Major Pettigrew would never have a Facebook page. He would be absolutely horrified by the Jackass and Borat movies. Discreet, polite, always a gentleman, Major Pettigrew is a man to be counted upon. The Major is rather alone, recently widowed and infrequently visited by his son Roger who is most interested in clawing up the corporate ladder and pleasing his long-legged, American girlfriend. The Major's brother Bertie dies unexpectedly and leaves the Major to negotiate with his widowed sister-in-law over a pair of magnificent hunting rifles, very valuable hunting rifles that the widow and Roger would like to sell for a nice profit while the Major ever the traditionlist wants only to cherish for future generations. The one comfort in the Major's life is the blooming friendship and romance with a local shopkeeper, Jasmina Ali, a Pakistani widow who sells him tea and discusses Kipling. Woven with tenderness and much humour this debut novel by Helen Simonson had me laughing out loud. Like pearls before swine goeth Major Pettigrew.