In retirement in the English countryside, an 89-year-old man, vaguely remembered by villagers as a once famous detective, is more concerned with his bees than with the outside world. When a serious young boy called Linus Steinman (and his beloved parrot Bruno) enters the old man's life, he is both surprised and oddly touched. The boy, an escapee from Nazi Germany, is mute. The bird spews out strings of German numbers. What do they mean? Some around the boy seem to think the numbers significant, even profitable. When someone is killed and the parrot disappears, the old man is determined to do all he can to reunite the boy with his only friend, despite his failing powers... Both touching and witty, The Final Solution is a gem of a book - a brilliant and delightful novel from a remarkable writer.