Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Rumpole Misbehaves

Rumpole Misbehaves

3.6 6
by John Mortimer

See All Formats & Editions

The next novel in the Rumpole series from the beloved and bestselling master of the court

The Rumpole novels have garnered legions of fans who show no sign of abandoning their favorite curmudgeonly British barrister. Now in Rumpole Misbehaves, our hero takes on nothing less than the New Labour government when their ridiculous new Anti- Social Behavior


The next novel in the Rumpole series from the beloved and bestselling master of the court

The Rumpole novels have garnered legions of fans who show no sign of abandoning their favorite curmudgeonly British barrister. Now in Rumpole Misbehaves, our hero takes on nothing less than the New Labour government when their ridiculous new Anti- Social Behavior Orders land a Timson child in front of the bench for playing soccer on a posh London street. However, Rumpole quickly discovers that the complainant is hiding some nefarious secrets of her own. As he investigates the murder of a prostitute with links to white slavery and unscrupulous dealings in a government department, Rumpole must also wrangle with his fellow barristers as they threaten him with an ASBO for bringing food, wine, and small cigars into his room in chambers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

At the start of Mortimer's winning new novella to feature Horace Rumpole (after 2006's Rumpole and the Reign of Terror), the quirky English barrister agrees to defend 12-year-old Peter Timson, who's been served with an "Anti-social Behaviour Order" (ASBO) for playing soccer in the streets of a posh London neighborhood. Later, Rumpole takes on a more serious case: a shy civil servant, Graham Wetherby, stands accused of murdering a prostitute, an illegal Russian immigrant. Since Wetherby prefers to be represented by a "QC" or Queens Counsel, Rumpole schemes to become a QC in an amusing subplot. Rumpole fans will cheer the barrister's vigorous defense of his clients as well as his cutting comments on the nanny state that gives rise to laws like ASBOs. As always, the character of Rumpole overshadows the mystery solving: his hedonistic pleasure in food and drink, his acerbic, manipulative wit and his love for the legal underdog. Wife Hilda-"She Who Must Be Obeyed"-narrates the occasional chapter to great comic effect. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Tim Rutten
One of the best of the sixteen story collections and novels centering on the crafty old barrister and self-described proud ‘Old Bailey hack.'
Los Angeles Times
Craig Wilson
Good news for the many Rumpole fans who have grown to love the wine-sipping, cigar-smoking barrister whose mantra has never changed: ‘Innocent until proven guilty.'
USA Today

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Rumpole Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.60(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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Rumpole Misbehaves 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I read that John Mortimer passed away earlier this year. That probably means this is Rumpole's last case. The plot is a bit thin and the resolution muddled, but, since Horace retains his crusty charm,I am in a forgiving mood. Mortimer has created a character and body of work that should last as long as Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Philip Marlowe. RIP
GeorgiaObserver More than 1 year ago
Fans of John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey will not be disappointed in what has proved to be John Mortimer's last book Rumpole Misbehaves. All the beloved familiar characters are here, along with a new, young member of the Timson family. The divergent stories come together nicely in the end. Rumpole staunchly defends the constitutional rights of citizens against a nanny state and holds his own against global warming. As he declares: "If I don't like the way the times are moving I shall refuse to accompany them." May John Mortimer and Rumpole both rest in peace.
Lizzie-B More than 1 year ago
If you are familiar with the Rumpole mysteries or the Rumpole TV series, this book will be a delightful and amusing visit with old friends. One of the better books in the series, it's bound to make you smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Mortimer's books live through their readers, and these most recent books are sad disappointments to listen to, without the brilliant shading of voice and inflection provided both by Leo McKern and, nearly as perfectly, by Patrick Tull. I hate to be unkind, but Mr. Wallis and the other recent readers make Rumpole tedious and never laughable. I have quit listening to Mortimer as a result, it used to be my greatest pleasure while driving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Richard_Carvel More than 1 year ago
Rumpole Misbehaves may be the last of the novels by the late John Mortimer depicting the life of the irascible barrister. It is the last Rumpole book mentioned, in name and by date of publication, on the Wikipedia website for John Mortimer. If this be so, it is so much cause for sorrow on the part of the readers. Rumpole Misbehaves is more of same. It gives us Rumpole once again at war with those who do not understand him or his contributions to British law, which is largely everyone except for most members of the Timson clan. She Who Must Be Obeyed is present, of course, and the friendship Hilda struck up with Leonard Bullingham ("the Mad Bull", as Horace habitually refers to him) in Rumpole and the Reign of Terror continues here. There is also a tenderness in the relationship between Hilda and Rumpole to be found here that may not have been seen earlier. Many other familiar characters from the Rumpole canon also make cameo appearances. There is a twist to this story I will not spoil by further mention of it. There is a literary aspect to the later Rumpole works that I am not sure was evident, or as evident, in the early works, and this literary turn is certainly on display here. By this I mean that we see Rumpole as others see him, not just through his own remarkable and entertaining first person narrative. Rumpole and the Reign of Terror introduced Hilda as a memoirist and that continues here. It allows for Hilda's point of view and also allows her to quote others, such as the Mad Bull, so that they can speak for themselves, rather than as Rumpole remembers them speaking. This gives an interesting perspective to the book. While these books are neither Evelina nor Bleak House, the technique of moving the narrative forward by the observations of different speakers is very interesting and offers multiple views of the same events. I'm not sure anything to be learned from this will surprise the reader, but it will flesh out, so to speak, Rumpole's relationships with others. John Mortimer's use of Rumpole to comment on the passing scene in Britain is always interesting, perhaps more to the colonial who reads at a distance than to the Londoner who must contend with the social issues and government policies touched upon in the novels. The comment is always interesting if only because Anglophiles will always want more of London and the characters identified with it, but also because it is provocative. There is much to Rumpole's viewpoint that one finds sympathetic, but there is typically another side to the story that must be considered and may be found to have merit. There is also a charm to these stories. They allow one to escape one's own world to share a moment with a projection of someone else's mind which has taken on a kind of reality and become a friend, spectral as that friend may be. We watch Rumpole grow older with each book, as Bertie Wooster did not, and both remain friends, albeit for different reasons. As the prices of books and everything else go up, it's important to consider economies. I remind myself that most books I would like to read can be had from the public library and that I am entitled to borrow them there. Nonetheless, there are some books I want to own and know I will reread one day, and the Rumpole books are among them. Buy it. You know you will, and at the moment you can buy it ("remaindered", no doubt) inexpensively at Barnes & Noble.
bossbaggs More than 1 year ago
I love Rumpose and like Mortimer. Now that he's passed into immortality, it's too bad his last wasn't among his best. The familiar themes of Rumpole's iconoclasm, Hilda's never-realized ambition, Ballard's silly officiousness, Phillida's amore, etc., all wore thin. First-time Rumpole readers may as well dive into the Rumpole Omnibus.