9 April 2010

Review: RUMPOLE and the PENGE BUNGALOW MURDERS, John Mortimer

Viking Books 2004, Penguin Books
ISBN 978-0141-03753-0
214 pages

Coming towards the end of a long career as a not entirely successful or distinguished defence barrister at the Old Bailey, Horace Rumpole recounts the true story of his second case in Chambers, the Penge Bungalow Murders. It was a seemingly hopeless case where a young lad was accused of murdering both his father and a family friend. Rumpole won the case, without a leader, and appeared to be headed for a promising career.

For Rumpole it cemented him a place in Chambers and won for him the hand in marriage of Hilda, the daughter of the Head of Chambers. For both Hilda, She Who Must Be Obeyed, and her father however, Horace Rumpole was to be a constant source of disappointment.

THE PENGE BUNGALOW MURDERS comes at the end of a long Rumpole series and the case remained one that Rumpole fondly recalled as his finest hour.

It was hard not hear the voice of Australian actor Leo McKern, who fleshed Rumpole out so well on the TV screen, booming out from these pages. Mortimer (on the left) always said McKern was the perfect Rumpole.
Mortimer's easy to read witty style also makes Rumpole live.

My rating: 4.4

Other Rumpole references on my blog:

The Rumpole series:
Rumpole of the Bailey (1978)
The Trials of Rumpole (1979)
Rumpole (1980)
Regina v Rumpole (1981)
Rumpole for the Defence (1982)
Rumpole's Return (1982)
The First Rumpole Omnibus (omnibus) (1983)
Rumpole and the Golden Thread (1983)
Rumpole for the Prosecution (1986)
Rumpole's Last Case (1987)
The Second Rumpole Omnibus (omnibus) (1987)
Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1988)
Rumpole and the Age for Retirement (1989)
Rumpole a La Carte (1990)
Rumpole On Trial (1992)
The Best of Rumpole: A Personal Choice (1993)
Rumpole and the Angel of Death (1995)
Rumpole and the Younger Generation (1995)
The Third Rumpole Omnibus (omnibus) (1997)
Rumpole Rests His Case (2001)
Rumpole and the Primrose Path (2002)
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders (2004)
Rumpole and the Reign of Terror (2006)
The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole (2007)
Rumpole Misbehaves (2007)


Brian Kavanagh said...

Mortimer was a wonderful writer.I have a much thumbed copy of The Summer of a Dormouse, his part auto bio, which is a treasured item in my life's flotsam.

Elizabeth Frengel said...

Oh, and one has to channel Leo McKern as one reads. I think John Mortimer wrote the Rumpoles with Leo in mind! Excellent choice, Kerrie.
--Miss L


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