Members of the Secret Nine (only six in number, sadly) who attended the January meeting were enthusiastic in their praise of this P.G. Wodehouse one-off novel, Hot Water. Several members attending hadn’t read it before so they had that wonderful experience of laughing out loud while reading Wodehouse. Member Ed specifically mentioned this and he said he recommended it to his son.
Four of the members sported new Overlook Press editions, while I proudly displayed my yellowed, cracked 1983 Penguin paperback with the Ionicus cover. We enjoyed trading favorite quotes from the books, but as usual, we often had mutual favorites. Member Shawn, of course, came equipped with his notebook of quotes. All the Schwertfeger quotes were universally applauded (nice article here about whether Wodehouse was a linguist I found while researching Schwertfeger).
We debated quite a bit about the next book to read and finally chose French Leave, which is, I think, another one-off unconnected to the Drones or Bertie or Blandings (that’s what you get for flying to the Holy Land, Larry), and is also coincidentally set in St. Rocque, where all the excitement in Hot Water occurs (a nice little BBC article here about Wodehouse’s French connection). I’ve never read French Leave and am looking forward to it when we next meet March 8. I still have to confirm that we will meet at 12:30 p.m. at Pints Pub, but unless there’s another South American Independence Day, that’s the likely time and venue. By the way, there’s a new menu at Pints Pub and I’m hearing good things about the pork chop.
French Leave is available at Overlook Press.
PS I suggested at this last meeting that for fun we should pick canonical names for ourselves. I don’t think any of us should dare to claim Jeeves or Lord Emsworth monikers, but if anyone wants to aspire to Oldest Member or Newt Fancier or Whisky-and-Soda (Mulliner drink names are a natural) then go ahead. We won’t worry whether these names clash with established canonical names in the larger world of Wodehouse scholarship. I just thought that as we are a secret organization, nom de plumes are de rigeur (in keeping with our French theme).