Bertie Wooster finds himself at Totleigh Towers, trying to prevent art theft while ensuring that Madeline Bassett does not end up married to him, with Jeeves at his side to make sure all ends smoothly. In a happy coincidence, the book begins with Aunt Dahlia borrowing Jeeves for a house party in which her husband must entertain his odious art rival Sir Watkyn Bassett just at the time when Bertie wants to try out a new fashion that Jeeves disapproves of. Without Jeeves around to clear his throat in displeasure, Bertie indulges a fancy new blue hat with a pink feather that he finds very dashing.
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Harold Pinker, Bertie's friend who is now a curate, complains to Bertie that Sir Watkyn has not given him the vicarage yet and Stiffy wants Bertie to go up to Totleigh Towers and do something about it, which Bertie refuses to do. Gussie Fink Nottle is feuding with Madeline Bassett, his fiancée, again, because she put him on a vegetarian diet, and hence tells Bertie that he is reluctant to go to Totleigh Towers but is going anyway. Jeeves tells Bertie that he needs to help Gussie and Madeline get together again if he wants to avoid Madeline getting engaged to him. This proves sticky as Sir Roderick Spode is also a guest at Totleigh Towers, and he has secretly loved Madeline for years.
When they arrive at Totleigh Towers, they all find that a black statue which is used to be the dining table centerpiece is a work of art that Sir Watkyn managed to buy just before Uncle Tom could, and Gussie is increasingly grumpy over his vegetarian diet. He sneaks downstairs in the middle of the night to get the food he wants. Stiffy wants Bertie to steal the black statue and tells him that if he doesn't, she'll tell Madeline about Gussie's nocturnal kitchen visits. Bertie is under watch by Spode and finds it hard to get to the statue, so Spiffy steals it for him and tells him to take it back to the owner, because Sir Watkyn cheated him out of it by paying far less than what it was worth.
When Bertie drives to the previous owner, Major Plank's, mansion, and tries to sell the statue back to him, Major Plank assumes that Bertie stole the statue from Sir Watkyn and wants to call the police. Jeeves saves the day by appearing in a trenchcoat and affecting a broad rural accent, as he pretends to be the local police inspector. Saying that he is happy to have finally caught "Alpine Joe" (Bertie), he marches Bertie out of the house. Meanwhile, Stiffy finds out that Sir Watkyn didn't actually cheat Major Plank out of the statue at all, but bought it for a fair price.
Meanwhile Gussie gets bitten by a dog and Madeline sides with the dog while another girl, Emerald, makes Gussie ham sandwiches, so Gussie kisses her. When Spode tries to attack Gussie, Harold Pinker and Emerald both defend him and knock Spode out, leaving Madeline to break off the engagement anyway. Sir Watkyn is so happy that Gussie won't marry Madeline that he offers Harold the vicarage.
Madeline wants to marry Bertie now, but Jeeves fends her off by telling her that Bertie is a kleptomaniac, so Madeline feels disgusted. Then Spode steps in and tells her that he would love to marry her and would never steal anything from anyone, and Madeline happily accepts. And with Gussie marrying Emerald, and the black statue restored to Sir Watkyn's dining table, all is well again at Totleigh Towers.
Best part of story, including ending:
I liked that Gussie and Madeline finally broke up for good, I didn't think they made a good couple.
Best scene in story:
The scene in which Spode and Watkyn search Bertie's car for the missing black statue when he returns from Major Plank's, but can't find it because Jeeves has already removed it from the car and secretly taken it back to the dining room. A classic example of Jeeves outwitting everyone.
Opinion about the main character:
I love Bertie Wooster, he's well-meaning, sweet and amiable.