Cover image for Rumpole rests his case
Rumpole rests his case
Mortimer, John, 1923-2009.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2002.

Physical Description:
210 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Fans old and new will welcome this brand-new volume in John Mortimer's hugely popular series-Horace Rumpole's first appearance in six years. The comic, courageous, and corpulent "great defender of muddled and sinful humanity" reenters the fray in a book that sends up the British legal system as deftly as ever. Rumpole Rests His Casebrings us seven fresh and funny stories in which Horace 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 Wordsworth, his kindly disposition toward the defendant, and a nose equally sensitive to the whiff of wrongdoing and the bouquet of a Château Thames Embankment, the disheveled Rumpole is back and in impeccable form-perhaps for the last time?

Author Notes

John Mortimer is the author of many books including twelve volumes of Rumpole stories, as well as the bestselling "Summer's Lease" & "Paradise Postponed". He lives with his wife & youngest daughter in the house in Buckinghamshire that his father built.

(Publisher Provided) Playwright and novelist John Mortimer was born in London on April 21, 1923. He attended Brasenose College in Oxford. While working as a barrister in the 1960s, he became known as a defender of free speech and human rights. His novels Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained, and Summer's Lease were all made into successful television series. He has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio and television plays, which include A Voyage Round My Father and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisted. He is the creator of Horace Rumpole and the plays about the character won him the British Academy Writer of the Year Award. His other works include numerous stories about Horace Rumpole, Clinging to the Wreckage, and Murderers and Other Friends. He died on January 16, 2009 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The seven delectable short stories in this collection feature one of the best-loved characters in British crime fiction, barrister Horace Rumpole. The cranky, crusty, delightfully droll Rumpole, despite his wiliness before the bar at the Old Bailey, London's main criminal court, defers in all domestic matters to his wife, whom he calls "She Who Must Be Obeyed." Nevertheless, here he navigates his imperturbable way through such legal situations as "Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces," in which, during one Christmas season, he has the odd experience of recognizing two individuals from two previous cases, which leads him to solve the two cases he has at hand; and "Rumpole and the Actor Laddie," in which Rumpole's client, a too-long-in-the-tooth actor, takes the stand to testify at his own robbery trial, untruthfully admitting to the crime in order to give one last, fine public performance. With Mortimer's greatly felicitous style and careful plotting, these stories are sheer, absolute reading pleasure. At one point in one story, She Who Must Be Obeyed snaps at Rumpole, "You're not nearly so funny as you think you are." Oh, but indeed he is! --Brad HooperAdult Books Young adult recommendations in this issue have been contributed by the Booklist staff and by reviewers John Charles, Tina Coleman, Patty Engelmann, Sally Estes, Gordon Flagg, Beth Leistensnider, Emily Melton, Shelley Mosley, Regina Schroeder, and Linda Waddle. Titles recommended for teens are marked with the following symbols: YA, for books of general YA interest; YA/C, for books with particular curriculum value; YA/L, for books with a limited teenage audience; YA/M, for books best suited to mature teens.

Publisher's Weekly Review

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved