A Rumpole Christmas

John Mortimer, Author . Viking $21.95 (161p) ISBN 978-0-670-02135-2

As this fine holiday collection shows, Mortimer (1923–2009) could tell lovely tales that end with a gentle punch. Each of the five stories highlights English barrister Horace Rumpole's quirky personality, his love of food and drink, and life with his formidable wife, Hilda (aka “She Who Must Be Obeyed”). But most of all, each illustrates Rumpole's sense of justice and commitment to the law as well as his dry wit. As usual, Rumpole overshadows plots that often focus on the barrister trying to ignore the holiday. “Rumpole and Father Christmas” suggests that even a career criminal can get the holiday spirit. A businessman's past is used to secure funds for a church in “Rumpole and the Old Familiar Faces.” The most timely is the twisty “Rumpole and the Christmas Break,” about a murdered professor and an Islamic student with a religious vendetta against her. This is a perfect stocking stuffer for Mortimer fans. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/07/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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Compact Disc - 978-1-60283-799-7
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MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-3793-0
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