cover image Jeeves and the Leap of Faith

Jeeves and the Leap of Faith

Ben Schott. Little, Brown, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-54102-2

Schott’s second authorized P.G. Wodehouse homage (after Jeeves and the King of Clubs) again successfully recreates the drily humorous voice of amiable doofus Bertie Wooster, who, as always, relies on his genius manservant, Reginald Jeeves, to help him out of numerous difficulties. Here, those challenges include averting the financial catastrophe facing Bertie’s London club, the Drones, as well as the machinations of Bertie’s least-favorite aunt, Agatha Gregson, who is plotting to marry off her nephew and end Jeeves’s employment. In the prior volume, Schott revealed how Jeeves’s club, the Junior Ganymede, was a cover for British intelligence, and Bertie is again called upon to help in thwarting the political ambitions of fascist Roderick Spode. Schott makes that idea plausible, along with a subplot involving love interest Iona MacAuslan, who appreciates Bertie’s irrepressible good nature and commitment to helping a friend in need, even if that means impersonating a cleric and a fortune-teller. Wodehouse’s droll byplay between master and servant is also emulated well; in response to Bertie’s affinity for a garish wallpaper design, Jeeves asks, “Should a bedroom be the locus of tumult, sir?” While Schott is less adept at crafting the intricate, intertwined plotlines of the originals, he mostly succeeds at keeping his many plates spinning. This’ll be a hoot for Wodehouse fans. (Oct.)