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Rumpole Books In Order

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Publication Order of Rumpole of the Bailey Books

Rumpole of the Bailey (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole’s Return (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Trials of Rumpole (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Regina V. Rumpole (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole for the Defence (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Golden Thread (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole for the Prosecution (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole's Last Case (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Age for Retirement (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole a La Carte (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole on Trial (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best of Rumpole (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Younger Generation (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Angel of Death (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole Rests His Case (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Primrose Path (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole and the Reign of Terror (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anti-Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole / Rumpole Misbehaves (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rumpole at Christmas / A Rumpole Christmas (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Forever Rumpole (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

The series about Horace Rumpole was originally a television series that aired in Britain. Later on, the early episodes were adapted into stories and novels. The stories are adapted from the episodes and the novels are adapted from different movies. Although, there have been some novels that were written only as novels. The episodes were written by John Mortimer (who is a barrister), as were the stories and novels. The series started in the year 1978, and was inspired by the “Rumpole of the Bailey” production that was a stand alone work. It aired in 1975, and serves as a pilot for the later series.

Horace is an old man who works as a barrister in London. He defends all kinds of clients, usually they are underdogs in some way. Rumpole is around the age of seventy in all of the books. No matter what, he does not seem to age in the books, and certain things from Rumpole’s back story are thrown out or altered to better fit him still being in his seventies.

Horace cracks wise and is insulting, but he still does have morals. He would rather be around the crooks that he defends rather than be around other attorneys. Hilda, who is known as She Who Must Be Obeyed, often terrifies Horace.

In the stories (both on the screen and the page), Horace Rumpole has to deal with whatever case he is working on and the relationships that he has with both his family and his friends.

While writing the series, John Mortimer still worked as a barrister. He would wake up at half past five in the morning to write the scripts. Then he would start his day at Old Bailey.

“Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders” is the first novel in the “Rumpole” series and was released in the year 2004. This was an original novel, and finally gives readers a look at the first case he ever worked. The novel is written as though it is a memoirs of Horace Rumpole. The Penge Bungalow case, a case that has been mentioned many times throughout the series, but never revealed. Rumpole narrates the tale after fifty years have passed, which was a different world then. Horace recalls a man that had been accused of killing his father and the friend his father had with a dead German pilot’s pistol. The trial that followed and the outcome are what put him on the map as a lawyer. It made him who he was. A defender of justice with a cantankerous attitude.

Fans of the novel found that this story gained much mythology over the years. This made them want to read all about the case, and it is their favorite story that has ever been told about Horace Rumpole. Mortimer does a great job of writing and the characters found in it are well drawn. This is a different Horace Rumpole than readers are used to, but will be just as great to read about. The insults and cracking wise are reduced, but not totally eliminated. It even features a whodunnit that will keep readers guessing for most of the book.

“Rumpole and the Reign of Terror” is the second novel in the “Rumpole” series and was released in the year 2006. Rumpole is working on a tedious theft charge, and finds that terrorist laws have been holding up his courts. Courts that he loves so much. A doctor of Pakistani descent has been locked up without charges and no trial. This is due to him coming under suspicion for helping al Qaeda in an upcoming terrorist attack they are planning. The doctor’s wife begs Horace to help out her husband. This makes Horace want to take this case before a jury. He also has to deal with Hilda (who is She Who Must Be Obeyed) as she writes her memoirs. These memoirs are going to feature her thoughts on Rumpole and her own love life. His work at home may just wreck his case.

Fans of the novel find the shift in time to be an interesting change to the series. They liked the way that terrorism is the subject that is being talked about. It helps to make the novel even more entertaining, and it makes some of the other characters feel tension and stress as a talking point that he can work into his story. There is a twisting and turning plot that keeps the story moving and the readers guessing what will happen next. Some found that the way that Mortimer talks of the legal system was interesting, and was not bogged down in details.

“Rumpole Misbehaves” is the third novel in the “Rumpole” series and was released in the year 2006. This novel was also published under the name of “The Anti-Social Behavior of Horace Rumpole”. It is also the final installment of the long running series. The latest thing the New Labour government has come up with is Anti-Social Behavior Orders. It is there new pride and joy. If a child plays on or loiters on a street that is not friendly, he can (should a neighbor complain) be slapped with an Anti-Social Behavior Order. Should the kid offend again, he will breach his ASBO and get thrown into jail with no trial at all. People feel the wrath of Horace Rumpole as a result of this. He is called to defend a child from the Timson family. All the kid was play soccer on a posh street. He tries to get to the bottom of things and at the same time, Horace’s fellow lawyers show how silly the ASBOs are. They show that global warming is caused by lighting little cigars. They also cite Horace for taking food and his much loved wine into his own room.

Fans of the novel find Horace Rumpole very likable for some reason. Fans found that John Mortimer wrote yet another winner about this great curmudgeon lawyer. It has great and appealing returning characters. This novel features every detail and nuance of the characterization that is found in these stories. It is a great way for the series to end.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Rumpole

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