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Quite Honestlyby John Mortimer
"Good intentions pave Lucy Purefoy's way into all kinds of misadventures in this engaging satire....The end result is a tad slight, but fine for readers who enjoy light satire with a little larceny on the side. (Grade: B-)" Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
Synopses & Reviews
The creator of Rumpole of the Bailey returns to the novel with a comic tale of middle-class do-gooding gone awry.
Thousands of readers have discovered the inimitable voice of John Mortimer through his Rumpole series of stories. But with Quite Honestly, Mortimer creates a cast of characters that rivals his usual Rumpole repertoire, delivering a wonderfully comic novel, packed with entertaining reflections on a life in crime.
Life couldn't be better for Lucinda Purefoy. She's got a steady boyfriend, a degree in social sciences from Manchester University, and the offer of a high-powered job in advertising. With all this good fortune, isn't it appropriate for her to give something back to society?
With her newly minted membership in Social Carers, Reformers, and Praeceptors (SCRAP for short), an organization that recruits women to become the guides, philosophers, and friends to ex-convicts coming out of prison, Lucy finds herself standing outside the gates of Wormwood Scrubs waiting to greet a career burglar called Terry Keegan. What happens next — after a short and hostile trip to Burger King — confounds expectations and produces a signature Mortimer tale full of wit and surprise.
"The indomitable Mortimer (Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders, etc.) is back with a new cast of quixotic characters. Lucinda Purefoy (Lucy), daughter of a liberal Anglican bishop and his gin-soaked wife, graduates from university with a hankering to repay her debt to society, so she joins SCRAP (Social Carers, Reformers and Praeceptors), a volunteer organization that pairs a do-gooder with a done-badder on release from prison. The idea is to ease the ex-con's transition into society. Or, as Lucy introduces herself to her 'client' Terry Keegan, 'I'm your guide and philosopher.' Keegan, a young man from the wrong side of Ladbroke Grove, started pinching bottles of whiskey with his schoolmate Chippy when he was 12; now he's getting out of the big house after doing three years for breaking and entering. He knows his transition would be much easier without the likes of Lucy and sets out to lose her at the first opportunity. Complications ensue, especially when Chippy (now Leonard) McGrath, who has established a false front as an environmentally concerned businessman to disguise his thriving crime organization, enters the scene. Told in a nimble he-said, she-said format, the narrative cartwheels across all that is sanctimonious about prison reform for a delectable undoing of do-gooders." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Novelist, playwright, and former barrister Mortimer departs from his hugely popular Rumpole series in this lively romp revolving around love and the criminal mind....Quite Honestly is great fun from page 1 — honestly." Booklist
"Mortimer serves up a sweet love story....Class-struggle humor, nifty slang and mild social commentary bolster the slight plot....A witty Brit bagatelle and a romantic comedy tailor-made for the multiplex." Kirkus Reviews
"John Mortimer's new gem of a comic novel....[A] sharp, witty look at crime, society, love and ambition.... Everything is reversed in the novel, then reversed again in ways that will bring a smile to readers' faces and warm their hearts." Detroit Free Press
"The Rumpole stories are very good, but Mortimer in his non-Rumpole mode is also very good....The characters...[are] rounded and fresh and fun. Yet the story they're in simply insists on going from here to there, with no sightseeing." Donald E. Westlake, The New York Times Book Review
From the creator of the Rumpole stories—a novel of middle-class do-gooding gone awry
Fans of John Mortimer and his popular Rumpole mysteries will love Quite Honestly, a comedy filled with a delightful cast of characters and Mortimers unique and entertaining take on a life of crime. Life couldnt be better for Lucinda Purefoy—college educated, with a steady boyfriend and a job offer in advertising. With all this good fortune, isnt it appropriate for her to give something back to society? Armed with only good intentions, she joins Social Carers, Reformers and Praeceptors (SCRAP, for short), a misguided organization that recruits women to becomes guides, philosophers, and friends to ex-convicts coming out of prison. Once she meets her charge, Terry Keegan, the ensuing hilarity and mishaps produce a signature Mortimer tale, full of wit and surprise.
About the Author
John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister. During World War II he worked with the Crown Film Unit and published a number of novels before returning to law. He has written for film, stage, radio, and television, and is the author of many novels, including the bestselling Paradise Postponed and twelve collections of Rumpole stories.
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