Lord Ickenham (aka Uncle Fred) is an incurable optimist. In Service with a Smile
he's off to Blandings Castle again to spread his form of irrepressible cheer on the inhabitants. Stifled love is in the air and Uncle Fred's the man to clear it!
A prize winning pig doted upon by its doddering owner, an underhanded and ambitious secretary, a cantankerous brute of a Duke, love-lorn young folk, a camera-weilding boy with a voice like an electric razor, a beefy boxing curate, and more fill the pages with hilarity, but it's Lord Ickenham who grabs the limelight every time. Plotting with and against his acquaintances for the good of all (well, mostly all) is his bread and butter. He's the sort of fellow who doesn't think it's sporting unless you enter your host's house under an assumed name.
This is not Wodehouse's most tightly wound manuscript, a few long dialogue-ful scenes of exposition are required to make it work. However, Ickenham's scheming provides enough unexpected twists to keep you entertained, as one comes to expect from a steady reading of Wodehouse's stock story lines. RATING:
A very strong 3.5