8, 9, 10 - Jeeves and the Tie that Binds, Thank You, Jeeves, and Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse
These books were not read in this order, but there’s not too much to say about Wodehouse that hasn’t been said far more eloquently by others.
Thank You, Jeeves was one of the first full Jeeves & Wooster novels written by Wodehouse. Bertie Wooster takes up the banjolele, causing Jeeves to leave his post. Bertie moves to the country with his new valet. As with almost every other book, a woman who was formerly engaged to Bertie is now engaged to a friend of his, and there is a rift between the two - and it looks like Bertie will now have to marry her. In this book, it is not the woman who wants to marry him, but her father that wants to marry her off - so much so that he traps Bertie on his yacht, locking him in a room until he can arrange for the two to be married. Of course, love triumphs in the end, but only after Bertie’s new country home is burned down by his new valet - along with his banjolele. With the banjolele gone, Jeeves returns to Bertie’s service.
In Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, Jeeves is offended not by a musical instrument, but by Bertie’s new moustache. The book features some of Wodehouse’s more frequently used characters, such as Aunt Dahlia and Roderick Spode. Aunt Dahlia is one of my favorite characters, especially the way she relates to Bertie, in a love-hate relationship that always involves a scheme in which Bertie will play a part. Bertie tries madly to keep an acquiantance, Stilton Cheesewright, engaged to Florence Cray (his former fiance) but the two get into a fight - and Florence, who was once engaged to Bertie, thinks he is in love with her and wants to get married. Bertie, of course, wants to avoid the altar at all costs.
Jeeves and the Tie that Binds finds Bertie stumping for an old friend who is running for Parliament to impress his fiance, Florence Cray. Bertie is anxious to make sure that all goes well, as he knows that Florence may turn to him as a possible husband if things don’t work out. I found this story a bit unique, as both Bertie and Jeeves are unsuccessful in their schemes for most of the book. Everything works out, but more by chance (or the work of others) than by any plan of the two main characters.
All three books are worthwhile if you like Wodehouse - light, airy, with interlocking plotlines intricately laid out.