More period exploits for A. J. Raffles, gentleman safecracker and cricketeer--and as in Perowne's other collections, these stories are mere whiffs of plot that allow Perowne to spool out arias of turn-of-the-century detail around famous guest stars. Madame Blavatsky appears, quite over-romanticized, through the lips of the young Indian journalist Rudyard Kipling. Mata Hari is featured in a tale about the loss of Bunny Manders' private papers--in which Bunny has blunderingly written of his friend Raffles' thievery. And Raffles loves to talk about rugger with that young chap P. G. Wodehouse, when not observing publisher Frank Harris and his young music critic Bernard Shaw buying flowers from a blathery Piccadilly flowerseller (with Shaw lecturing Harris on the need for standard enunciation). Sherry, polo horses, cricket clubs, and glittery names--the Perowne ""Raffles"" is more for lovers of literary/historical whimsy than true mystery fans.