award: Awesome Indies: APPROVED
Category: Contemporary Fiction
author: Peter Maughan
series: The Batch Magna Novels
publisher: The Cluny Press
When Sir Humphrey Strange, 8th baronet and squire of Batch Magna departs this world for the Upper House (as he vaguely thought of it, where God no doubt presides in ermine over a Heaven as reassuringly familiar as White’s or Boodle’s), what’s left of his estate passes, through the ancient law of entailment, to distant relative Humph, an amiable, overweight short-order cook from the Bronx. Sir Humphrey Franklin T Strange, 9th baronet and squire of Batch Magna, as Humph now most remarkably finds himself to be, is persuaded by his Uncle Frank, a small time Wall Street broker, to make a killing by turning the sleepy backwater into a theme-park image of rural England, a playground for the world's rich. But while the village pub and shop put out the Stars and Stripes in welcome, the tenants of the estate’s dilapidated houseboats tear up their notices to quit, and led by randy pulp-crime writer Phineas Cook and the one-eyed Lt-Commander James Cunningham, they run up the Union Jack and prepare to engage.