A sequel to The Honeywood File (originally published in 1929, and reissued by Academy Chicago in 2000), it takes the form of an epistolary novel. Some of the great comic characters inhabit the pages of this book, and like all comedy, they contain more than a grain of truth. The book tells, in the form of letters gleaned from an architect's files, the excitments and and disasters of designing and building a large country house, with the painful aftermath of clearing up the defects and haggling over the bill.
What makes this book so enjoyable and instructive is the clever interplay of all the diverse characters in the drama, and the author's sagacious and witty running commentary on their performance. The main protagonists are the hapless young architect James Spinlove; Sir Leslie Brash, his peppery and pompous client; the honest John Grigblay, the builder whose down-to-earth common sense gets the job done despite difficulties. Plus a cast of glorious inventions as Hoochcraft, Potch, Nibnose & Rasper, and Beddy & Tinge, quantity surveyors.