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A Rumpole Christmas by John Mortimer

A Rumpole Christmas is a book that can be enjoyed at any time of the year consisting as it does of 5 classic comic tales by John Mortimer featuring Horace Rumpole, British criminal barrister practicing at London’s Old Bailey courts.  Mortimer, who died in January 2009, was himself a barrister, and also a novelist and playwright.  His first book of tales, Rumpole of the Bailey was published in 1980.  14 other volumes followed.  Horace Rumpole is a decidedly politically incorrect, overweight, and frequently drink-befuddled defense lawyer with a passion for due process.  Each of the tales show Rumpole doing battle with his wife, Hilda, [“she who must be obeyed”], with partial judges, opera-loving snobbish barrister, or with his long-term clients, the haplessly criminal Timson family.  Rumpole’s Christmas features all of those elements.  Two tales set in English country homes permits Mortimer to spoof the country life as well include set pieces featuring Father Christmas.  Every Rumpole story is written simply and sparsely with tongue firmly in cheek.  While these short stories are traditionally adult mystery fare, their humor intermixed with social commentary might also interest reluctant teen readers.  TCPL owns most Rumpole tales in regular print and large type.  I encourage you to romp with Rumpole in whatever format suits!

Amy P.

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