Svlad Cjelli. Popularly known as Dirk, though, again, “popular” was hardly right. Notorious, certainly; sought after, endlessly speculated about, those too were true. But popular? Only in the sense that a serious accident on the motorway might be popular– everyone slows down to have a good look, but no one will get too close to the flames. Infamous was more like it. Svlad Cjelli, infamously known as Dirk.

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More from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

It’s all right, it’s just a horse in the bathroom.

“Now, that I didn’t know,” said Reg. “Your past has murkier things in it than I dreamed possible. A quality, I might add, that it shares with this soup.”

Tall. Tall and absurdly thin. And good natured. A bit like a preying mantis that doesn’t prey – A non-preying mantis if you like. A sort of genial mantis that’s given up preying and taken up tennis instead.

Well, no, not married as such, but yes, there is a specific girl that I’m not married to.

“Yes it is,” said the Professor. “Wait—” he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate— “let it be. It won’t be long.”

Richard stared in disbelief. “You say there’s a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand there naming Beatles songs?”