The residence of Mr. Peter Pett, the well-known financier, on Riverside Drive is one of the leading eyesores of that breezy and expensive boulevard. As you pass by in your limousine, or while enjoying ten cents worth of fresh air on top of a green omnibus, it jumps out and bites at you. Architects, confronted with it, reel and throw up their hands defensively, and even the lay observer has a sense of shock. The place resembles in almost equal proportions a cathedral, a suburban villa, a hotel and a Chinese pagoda. Many of its windows are of stained glass, and above the porch stand two terra-cotta lions, considerably more repulsive even than the complacent animals which guard New York's Public Library. It is a house which is impossible to overlook: and it was probably for this reason that Mrs. Pett insisted on her husband buying it, for she was a woman who liked to be noticed. Through the rich interior of this mansion Mr. Pett, its nominal proprietor, was wandering like a lost spirit. The hour was about ten of a fine Sunday morning, but the Sabbath calm which was upon the house had not communicated itself to him. There was a look of exasperation on his usually patient face, and a muttered oath, picked up no doubt on the godless Stock Exchange, escaped his lips.
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This novel features Ogden Ford and his mother Nesta. Nesta has remarried, to the hen-pecked, baseball-loving millionaire Mr. Peter Pett, and Ogden remains spoiled and obnoxious. Charismatic Jimmy Crocker, Nesta's nephew and a reforming playboy, is called upon to assist in the kidnapping of Ogden, amongst much confusion involving impostors, crooks, detectives, butlers, and aunts - all in the name of romance of course.Review:
A handsome, collectable hardback edition -- Lynne Truss, The Times
He exhausts superlatives -- Stephen Fry
Pure word music -- Douglas Adams
The Everyman edition promises to be a splendid celebration of the divine Plum -- The Independent
The handsome bindings are only the cherry on top of what is already a cake without compare -- Evening Standard
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