Steeple Bumpleigh to help facilitate a meeting between his Uncle Percy and the brilliantly named US businessman, J. Chichester Clam. Whilst there he also becomes embroiled in an old schoolfriend’s increasingly disastrous attempts to win Uncle Percy’s permission to marry his ward and finds himself the very unwilling ‘snake in the grass’ to in ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright’s relationship with Bertie’s dreadful former fiancée, Florence Craye. Highlights include a fancy dress party, a house fire, a Sinbad the Sailor costume (complete with ginger whiskers), a staged robbery, an increasingly vindictive policeman and, of course, Bertie Wooster’s wonderfully narrated first-person perspective on everything.
All in all it’s typical Wodehouse stuff, very much of the same mould as the earlier Jeeves novels and short stories, which are all very much in the same mould as each other. So much so that every time my dad (being a fellow Wodehouse fan) catches me with a Jeeves and Wooster, after curiously inquiring which one, he always and invariably admits to not knowing whether he’s read it or not, asking for a plot point, and then going ‘well that pretty much describes all of them’. But, well, that’s part of their charm. It’s like watching a favourite sitcom: you always know what you’re going to get when you pick one up. Not my favourite in the series, but very enjoyable nonetheless.