Henry Pifield Rice
Created by P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)

P.G. Wodehouse wrote nearly 100 books, almost all of them comic novels. He's best known, of course, for creating the character of Jeeves, the ultimate valet (or as he would have it, the ultimate "gentleman's gentleman"), as well as other memorable figures such as the charmingly foppish Psmith, get-rich-quick schemer Ukridge, the loquacious Mr. Mulliner, and the various cloth-headed denizens of Blandings Castle and the Drones' Club.

Of course, the genial P.G. Wodehouse certainly never wrote a genuine hard-boiled detective story in his life ­ my goodness, no ­ so what is he doing here? Well, virtually every one of Wodehouse's many stories and novels takes place in the same interconnected little world, and given Wodehouse's continued reliance on farcical plots involving impersonations, mistaken identities and stolen heirlooms, it's only natural that a private detective would be called in to sort out at least some of the strange goings-on. And indeed, it turns out that several desperate characters in the Wodehouse canon employed the services of various private eyes over the years.

HENRY PIFIELD RICE was one of them, an astoundingly inept junior detective at a large detective agency who endeavoured to clean up his act in order to impress the girl of his dreams. Henry's one appearance, in "Bill the Bloodhound," wasn't really a detective yarn however, but rather a comic romance in which the lead just happened to be a gumshoe.



Respectfully submitted by Rudyard Kennedy.

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