This is an extraordinary story full of humour, both in exchanges between the characters and overall. It is a well-written book full of satire and whimsy.
It is hard to explain why this book is so good without disclosing too much of the story-line, but I will try. Dougal Douglas, a young Scots Arts graduate, is taken on by a small manufacturing company in Peckham. In short order, by a combination of devilry, charm, loquacity and sheer cheek, he manages to hold down two jobs, while also writing a book. He is a mischief-maker and almost everyone he comes into contact with becomes disturbed, even distressed. This leads to a murder, an attempted murder and a jilting at the altar. He makes a speedy exit when he is in danger of being unmasked. One doubts whether this sleepy part of South London will ever be the same again.
I really enjoyed "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", but this book is in a class apart. Another writer would have told the story in twice the length, but Miss Spark tells it with sparse prose, for twice the effect.