Leslie Piper is a scholarship student at Wilton College, and a talented flute-player. He is blond, good-looking, fllirtatious, friendly, carefree, and mischievous. When Polly
first meets him in Stow-on-the-Water he wears a skull earring; at Wilton, where he is popular despite his scholarship status, he changes it for a more discreet gold stud. He is so ebullient that Polly cannot understand why he is not expelled from Wilton College -- until she hears him play the flute. He is well-known and well-liked in Middleton, although Fiona
thinks him rather shallow and frivolous. He is often romantically linked to Nina
In Stow-on-the-Water, Leslie lived with his mother, Edna, and his uncle, Thomas Piper, and worked in Thomas Piper Hardware.
Leslie Piper is also a character whom Polly and Thomas Lynn invent in their early letters. He is the nephew of Thomas Lynn's alter ego, Thomas Piper (Tan Coul), but, unlike the musician Leslie, he is dark-haired, spoiled, and sulky.
See also Fire and Hemlock (spoilers).