A Rumpole Christmas: Stories

A Rumpole Christmas: Stories

4.1 17
by John Mortimer
     
 

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"Rumpole is one of the immortals of mystery fiction."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Of the late Sir John Mortimer's many beloved characters, it is widely agreed that Horace Rumpole was his greatest fictional creation. Here, collected in book form for the first time, are five delightful tales that capture the beleagured barrister at his grumpy, yet

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Overview

"Rumpole is one of the immortals of mystery fiction."
-San Francisco Chronicle

Of the late Sir John Mortimer's many beloved characters, it is widely agreed that Horace Rumpole was his greatest fictional creation. Here, collected in book form for the first time, are five delightful tales that capture the beleagured barrister at his grumpy, yet warm-hearted best.

Rumpole isn't particularly fond of Christmas Day-he finds it has a horrible habit of dragging on as She Who Must Be Obeyed leads him through the usual rituals. But at least the criminal fraternity rarely takes a holiday. Whether it's a suspicious Father Christmas, or an unseasonably nasty murder trial, there's always something wonderfully unlawful to liven up Rumpole's dull holiday plans.

Editorial Reviews

Kristi Lanier
…a charming collection of previously published stories…Whether he's drinking yak's milk on a health farm and foiling a false accusation or tricking an ex-con into philanthropy, these cases simply melt in the warm glow that is Rumpole.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
As this fine holiday collection shows, Mortimer (1923–2009) could tell lovely tales that end with a gentle punch. Each of the five stories highlights English barrister Horace Rumpole's quirky personality, his love of food and drink, and life with his formidable wife, Hilda (aka “She Who Must Be Obeyed”). But most of all, each illustrates Rumpole's sense of justice and commitment to the law as well as his dry wit. As usual, Rumpole overshadows plots that often focus on the barrister trying to ignore the holiday. “Rumpole and Father Christmas” suggests that even a career criminal can get the holiday spirit. A businessman's past is used to secure funds for a church in “Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces.” The most timely is the twisty “Rumpole and the Christmas Break,” about a murdered professor and an Islamic student with a religious vendetta against her. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for Mortimer fans. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Collected here for the first time in book form are five Christmas-themed Rumpole of the Bailey short stories. Horace Rumpole is not fond of the holidays, as everyone seems to get a break from work except him, because crime never takes a vacation. Fans who mourned Mortimer's death earlier this year will be thrilled, but smaller libraries may get by without it.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143117919
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/26/2010
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
512,758
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister who has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio, and television plays, the Rumpole plays, for which he received the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. He is the author of twelve collections of Rumpole stories and three acclaimed volumes of autobiography.

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Rumpole Christmas 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
The passing of an esteemed author is always sad but I felt a special loss earlier this year upon hearing of the death of Sir John Mortimer. His Rumpole stories have brought me so much pleasure, and when I learned he was gone I wished I'd just sat down and written a good old-fashioned fan letter to let him know what enjoyment his work had brought. This is surely belated but nonetheless sincere when I say that, for me, Mortimer's Rumpole is a legendary English detective, deserving a place by Sherlock Holmes and Jeeves. What a surprise to find A RUMPOLE CHRISTMAS, a collection of five Rumpole holiday stories now published in book form. We find the ever amusing, always insightful Horace Rumpole coming across all manner of skullduggery to relieve him of the usual yuletide tedium when he and his wife, Hilda, aka "She who must be obeyed" enjoy turkey, plum pudding and "a bottle or two of Pomeroy's Chateau Thames Embankment" following the exchange of a tie for him and a "ritual bottle of lavender water" for her. For starters there's a rather shifty eyed although plump Santa at Equity Court's Christmas party. This is followed by "Rumpole's Slimmed Down Christmas," a story in which Hilda presents him with a surprise gift - reservations for a stay at Minchingham Hall, a health farm where the food leaves much to be desired. For supper the main and only course "was a small portion of steamed spinach and a little diced carrot, enough, perhaps, to satisfy a small rodent but quite inadequate for a human." On the bright side, there was what appeared to be a murder in a steam room. And so it goes. As Hilda says crime does seem to follow Rumpole as does thoroughly enjoyable reading for us. - Enjoy! - Gail Cooke
LectorsBooks More than 1 year ago
This is a collection of short stories set over the Christmas holidays. It is very light in tone and feels like you’re sitting down over a glass of the horrible wine Rumpole drinks while he tells you these stories in his own, slightly meandering way. It is a fun read to get you in the mood for the holidays – especially if you prefer you holiday spirit with a little crime and mayhem on the side. It's very short, and could easily be read in an evening - cup of tea and Christmas cookies optional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
Rumpole and his dry wit are back at it again in this collection of  short tales centered around Rumpole's Christmas holidays away from the courts.  Of course, his wife, Hilda--or 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' is always present.  The stories include the annual socks and tie present for Rumpole, and the bottle of lavender water for Hilda. Each different vacation finds a mystery for Rumpole to solve.  He also has remembrances of pre holiday cases with Judge Grave'stone', who offhandedly barks his views from the bench.  The logic and humor, combined with some modern day issues, continues to be a high point in Mortimer's writing!  
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glauver More than 1 year ago
This collection is a better ending to the series than John Mortimer's last novelette, Rumpole Misbehaves. These late period holiday tales are sometimes lightweight, but Horace and Hilda are in good form. Mortimer always was at his best in short stories, and these little pleasures show why.
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GeorginaBrooklyn More than 1 year ago
Ah, Horace Rumpole~so good to see you again. Even though I've read some of the stories, reading them again was like a visit from a favorite uncle:always amusing and touching.
jerseystar More than 1 year ago
Not the absolute greatest Rumpole, but so glad there are a few more stories to read. I miss him and John Mortimer.
fundeps More than 1 year ago
Rumpole fans will enjoy these little gems. I just wish I had a fellow Rumpole fan to pass it on to. The DVD set of the TV series is also wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of John Mortimer's gems.It is a great gift to give or receive
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