Galahad Threepwood fights for the success of his brother's competitive pig whilst meanding broken hearts at Blandings Castle. The Honourable Galahad Threepwood must help his brother out of a pig related conundrum whilst easing the course of true love.
The Shropshire Agricultural Show is coming up and Lord Emsworth, owner of Blandings Castle, is determined his prize pig, the Empress of Blandings, will retain her title in the Fat Pig contest. But he and his brother Galahad Threepwood, who has placed a large bet on the Empress, are fearful of cheating by Lord Emsworth's neighbour and fellow pig owner, Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe.
Also currently resident at Blandings is Penelope Donaldson, who has been brought to Blandings by Lord Emsworth's sister, Lady Constance to introduce her to Orlo Vosper. Vosper is a Lord and would be a very suitable husband, but Penelope is in love with Jerry Vail, a struggling author. Penelope is going to visit Jerry in London, whilst telling Lady Constance that she is dining with her old friend Mrs Bunbury, who does not actually exist.
Lord Emsworth discovers that Parsloe has purchased a new pig called the Queen of Matchingham who may be the equal of the Empress. Parsloe actually has other worries, his fiancée Gloria Salt has put him on a diet and Lady Constance suggests he try a product called Slimmo, which will help him lose weight without dieting. But when Galahad tells Parsloe that the gloves are off in the Fat Pig Competition, Parsloe prepares for war. This includes telling his pig-man George Cyril Wellbeloved to give up alcohol, something that does not sit well with Wellbeloved.
Galahad has heard that Parsloeis buying Slimmo, and assumes Parsloe plans to nobble the Empress. Blandings' butler Beach (who also has a bet on the Empress) calls in his niece Maudie, who is a detective, to keep an eye on things. Maudie will arrive at the Castle posing as Mrs Bunbury. When Maudie arrives Galahad learns that she used to be engaged to Parsloe but he did not show up on their wedding day.
In London Jerry Vail gets a call from his old friend Gloria Salt and is surprised to learn she has broken up with their mutual friend Orlo Vosper after he let her down in a tennis match. Gloria asks Jerry to have dinner with her tonight, initially he refuses because he is meeting Penelope, but changes his mind when Gloria says she may be able to help him get the money he needs to marry Penelope. Gloria's plan for Jerry is that he take a job as Lord Emsworth's secretary, express an interest in pigs, then just ask the easily influenced Lord for the money.
Unfortunately Lady Constance has discovered that Penelope planned to dine with Jerry so when he arrives to become Lord Emsworth's secretary she is instantly suspicious. When Penny sees Jerry she is cool towards him having seen him dining with Gloria (she went to the same restaurant with Orlo Vosper). Jerry sets the record straight but it is too late, Penny is engaged to Vosper.
Parsloe has instructed local pubs not to serve Wellbeloved so he comes to Blandings to ask Galahad for a drink (they know each other from when Wellbeloved was Lord Emsworth's pig-man). Maudie suggests that with Wellbeloved at Blandings they could steal Queen of Matchingham. When Wellbeloved finds his pig gone he heads back to Blandings to steal the Empress.
Gloria has now arrived at Blandings and seeing Orlo Vosper regrets losing him. She breaks things off with Parsloe. Then, when Parsloe bumps into Maudie it emerges that their failed wedding was a misunderstanding over an illegible note. They get married immediately. Lady Constance learns that Maudie is an imposter but now cannot throw her out for fear of offending Parsloe.
Vosper asks for Galahad's advice on breaking his engagement to Penelope so he can marry Gloria. This should be good news to Penelope and Jerry but Jerry has been fired and lost any chance of getting the necessary money from Lord Emsworth. Galahad recommends Jerry stay nearby in case things pick up and Jerry rents a cottage. Unfortunately it is where the Queen of Matchingham is hidden.
Galahad collects the Queen of Matchingham and takes her to her sty where he finds the Empress whom he returns to Blandings. Galahad gives Jerry the credit for finding the Empress and gets Lord Emsworth to reward him with the money to marry.
Meanwhile Parsloe's butler guarantee's competition victory to the Empress by feeding the Queen of Matchingham Slimmo in the belief she is the Empress.
Best part of story, including ending:
The prose and dialogue is effortlessly light and funny.
Best scene in story:
Jerry Vail is faced with a policeman at his door having just discovered a stolen pig secreted in his bathroom. It's a very funny scene.
Opinion about the main character:
Galahad Threepwood is always ready to help young love in need and never lacking a crazy scheme with which to help it.