In pre-First World War London, young writer Tommy Brown befriends old Alfred Oddy. They find companionship in their shared literary tastes, but Tommy comes to wonder just who Mr Oddy is. I find the beginning of this story good, as Walpole evokes a time and place more optimistic and carefree than the one in which he wrote; but the plot is unsatisfactory, as it hinges on an unlikely coincidence.

Rating: ***