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Caper Court Books In Order

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Publication Order of Caper Court Books

The Pupil (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Judicial Whispers (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Immoral Code (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Hallowed Place (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Perfect Obsession (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Calculating Heart (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breath of Corruption (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Errors of Judgment (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Touch of Silk (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Caper Court series is a series of interesting books based on the legal stories. It is written by one of the renowned novelist from The United Kingdom named Caro Fraser. This series is comprised of a total of 8 books, which were published between the years 1994 and 2013. In the series, author Fraser has depicted what actually happens behind the closed doors of the elegant Caper Court, which is the elite chamber of barristers in London, England. The series begins with the book titled The Pupil, which is based on the time that author Fraser spent at the time of her own pupilage. She has described the story of her training period as a pupil, a mandatory training for becoming a barrister. The story was mainly written from the standpoint of a male, and shows that the fortunes and trials of one of the lead characters named Anthony Cross at the time of his 6 month pupilage at the Caper Court.

Numerous other characters are shown meeting him in the later parts of the story, which takes places in Inns of Court’s eccentric world, in London. One of the chief characters among them is Leo Davies. Author Fraser has shown him as a charismatic, talented, and a successful barrister. He is bisexual and under his spell, Anthony Cross falls quickly. The first book can very well be interpreted as a novel that comments upon the discrimination and inequities that exist in the world of legalities. The central theme of the story is Nepotism and old boy network. Author Fraser has depicted the family of Anthony as not a wealthy one or having any privilege. Anthony has a single parent in the form of his mother, who raises her two sons with the help of her salary from teaching. As Anthony lacks money to go out and eat in restaurants or take taxis for traveling, he has frequent arguments with his girlfriend. He is a brilliant lawyer and has a degree in first class. But, he got it from a small, unpopular university, rather than Oxford or Cambridge. The Pupil laid the foundation for all the other stories of the series. Leo Davies goes on to become the hero in the later parts and also becomes the center of attention of the whole series.

One of the most popular books of the Caper Court series written by Caro Fraser is titled as ‘Judicial Whispers’. It was published by the Phoenix publication in the year 1998, after it was initially released in 1995. In the starting plot, Leo Davies is depicted having the hope of getting elected as one of the Queen’s Counsel. But, a rumor campaign begins which threatens to destroy all his hopes to get elected in this rarefied strata of the hierarchy of the British legal system. It seems that the rumors are based on a truth about the sexual life of Leo. His sex life does not seem to be conventional. To explain this situation, author Fraser has said that it become a matter of murder or blackmail, or both in a normal mystery book. However, the drama depicted in the book does not appear to be a mystery nor typical. The drama related to the character study of the interesting protagonist comes from the interior struggle of Leo Davies with his issues of love, class, ambition, and sex. It does appear mysterious that the book was cast in the form of a legal thriller. In order to take care of the rumors, Leo is advised to get a wife. Subsequently, he tries to get involved with a beautiful, emotional, and rigid solicitor named Rachel Dean. She seems to have some very good reasons to remain guarded.

Later, Leo comes to know that his best friend named Anthony also has feelings for Rachel. Author Fraser has used the relationship of men in a brilliant manner to illuminate the complicated nature of the sex life of Leo. This is enacted in Leo’s courtship of Rachel and her sexual passions inadvertent wakening by him. And when Anthony alleges that Leo is using Rachel to fulfill his own ambitions, he tells him that he has a lot of fear in him. He also says that he knows a lot of things that he does not want to remember about himself that would spoil the things for him if he brings them up. Leo further implies that there are a lot of things about Rachel that Anthony would never understand. He adds that he is devoid of things that could prove to be helpful to Rachel in any way. It is only he who has reached that part of himself to find out the worst and best things, and not Anthony. But, Leo does not mind any of the charges that Anthony lays on him. He advises him that he is young and has a lot of things to learn in life and career. The journey of Leo Davies through the torturous landscapes of his mental inferno makes this book a compelling, engrossing, and sophisticated read.

Another compelling novel written in the series by author Fraser is titled ‘An Immoral Code’. The Phoenix publication released this novel also in 1998. In the plot of this book, an emotional turmoil is shown taking place in the barristers’ chamber of Caper COurt. The Queen’s Council, Leo Davies, gets a big case as he is asked to represent a Llyod’s Names group. This group seems to have staked everything on the performance of Leo in the court. But, they do not seem to be aware of the turmoil going on in his personal life. This lays a great threat to the case. At his home, the facade of the marriage of Leo and Rachel is crumbling. In spite of being married, the bisexual Leo does not stop to make a make a play for a feckless and handsome plaintiff named Charles Beecham. This poses another threat to the married life of Leo. In the middle of this turmoil, Leo seems to be unaware of the fact that while he has his eyes set on Charles, he has started pursuing his wife Rachel. Author Fraser has made the story progress in a slow manner. And for most parts it remains slow only. But, as it approaches its end, it picks up speed and achieves an abrupt end. The ending makes way for one more case to be depicted in the next book, that promises more courtroom interactions and intrigue. Along with the personal life turmoil of Leo, the author has also shown Anthony indulging in a romantic relationship with one of his new pupils. But, she seems to be in two minds to put her feelings for him before her career.

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.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Caper Court

One Response to “Caper Court”

  1. Lesley Tyson: 6 months ago

    I love this series of novels. However, I am unhappy to note that ‘Breath of Corruption’ (No. 7 on the list) appears impossible to find unless one wants to pay over £40 for a second hand paperback edition. Does anyone know why this is?


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