Young Richard Scroby didn't intend to make a fuss when the burglar broke into his apartment. After all, that's why he kept a very competent manservant about. But Wilkins was out of town and Richard was a little the worse for drink so when he spotted the crook at his window, he picked up a perfectly awful vase – a gift from his very formidable Aunt Angela – and sent this second-story man crashing to the pavement. After which he promptly went to bed. He was more than a bit perturbed when the police came calling quite early that morning to ask about the man in the street. To Aunt Angela this escapade was the last straw and she announced that it was time she found Richard a wife, at which point Richard flees to Paris with his aunt in pursuit and meets up with the confederates of the incarcerated burglar. Which is why two gentlemanly spirits, James and Charles Latimer, who were killed some eighty years earlier, are back again among the quick. Whenever a relative is in danger these two are allowed to return to the world of the living. Coming along for the ride is their pet monkey Ulysses, whose love of claret spells trouble for a troupe of scantily clad trapeze artists.
First published in 1958, this is the third and final book featuring the ghostly Latimers, by the creators of the Tommy Hambledon spy novels.
Manning Coles is the pseudonym of two British writers, Adelaide Frances Oke Manning (1891–1959) and Cyril Henry Coles (1899–1965), who wrote many spy thrillers from the early 40s through the early 60s. The fictional protagonist in 26 of their books was Thomas Elphinstone Hambledon, who works for the Foreign Office.
Manning Coles. Wikipedia.