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Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murdersby John Mortimer
Synopses & Reviews
Rumpole fans rejoice — a novel of the oft-mentioned but never revealed story of the barrister's first case.
Now more than ever, thousands of readers delight in the adventures of Horace Rumpole, but despite the publication of more than one hundred stories, his early years have remained shrouded in mystery — until now.
In Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders, John Mortimer tells the story of Rumpole's very first case. Looking back a half century into a very different world, Rumpole recalls a man accused of murdering his father and his father's friend with a pistol taken from a dead German pilot. It was this trial and its outcome that put Rumpole on the map and began to shape him into the eccentric and cantankerous defender of justice and reciter of poetry readers know and love. Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders is a must read for every Rumpole fan and a compelling invitation to new readers to get to know Mortimer's addictive barrister.
"Mortimer's beloved barrister, Horace Rumpole, at last tells the tale, hitherto mentioned only in passing, of the Penge Bungalow murders, the case that made his reputation as a defense lawyer decades ago. Simon Jerold stands accused of shooting his father, a bomber pilot during WWII, and an RAF buddy of his father's some hours after a quarrel in which Simon threatened his father with a German Luger. Simon appears headed for the gallows with perfunctory defense from C.H. Wystan, Rumpole's by-the-book head of chambers. Leave it to young Rumpole, an inexperienced 'white wig,' to see a chink or two in the prosecution's case and step up to Simon's defense, even at the risk of ruffling his supercilious superior's feathers. Subplots include the farcical circumstances that lead the romantically challenged Rumpole to become engaged to Wystan's daughter, Hilda (aka 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'), and his introduction to the felonious Timson family, one of whose hapless members he defends in an unrelated burglary trial — which incidentally provides a clue to a key motive of one of the principals in the murder case. If a British airman circa 1942 committing treason in the belief that Hitler was going to win the war isn't entirely convincing, Mortimer (Rumpole and the Primrose Path) never fails to delight. Agent, Michael Sissons at Peters, Fraser and Dunlop. (Nov. 22)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Masterful characterization and a spellbinding plot, filled with the arcane lore and intrigues of the Old Bailey, make this one a special treat for devoted Rumpoleans." Booklist (Starred Review)
"The real and considerable joys here are watching Rumpole spread his wings and observing, in what passes for his courtship of Hilda, the seeds of his thrall to She Who Must Be Obeyed." Kirkus Reviews
"All those tantalizing mysteries about how the grumpy sage of the Old Bailey got his start as a young barrister are revealed here....For anyone unfamiliar with this series, here's a charming way to begin." Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"[The Rumpole books] are closer to Dickens than to Dennis Lehane....If you are the right sort of reader, the Rumpole books will delight you, and we must wish Sir John good health, good luck with his socks and many happy returns." The Washington Post Book World
"A charming tale that shows why Mortimer and Rumpole remain beloved nearly 30 years after the irascible barrister was introduced in a radio play....It's fun, funny and even touching. A real treat." Detroit Free Press
The author tells the story of Rumpole's very first case which began to shape him into the eccentric and cantankerous defender of justice and reciter of poetry that readers know and love.
The Rumpole renaissance continues to build, and now the beloved barrister’s many followers have a special reason to rejoice: a sensational full-length Rumpole novel that at last relates the oft-mentioned but never revealed story of Rumpole’s first case, the Penge Bungalow affair. Looking back half a century into a very different world, Rumpole recalls a man accused of murdering his father and his father’s friend with a pistol taken from a dead German pilot. It was this trial and its outcome that put Rumpole on the map and shaped him into the cantankerous defender of justice that readers know and love. This is a must-read for every Rumpole fan and a compelling invitation to new readers.
John Mortimer—novelist, playwright, memoirist, and the author of more than eighty Rumpole short stories—will never be forgotten. While still a practicing barrister, Mortimer took up the pen, and the rest is literary history. His stories featuring the cigar-chomping, cheap-wine-tippling Rumpole and his wife, Hilda (aka "She Who Must Be Obeyed"), have justly earned their place in the pantheon of mystery fiction legends, becoming the basis for the very successful television series Rumpole of the Bailey. Bringing fourteen of Rumpole's most entertaining adventures (seven of which were collected in The Best of Rumpole) together with a fragment of a new story, Forever Rumpole proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Rumpole is never less than delightful.
About the Author
John Mortimer is the author of twelve other Rumpole books, which formed the basis for the PBS-TV series Rumpole of the Bailey. His work also includes many novels and plays, and three volumes of autobiography. He is also a former barrister at the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court.
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