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Readers of David Bird’s humorous bridge stories will give a delighted welcome to this new addition to the celebrated series. As ever, the irascible Abbot makes his acerbic presence felt and the long-suffering fraternity diverts itself with much entertaining and excitingly interesting bridge.

For more than 30 years, David Bird’s tales of the bridge-crazy monks of St Titus have appeared in magazines around the world. In this tenth collection in book form, the pompous and self-important Abbot hosts a tricky visit from Monsignor Vecchio, a representative of the Vatican authorities. Everything must be done to ensure that the visitor, a very moderate bridge player, finishes well in the monastery duplicate. In another story, the Abbot visits the Convent of St Hilda’s and is not overjoyed to be put in partnership with the 80-year-old Mother of Discipline.

Regular followers of David Bird’s work will know what to expect – a first-rate mixture of excellent bridge, entertaining characters and sparkling dialogue.