First published in 1975 probably most people are aware of this due to the TV series that was made, rather than having read the novel before. Sir Giles Lynchwood would love to get rid of the house he is living in, Handyman Hall; the building is already falling to bits and costs a lot of money to maintain, and also he would rather like to get rid of his wife, Lady Maud, the descendent of the family who owned the Hall. The latter is a big task and if his affair is found out could mean a divorce and his losing all the assets of his wife. The former problem though looks like it can be resolved. Looking for an idea Sir Giles stumbles across a plan to build a motorway straight through the grounds of his home. A nice fat cheque from the Government in compensation and the old hall can be done away with. Of course, perhaps things won’t be so easy and there may be a few problems on the way, but Sir Giles feels confident on a good result.
As Sir Giles starts his machinations things start to go awry as the whole motorway proposal starts to unravel. With blackmail, murder, mayhem and kinky sex it seems that the whole thing will blow up in someone’s face, especially when a civil servant is sent down from London to assist in any problems. And lest we forget there is always Blott somewhere on the scene, an orphan German, but thought of as Italian, who is more British that most native born Englishmen.
With some satire, a lot of humour, which is mainly farce, read what happens when Sir Giles puts into place plans for something that even he has lost control of.