"Thank You Jeeves" is set in the 1920s England and is the first full-length novel featuring Wodehouse's best known creations : Bertie Wooster and his valet, Jeeves.
Bertie is the book's wealthy, good-natured and rather dim narrator. He's a member of the "idle rich" and, rather than having to work for a living, lives off an allowance provided by his uncle. He spends much of his free time in the bar-room of the Drones Club and is fond of the occasional wager. Luckily, Bertie has Jeeves, to look after him. Without Jeeves, Bertie's life would be a mess : he makes an excellent hangover cure, his bets usually win and is intelligent enough to rescue Bertie from nearly any situation.
As the book opens, the pair have recently returned from a lengthy stay in New York. It had been an eventful trip - Bertie had even managed to find himself briefly engaged to Pauline Stoker. (It lasted all of two days - and was called off by Pauline's father following a conversation with Bertie's old sparring partner, Sir Roderick Glossop). Having thought he was safely back in London, Bertie is a little rattled that he's seen the two Stokers and Sir Roderick lunching at the Savoy Grill. Furthermore, he's a little baffled that they were joined by the aunt of Lord "Chuffy" Chuffnell - who Bertie counts as an old schoolfriend. Still, all it takes is for Bertie to keep out of their way and everything will be fine.
However, things aren't going well Chez Wooster. Bertie and Jeeves have had their disagreements in the past - until now, they've largely been caused by Bertie's appalling dress sense. However, this time it's Bertie's new-found devotion to the banjo that's causing the trouble. Unfortunately - unlike Jeeves, his neighbours and his landlord - he's failed to notice his total lack of talent. The noise he's making is so appalling, in fact, that he's evicted from his apartment and Jeeves is forced to hand in his resignation.
Now technically homeless, he's on his way to the Drones Club when he bumps into his old school pal, Lord Chuffnell. Chuffy owns a massive estate in Somersetshire and (as a result) is absolutely skint. (He dreams of someone buying his stately mansion from him). Due to his lack of funds, he has practically no social life and has to tolerate his Aunt Myrtle and her demon spawn, Seabury, also living on the estate - luckily, though, she has her own house. Luckily, he has a vacant cottage on the estate and Bertie takes on time at all booking himself in. With his nearest neighbour being a harmonica-playing police sergeant and a troupe of travelling minstrels due in Chuffnell Regis, Bertie has great hopes for his musical career. (It is a little unsettling how the musicians are referred to, though things have moved on a great deal since the 1930s, when it was written. I doubt very much Wodehouse intended any offence).
Naturally, things don't go according to plan. Bertie's high hopes turn to misery when the Stoker clan and Lord Roderick arrive in town. Stoker Père is apparently considering buying the Hall, Sir Roderick hopes to marry Aunt Myrtle...while Chuffy and Pauline have apparently fallen head over heels. Disaster now looms round every corner - Bertie's new valet, Brinkley, just can't compare to Jeeves for his problem solving skills. However, this is some hope : having learnt that Jeeves was now on the market, Chuffy immediately had him installed as the Hall's butler.
An easy, fun and enjoyable read, certainly recommended.