Ronald Psmith (“the ‘p’ is silent, as in pshrimp”) is always willing to help a damsel in distress. So when he sees Eve Halliday without an umbrella during a downpour, he nobly offers her an umbrella, even though it’s one he picks out of the Drone Club’s umbrella rack. Psmith is so besotted with Eve that, when Lord Emsworth, her new boss, mistakes him for Ralston McTodd, a poet, Psmith pretends to be him so he can make his way to Blandings Castle and woo her. And so the farce begins: criminals disguised as poets with a plan to steal a priceless diamond necklace, a secretary who throws flower pots through windows, and a nighttime heist that ends in gunplay. How will everything be sorted out? Leave it to Psmith!
And it is not only John Pearce who has his fair share of trouble. The triumphant Channel Fleet returns, with Ralph Barclay limping from a musket ball in the thigh, Cornelius Gherson fuming at the jokes about his cowardice, and bully-boy Devenow sporting a wounded shoulder and a cauliflower ear. But the battle is already the subject of controversy – both the French and British claim victory, and Barclay is accused of holding back from the action.
Pearce turns the tables on his enemies with the aid of his crew, conjures up a trick to free his friends and sets off for the Mediterranean with Emily Barclay. He must fight a ferocious sea battle on the way to aid an old friend, and can only hope that his troubles will end along with his mission. But are they only just beginning?