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'The setting of this enjoyable novel is the Shrapnel Academy, a country-house centre for the study of military excellence...Here, one winter weekend, a group of guests gather, for the eve-of-Waterloo dinner, and to hear Gen. Leo Makeshift deliver the annual Wellington lecture...Below stairs lurks a huge army of Third World servants with their illegal hangers-on, led by a lunatic African butler. Murder is plotted. Snow falls. All are trapped...that rare treat: a wildly funny, deeply serious, novel' Daily Telegraph