As Friday 13th looms, so the East's unlucky streak comes to a climax. With them finally on their uppers, an advance offer from a publisher is a welcome relief until they discover they have already spent what is due to come from George's sales, and the bills keep mounting. French Cricket finds the author and his long-suffering wife facing imminent disaster as they struggle to survive at the Mill of the Flea. Something must be done to bring home the bacon, so our hero launches himself into another succession of hare-brained and inevitably doomed money-making schemes - French Cricket' is the fifth book in what has become a cult series, and follows our accident- prone hero through a long summer in Lower Normandy as he encounters an increasingly bizarre collection of characters, situations and events. Distractions from his money-making survival schemes to create ready-pickled eggs and breed boa-constrictors in the Big Pond include regular meetings of the infamous Jolly Boys Club.Members of this select debating society include the allegedly immortal Old Pierrot, who claims to have been on first name terms with William the Conqueror, JayPay (village superchef and entry for the moustache-growing championships of Lower Normandy), and the hypochondriacal Scabby Michel, who has had volumes of medical journals written about his ever-growing collection of exotic illnesses. Elsewhere, there's the invasion of an equally unusual collection of would-be British settlers, whose ranks feature a rollerblading barrister in search of the real world! and a retired 'hand artist' who claims to have been a stunt fingers double for Warren Beatty. Meanwhile, back at the Mill of the Flea, there are the constant confrontations with a tribe of homicidal goldfish and the escape committee in the chicken run, and failed attempts to find a dancing partner for a ballet-loving goose and cure a duck of its fear of water.