I have, of course, seen a couple of Rumpole mysteries on PBS – usually accidentally at friends’ houses. And I can love the stuffy and unstuffy Brits, especially the ones with a twinkle in the eye, in cozy British mysteries. And since I’d never read a Rumpole, I was delighted to find at Joseph-Beth a book of Rumpole stories all about Christmas time – called, appropriately enough, A Rumpole Christmas, by John Mortimer. He died this year, shortly after this book was printed.
Rumpole is a barrister, and a very smart observer. And knows there is no point in arguing with Mrs. Rumpole, She Who Must Be Obeyed. There were twists and turns in each story, and roundabout ways to get there, which I found was Rumpole’s preferred method of arrival. Doesn’t like the straight route, but prefers to slip up on folk. Whether in court, talking to prisoners, or in a spa struggling with the regimen.
My favorite story in the book involves Rumpole blackmailing the blackmailer. Does it very nicely, and with an especially bright twinkle. A fun book, a perfect Christmas read.