This novel is something a little different for me. It is a satire set in the UK at the present moment. There are striking parallels between these days and the 1930s. There’s a lot of racist people around who are crawling out of the woodwork as they have been encouraged by the implications of the Brexit vote.
“I thought the office was collapsing on top of me – do you ever knock gently, Mr. Tompkins?”
“Woof,” replied Tompkins, “what kind of question is that to ask a gentleman, an English gentleman with an impeccable bloodline, a close friend of aristocracy? I tapped on the door, Tiffers, anyway is Spiffy Wiffy in, I have some urgent news for him?”
“The Deputy-Commissioner of Police is in his office, but he’s talking to Detective Inspector Ingram about two bizarre murders…”
“Oh, Constable Ingram won’t mind if I interrupt,” replied Tompkins who had half an idea about which murders were being talked about, “I’ll go in, say my piece and leave again, I have a lunch appointment in Knightsbridge, y’know, so I can’t stay long.”
Despite Tiffany’s protests, Tompkins burst into the office and bellowed a loud “Hello Gents” before sitting in a corner chair.
“Well, if it isn’t our old friend Tomcat, how are you?” asked Spiffy Wiffy.
“I’m well,” replied Tompkins, “hope I interrupted nothing of importance.”
“Well, you did,” replied Ingram, sniffily, “but this just might be a serendipitous moment, because I believe you might be able to help in the matter we were conversing about.”
“Well, fire away, ask your questions, grill me Constable Ingram, see if you can get me to admit to the crime.”
Ingram smiled a wan smile, but Spiffy Wiffy laughed the laugh of a hyena who’d just spied a large lunch opportunity lying in his path and couldn’t believe his luck.
“Mr. Tompkins, did you know someone called Mr. Frederick Stark who lived in Sussex?”
“I might do, I am not sure about the Frederick part, what was the address?”
Ingram told him.
“Why, that’s Stalky’s place, Stalky Stark’s place, I didn’t realise his name was Frederick.” Tompkins mulled over that fact for a few seconds.
“So, you know him?” asked Ingram.