Monday, 15 July 2013

RUMPOLE’S RETURN – John Mortimer, 1980

A short novel with a collection of cases, giving Rumpole plenty of reasons to return to The Old Bailey after attempting a retirement in Florida. Mortimer used real incidents from his life at the bar, the major narrative a reworked version of a case recounted in one of his autobiographical works, Murderers and Other Friends.
There is so much to enjoy in a Rumpole story. There is the central mystery and how he will solve the case (solve, not necessarily win, of course). There are the literary references; the chance to spot quotes from Wordsworth or Byron or Shakespeare. And, of course, the humour, mainly provided by his relationship with Hilda. In this case, Rumpole is outwardly hoping that she will remain in Florida, yet his destiny, as we know and he is inwardly expecting, is to be forever bossed by She Who Must Be Obeyed.

The interwoven stories, which I have heard separated in radio plays, include saving Guthrie Featherstone from certain divorce and defending a Soho shop owner who saw fit to sell ‘School girl Capers’ a copy of which fell, of course, into Hilda’s hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment