Rumpole Rests His Case

( 3 )


The comic, courageous, and corpulent Horace Rumpole reenters the fray in these seven fresh and funny stories in which the "great defender of muddled and sinful humanity" triumphs over the forces of prejudice and mean-mindedness while he tiptoes precariously through the domestic territory of his wife, Hilda-She Who Must Be Obeyed! With his passion for poetry, and a nose equally sensitive to the whiff of wrongdoing and the bouquet of a Château Thames Embankment, the lovable and disheveled Rumpole "is at his rumpled...
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Rumpole Rests His Case

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The comic, courageous, and corpulent Horace Rumpole reenters the fray in these seven fresh and funny stories in which the "great defender of muddled and sinful humanity" triumphs over the forces of prejudice and mean-mindedness while he tiptoes precariously through the domestic territory of his wife, Hilda-She Who Must Be Obeyed! With his passion for poetry, and a nose equally sensitive to the whiff of wrongdoing and the bouquet of a Château Thames Embankment, the lovable and disheveled Rumpole "is at his rumpled best" (The New York Times).
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Good old Rumpole is back, and he's in fine form, getting off petty criminals, doing his best for those bent on self-destruction, and solving crimes…all while battling his wife (the terrifying She Who Must Be Obeyed). This new volume includes seven engaging stories as Rumpole takes on the issue of whether or not to have a "talk pit" in the living room, fights a losing battle over civil rights (smoking has been banned in Chambers), and deals with a collection of unhelpful clients: these include a refugee Afghan physician who would rather not appear at his asylum hearing; a man who doesn't seem surprised when the body of his long-dead wife turns up under the floorboards; and a death-on-drugs politician who turns up on the front page of the tabloids smoking a huge joint. And, when the beloved barrister is not busy defending the innocent (and not so innocent), Rumpole tries his hand at a spot of blackmail, saves the Erskine-Browns' marriage, and unmasks a werewolf. These seven new stories showcase author John Mortimer at his best. Horace Rumpole narrates his cases with charm, wit, and not a little self-congratulation, and that all adds up to a verdict of Most Enjoyable. Sue Stone
From the Publisher
"Wonderfully amusing . . . full of pithy writing . . . witty and opinionated." (The Wall Street Journal)

"In this sparkling collection of stories . . . our hero's usual grumpy but soft-hearted wit is in full force." (The Seattle Times)

"Mortimer spins his stories with sly panache, allowing the barrister to overcome dunces of all stripes with an understated sense of humor." (The Boston Globe)

The New Yorker
After a hiatus of six years, Horace Rumpole emerges once again in a cloud of smoke, wiping butter from his chin after a cutthroat breakfast with She Who Must Be Obeyed at Froxbury Mansions, to wrestle with the forces of justice down at the Old Bailey. As he himself would be the first to admit, Rumpole is growing long in the tooth, but his wit has not deserted him; indeed, it seems to have cleaved onto his person, like his yellowing wig. Almost half the stories here involve the mayhem that ensues when elderly gentlemen succumb to the urging of their addled hearts. Not Rumple, though, who, as ever, sees through a glass of Château Thames Embankment darkly. Mortimer is in high form here. Is this to be the last of Rumpole? Perish the thought.
Publishers Weekly
Mortimer's many fans on both sides of the Atlantic will delight in Horace Rumpole's return after a six-year hiatus in this amusing collection of the gruff but lovable barrister's latest exploits. The familiar cheroot-puffing, claret-quaffing denizen of Old Bailey now faces the challenges of a new millennium-including illegal aliens, drug-dealing and fraudulent e-mails-as he defends a series of peculiar clients. In "Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces," Horace laments his reunion with a former blackmailer, now turned lord of the manor, whom Horace persuades to donate ill-gotten gains for the restoration of a church steeple. "Rumpole and the Asylum Seekers" has the barrister teamed up with an Afghan doctor who smuggled himself to England in a crate of chutney and now faces prison and torture if he is sent home. In the case of "Rumpole and the Camberwell Carrot," he rescues the career of a controversial politician branded with drug-use allegations by a seductive tabloid reporter. Next, in "Rumpole and the Teenage Werewolf," he comes to the aid of an alleged stalker whose e-mail address has somehow been usurped to harass a young coed. A courtroom collapse almost finishes his career in the title story, when wife Hilda ("She Who Must Be Obeyed") tries to keep him around their Froxbury Mansion flat ("decidedly not a mansion," regrets Horace) to help with the shopping. Using fade-ins for quick scene changes reminiscent of the popular PBS series Rumpole of the Bailey, Mortimer proves his wit is as sharp as ever; he and his hero deserve a hearty welcome back. (Nov. 25) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Everyone's favorite barrister, back in chambers after an absence of six years (Rumpole and the Angel of Death, 1996, etc.), proves once more that you don't need much in the way of mystery to provide rollicking legal entertainment. In fact, the one time Rumpole flirts most openly with traditional mystery-mongering, his defense of a teenaged computer geek accused of molesting his childhood friend, the solution is painfully obvious. The other six stories here are variously triumphant comedies of the proletarian last-chance defender's extended family. Soapy Sam Ballard, the head of chambers, turns out to have an awkward secret in his past that Rumpole plans to leverage into permission to smoke his beloved cheroots. Claude Erskine-Brown's philandering, continuing into his marriage, places Rumpole in the unaccustomed position of domestic advocate for his witless colleague. Dogged investigator Fig Newton shadows a mysterious man to a rendezvous with Mrs. Justice Phillida Erskine-Brown. Rumpole takes the case of a physician pleading with curious detachment for political asylum and an actor whose penchant for overripe performance doesn't stop when he takes the stand. Familiar but unloved faces from the past resurface, each with unwholesome designs on the scruffy champion of the very, very guilty everyone would rather brief than a proper barrister. The only real disappointment is the title story, which sends Rumpole on what may be a one-way trip to hospital. If it turns out to be his swan song, it's an unusually muted performance, quite apart from the sorrow of thinking it might be his last.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142003473
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/25/2003
  • Series: Rumpole Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 989,099
  • Product dimensions: 7.56 (w) x 5.02 (h) x 0.52 (d)

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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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    sharp as ever

    As a barrister, Horace Rumpole faces the difficult challenges of new age crimes in this delightful anthology with his brain, a cheroot, and a shot of Old Bailey. Horace deals with an aristocratic former blackmailer, an illegal alien fighting exportation that means death, a politician facing ruin due to alleged drug usage and the modern stalker using e-mail as the source of contact. As anyone can see, he defends a series of peculiar clients. However, all is not great for Horace who collapses in the midst of a courtroom, placing him under greater control of his general officer and concerned wife Hilda. It is hard to believe that six years have passed since the last Rumpole tale, but the myriad of his loyal followers will rejoice that he is as sharp as ever. Horace narrates the tales that are mostly his first person perceptions. Scenes flash by at a rapid rate more so than the typical legal thriller contains which makes for a fast delightful reading experience. Simply put, John Mortimer keeps his superstar charming and witty so hopefully we fans will not have to wait quite as long for his next appearance. Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2003

    As wonderful as ever...

    Rumpole never prosecutes and Mortimer never disappoints. Another batch of fantastically funny, bitingly ironic, and just plain beautiful stories in which to luxuriate. The only sad part is that we won't see the late great Leo McKern act them on television.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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