The Crime Wave at Blandings

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"The Crime Wave at Blandings"
AuthorP. G. Wodehouse
CountryUnited Kingdom
Genre(s)Short story
PublisherSaturday Evening Post
Publication dateOctober 10 and October 17, 1936

"The Crime Wave at Blandings" is a short story by P. G. Wodehouse that first appeared in the United States in two parts, in the October 10 and October 17, 1936 editions of the Saturday Evening Post, and in the United Kingdom in the January 1937 issue of the Strand. It was included in the collection Lord Emsworth and Others, (1937), and provided the title to the U.S. equivalent of that collection.

The story was a rewritten version of an older piece, entitled "Creatures of Instinct", which had appeared in the Strand in October 1914, and in the U.S. in McClure's that same month. It is set at Blandings Castle, home of Lord Emsworth, and features several other well-known characters; the story is considered something of a classic, and is included in many "Best of Wodehouse" collections.

Plot introduction[edit]

Lord Emsworth's sister, Lady Constance has decided that Lord Emsworth's grandson George needs a tutor to keep him in line over the summer holidays—and chooses the efficient Rupert Baxter. Meanwhile, his niece Jane wants him to employ her fiancé, George Abercrombie, the position of Estate Manager at Blandings, much to the dismay of Lady Constance. Emsworth, who would rather be reading Whiffle's 'On the Care of the Pig', cannot imagine a way out, until an air gun confiscated from young Master George shows the way.


The story was adapted for television by the BBC, broadcast in March 1967 as the third of six half-hour episodes, under the title "Lord Emsworth and the Crime Wave at Blandings". The series starred Ralph Richardson as Lord Emsworth and Stanley Holloway as Beach. The master tapes of all but the first part were wiped, and no known copies of the other five episodes exist.

In 1985, the story was adapted into the final two episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series Blandings, starring Richard Vernon as Lord Emsworth and Margot Boyd and Lady Constance. The adaptation also included Helen Atkinson-Wood as Jane and Michael McClain as Mr. Baxter.

The BBC adapted 'The Crime Wave at Blandings' for television again in 2013, as the fourth episode in the six-part series Blandings. It starred Timothy Spall as Lord Emsworth, Jennifer Saunders as Lady Constance, Mark Williams as Sebastian Beach, David Walliams as Rupert Baxter and Paloma Faith as Georgia Sparks (a new character created for this adaptation).

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