Celebrated Victorian bounder, cad, and lecher, Sir Harry Flashman, V.C., returns to play his (reluctant) part in the Indian Mutiny in the fifth volume of the critically acclaimed Flashman Papers. What caused the Indian Mutiny? The greased cartridge, religious fanaticism, political blundering, yes -- but one hitherto unsuspected factor is now revealed in the furtive figure which fled across the Indian scene in 1857 with such frantic haste: Flashman. Plumbing new depths of anxious knavery in his role as secret agent extraordinaire, Flashman saw far more of the Great Mutiny than he wanted. How he survived Thugs and Tsarist agents, Eastern beauties and cabinet ministers and kept his skin intact is a mystery as remarkable as the Flashman Papers themselves.