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Caper Court Books In Order

Publication Order of Caper Court Books

The Pupil (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Judicial Whispers (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Immoral Code (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Hallowed Place (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Perfect Obsession (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Calculating Heart (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Breath of Corruption (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Errors of Judgment (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Caper Court are a series of novels authored by British novelist Caroline “Caro” Fraser. The first published novel in the series was the 1994 published “The Pupil” that was an exposition of her experiences living as a trainee barrister. With the massive popularity of the first novel in the series, “The Pupil”, Caroline Fraser went on to publish a novel every two to three years in the series. The series is set in Caper Court, an elite Barrister training school in London, and follows the life and times of several barristers in training and later practicing barristers as they conduct their work. Anthony Cross is a prominent character in all the novels though several other characters join the narratives over the course of the series. Leo Davies, an eccentric yet very proficient barrister is one of the most prominent characters that Cross meets in the first novel. The successful, charismatic, talented, and attractive Davies captures the imagination of the young barrister almost casting him under a spell. Writing from the point of a view of a lawyer that went through the same pupilage and worked with similar character during her time working as a maritime and commercial lawyer, Fraser writes a very interesting narrative. The Pupil would spawn several more novels in the series, even as Leo Davies rather than Anthony Cross takes center stage in the latter novels.

The crux of the Caper Court series of novels is a depiction of the happenings at Caper Court an elite barrister chamber in the British capital, London. The first novel focuses on the competition between two barristers in training Anthony Cross who is rather poor yet very clever, and Edward Choke who comes from a very wealthy background but is rather thick. The first novel tells of their rivalry, particularly over who gets to get the one tenancy slot offered by the barrister school to the best student. Leo Davies who was something of an acquaintance to Anthony Cross in the first novel becomes the lead character from the second novel. Leo Davies is a highly successful lawyer that has achieved the ultimate in British legal circles to become Queen’s Counsel, the highest honor a barrister could ever hope to attain. But Davies has many problems in his private life that always seem to follow him in his legal work. He is bisexual and has always lived a life that would at best be considered hedonistic, which is not the perfect picture of a man of his stature. Even as he considers himself a simple man, Davies past libidinous life threatens to destroy his career, making it necessary to scorch the rumors of his bisexuality by marrying Rachel Dean. But given his good looks and charm and high libido, trouble is never far from the barrister as his moral and sexual ambiguity always seems to catch up with him.

The Caper Court series of novels are all about the deceit, corruption, office politics, scandal, and romance that goes on behind the closed doors of elite barrister chambers. With the author herself having been a barrister, she gives the narratives a unique flavor of realism with a dose of controversy. The characters, particularly the lead are complex and intriguing with interesting motivations for their actions. The life of the lead character is particularly chaotic and is perhaps a true reflection of the barrister life. Taking some of the more controversial subjects of class, ambition, and sexuality, Caroline Fraser writes eloquently and convincingly of the streams of consciousness and shifting points of view of society, as depicted by the lead character. Renowned for his acute professionalism, brilliant mind, amusing and witty company, Queens Counsel Leo Davies is essentially rotten. Nonetheless, despite his rottenness, he retains a charm and irresistible nature that even his ex-wife retains an irrational yearning for the man. It would seem that the overarching theme of the novels is a depiction of the amorous illegitimacy of barristers’ chambers. However, while the series sees the protagonist constantly achieving higher prominence in his field, the message is that it is almost impossible to escape one’s past.

“The Pupil”, Caroline Fraser’s first novel in the Caper Court series is a novel written from the male perspective of what it is to be a barrister in training. The lead character in the novel is Anthony Cross who undergoes a series of trials and tribulations during his six months of study at Caper Court in London. During his pupilage in the Inns of Court, he meets a variety of eccentric characters who influence his private and professional life forever. One of his biggest influences is the bisexual and successful Queen’s Counsel Leo Davies, who takes him under his wing. Competing with a fellow student Edward Choke for a tenancy, the novel analyzes the discrimination and inequities rife in the legal world. Old boy networks and nepotism are central to one’s success or lack thereof in the vicious legal world. As opposed to his classmate Choke, Cross comes from a poor and under privileged family with a teacher for a mother and a bohemian for a father. Given his lack of money, he does not have the advantage of having attended the prestigious universities like Oxbridge, even though he comes with a first class degree. Ultimately, the novel is the story of ambition and hard work as Cross eventually wins his battle with Choke to attain the highly coveted tenancy.

“Judicial Whispers”, the second novel in the series is an intriguing narrative following barrister Leo Davies’s fight to be elected Queens Counsel, the highest echelon of the British legal hierarchy. But with rumors of his libidinous and unconventional sex life flying all over town, his quest is even harder. Such a scenario would typically result in murder, or blackmail in the classic mystery. In Judicial Whispers though, the fascination is all about how the protagonist deals with the issues of ambition, class, love, and sex. He is advised that the best way to quash the rumors is to get married to a woman, and soon he is in a romantic relationship with an emotionally rigid and beautiful Rachel Dean whom he proceeds to marry. The author excellently uses his courtship of Rachel to explore his bisexual relationship with his close friend Antony Cross. For the morally ambiguous Davies, Rachel is a necessary evil that he uses to further his ambition, and he unashamedly admits this to Cross his young protégé. His journey of self-discovery and acceptance makes for an engrossing, sophisticated, and compelling narrative.

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