Leave it to PSmith

by P. G. Wodehouse

Other authorsFrank Mayo (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 1990




The Easton Press (1990). Reprint. Leatherbound.


The Hon. Freddie Threepwood is poised to make his debut as a jewel thief, but he is not alone. Blandings Castle is full of criminals and impostors, intent on stealing Aunt Constance's diamond necklace and it is up to Psmith to catch the thief.

User reviews

LibraryThing member chinmayp
This is hands down the best Wodehouse book I've read! This is saying a lot, coming from an ardent Wodehouse fan. The story has all the usual impostors, burglars and romances; the usual inanities, twists and hilarity.

The Hon. Freddie Threepwood, the second and perennially impecunious son of Lord Emsworth has come up with a magnificent scheme to raise two thousand pounds to finance his dream of becoming a bookie. With his Uncle Joe (the devoted but hen-pecked husband of Lady Constance Keeble) he plans to steal Lady Constance's necklace so that Uncle Joe can sell it incognito, get another one for his wife and thus obtain some 20 grand for his daughter Phyllis. But Freddie gets cold feet and ends up hiring our hero Psmith to steal the necklace. Psmith, who has just left the world piscine, is up for absolutely anything! He comes to Blandings Castle as a Canadian poet (of all the things) with an agenda that even Freddie doesnt know of.
You must read this book to join Psmith as he outfoxes the efficient Baxter, Lady Constance and many others to steal the necklace and to win himself the beautiful Miss Eve Halliday. This book also has the most romantic scene from the Wodehouse Canon (in my opinion), where Psmith watches Eve from his club--standing under the awning of a shop to protect her hat from the rain--and brings her an umbrella.
This story has everything: imposters, intrigue, action, a wonderful love story and above all pure Wodehousian fun!
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LibraryThing member catherinestead
I loved this book. It was very funny, and a wonderful farce. People popping in and out of view - flower-pots being hurled around right, left and centre - fake jewel thefts - people pretending to be other people - stolen jewels hurled out of windows - diamonds in flower-pots - evicted geraniums - more hurled flower-pots (you can never hurl too many flower-pots) - people coming clean about pretending to be other people and popping in and out of view again...

The heroes and heroines are warm and witty, and the villains hopelessly inept. It's also very sweet and romantic in places, and the umbrella scene is lovely. The torturous experience of the dense foliage of the pink chrysanthemum is so funny it is worth the price of the book by itself.
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LibraryThing member Tess22
Psmith, Psmith, Psmith. Though Jeeves and Wooster are one of the greatest comedic duos ever written, Psmith surpasses them as quite simply the funniest character I've ever found in literature. He is indescribably witty, unflappable, and absolutely unique. I therefore suggest (slash insist) that any right-thinking person who hasn't read about Psmith yet must immediately read all four books. Stuff deferred gratification, stuff deadlines, sleep or surgery. Got a holiday booked? Take it with you. Your nearest and dearest is on their deathbed? Read aloud. They died from laughter? Give a funeral reading. Anyone who has read only part of the Psmith series, what are you doing? Get yourself to a bookshop! Trust me - one day in times of trouble these books may well save your sanity.… (more)
LibraryThing member Wombat
This was our latest family-read-aloud book. I read, and my wife and daughter listen, comment, and (particularly with this book) giggle, chuckle, and laugh.

Psmith ("the p is silent, as in phthisis, psychic, and ptarmigan") is a debonair young gentleman who needs to support himself. Unwilling to work for his rich uncle in the fish business, he runs an advertisement in the paper offering to do anything for anyone. Before long, he finds himself impersonating a poet at Blandings Castle, home of the Earl of Emsworth, hired by the Earl's son, Freddie, to steal a diamond necklace from the Earl's domineering sister. At the same time, Psmith falls in love at first sight with Eve Halliday, who conveniently is at Blandings to catalogue the library. Unfortunately Freddie also loves Eve. Eve believes Psmith has recently jilted her best friend and thinks Freddie is a dolt. Throw in the Earl's suspicious and astute secretary, a card-sharp turned jewel thief, and a few more house guests and hilarity ensues---much of it involving flower pots.

This was a great read-aloud book for our eleven-year-old daughter. She loved the twisting plot and lunatic characters. Hardly a chapter went by that didn't have her laughing hysterically at least once. At the same time it is exposing her to a world (and vocabulary) beyond her reading genres. I suspect we'll be reading a lot more Wodehouse in the future...
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LibraryThing member isabelx
Other men love you. Freddie Threepwood loves you. Just add me to the list. That is all I ask. Muse on me from time to time. Reflect that I may be an acquired taste. You probably did not like olives the first time you tasted them. Now you probably do. Give me the same chance you would give an olive.

A diamond necklace worth £20,000 (and remember that this is in the 1920s) belonging to Lady Constance Keeble is the lure that draws Psmith and various shady characters to Blandings Castle. As usual, there are various plots afoot, young love both requited and unrequited, and several people in disguise.… (more)
LibraryThing member ctpress
’Alone?’ Psmith looked at her, astonished. ‘When you have the chance of being with me? This is a strange attitude.’

The second in the Blanding Castle-series and my first introduction to the wonderful character Psmith - (although he appears in three earlier novels).

What can you expect?
- Again people popping up at Blanding Castle with covert motives
- Lord Emsworth more absent-minded and clueless than ever
- Another thing that people grasp after, this time a diamant necklace.
- And then Psmith. An uncontrollable force of nature, wild, unpredictable, making fun of everybody, fooling everybody and just overflowing with joie de vivre. He reminded me of Innocent Smith in Chesterton’s Man Alive, the “holy fool”.

I had so much fun reading this novel with its absurd plot.
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LibraryThing member MrsPlum
I am currently re-reading and reviewing my Wodehouse collection in chronological order, so a proper review is yet to come. However, I can’t leave off commenting that if I were whisked off to the emergency ward at a moments notice, this would be the book I'd grab for the overnight case, with my last gasp if necessary.
LibraryThing member kinfae
This is a truly delightful little book, and I find myself wishing to track down everything else by the author. A dry, biting humour that includes such lines as 'When the great revolution against London's ugliness really starts and yelling hordes of artists and architects, maddened beyond endurance, finally take the law into their own hands and rage through the city burning and destroying, Wallingford Street, West Kensington, will surely not escape the torch.' Absolutely delicious.… (more)
LibraryThing member osmium_antidote
Excellent book. P.G. Wodehouse never fails to entertain.
LibraryThing member Cald
My first Wodehouse book and it got me hooked, I picked it up based on a mention/recommendation by Douglas Adams (the Hitchhiker's Guide guy). I won't be able to rest until I've devoured all of them; an epic quest as Wodehouse was a very prolific author.

If you enjoy British humor( or should I say humour) you'll enjoy it. If you are not sure give it a try, I promise you won't regret it.… (more)
LibraryThing member lizzy_bb
If I could only take one book with me on that desert island, this would be it.
LibraryThing member anne07
Absolutely hilarious! Psmith is one of my favorite Wodehouse characters.
LibraryThing member Pferdina
Another humorous tale from Wodehouse. This time, Psmith gets himself invited to Blandings Castle by posing as a famous Canadian poet. He pursues the local pretty girl, who is working to catalogue the castle's library. Meanwhile, both of them are enveloped in a plot to steal Lady Constance's jeweled necklace in order to fund several worthy projects.… (more)
LibraryThing member kwmcdonald
A bit slow going in the beginning, but once the characters got developed for a bit, it quickly warmed up to be a great and hilarious read.
LibraryThing member iayork
A Wonder Among Wodehouse: Where to begin trying to explain the comic genius of Pelham Grenville? Leave it to Psmith is a perfect example of the humor genre. It is light, bright, clean, unobjectionable (unless you adore fish), and even more importantly- hysterically, bone achingly funny.The tale covers of the triumphs and travails of genial, bemonocled, and decidedly socialistic Psmith. (The P is silent as in ptarmigan, psoriasis, and psychiatrist.) Laugh as Psmith woos the young herione, lobs flowerpots at his host, and generally runs nonchalantly amok until he heroically saves the day. A must read for anyone who loves to laugh!… (more)
LibraryThing member Mouldywarp
The usual Wodehouse imbroglio. I was interested to note Psmiths name was Ronald. In a previous book it was Reginald and in the first one I read it was Rupert! I wonder why he keeps changing his name? Perhaps he is triplets!
LibraryThing member CarltonC
An absolute corker!
Another visit to Blandings Castle and in the company of that most debonair of flaneurs, Psmith. This is a joy from start to finish, with the efficient (although flowerpot throwing) Baxter, Lord Emsworth (who has not yet become obsessed by pigs, but who is instead obsessed with flowers), Beach the butler.
The plot very loosely involves the theft of Lady Constance's diamond necklace and related romantic sub-plots, but is a joy as Wodehouse really has hit his stride, creating some wonderful set pieces as well as many witty one-liners. Wonderful.
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LibraryThing member addunn3
PG Wodehouse is a master of intelligent dialog as his hero takes on the stodgy upper crust of British society, solving monetary and career aspirations of his acquaintances. A necklace is burgled, an impersonation is lightly applied, and a grumpy villein is sent packing. One of the best reads in a long time.
LibraryThing member CassandraT
It took a while for me to appreciate the humor. Then, I was enjoying the story until it just sort of ended.
LibraryThing member Lirmac
A welcome return to form after the disappointing Psmith, Journalist. This is probably the funniest of the Psmith novels, and is a classic slice of Blandings to boot.
LibraryThing member losloper
It all starts with an umbrella, the best to be found in the Drones Club. From such an innocent beginning Wodehouse weaves a comic tale of suspense and romance involving one of his most distinctive early heroes, Ronald Eustace Psmith, monocled wit and devil-may-care boulevardier. Unusually for Wodehouse, this is not only a light comedy but also an adventure story in which crime and even gun-play drive the plot.… (more)
LibraryThing member leslie.98
April 2018 reread: Even more hilarious now that I know the character Psmith & his friend Mike Jackson! I am increasing my rating of the book to 4.5* (from 4) and 5* for the Jonathan Cecil narration.
LibraryThing member PMaranci
It's remarkably funny, and there are no dull spots at all. I found myself laughing out loud frequently. Amazing!
LibraryThing member RajivC
In this book, I think that the Psmith character was beginning to get into his flow. It does indeed appear that this is the last of the Psmith books, which is why PG Wodehouse got him married off. It is a bit of a pity, because his intended bride - Eve Halliday - and him could have had some great adventures together.

Anyhow, it is indeed a good book, with some nice twists in the plot. There were, in my view, some loose ends to be tied up at the end, and the book did not end wit the dramatic flourish that some of his books have. The setting for the action - Blandings Castle - was perfect!… (more)
LibraryThing member PhilSyphe
I found “Leave it to Psmith” to be a vast improvement on the first book in the Blandings series, as well as being the best of the four Psmith novels.

Psmith is a character that walks a narrow line between being amusing and annoying. In his second and third outings I found him quite irritating, whereas in “Mike” and in this volume he proved humorous and entertaining.

“Leave it to Psmith” has a clever plot and a host of engaging characters. I especially liked Psmith himself, the beautiful Eve, the efficient Baxter, and best of all Lord Emsworth.

Lord Emsworth is one of, if not *the*, funniest creations by P. G. Wodehouse that I’ve encountered thus far. Every scene he appears in is brilliant to behold. The flowerpot-throwing incident and its aftermath are among the most entertaining.

I say, this is a dashed good read, what?
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