Viking, Nov 2003, 24.95, 212 pp.
Barrister Horace Rumpole suffered a near-fatal heart attack (see RUMPOLE RESTS HIS CASE) and convalescences in the Primrose Path Home while his colleagues mount a death watch and a competition to replace him. Bored, cranky, at war with much of the staff, and feeling like a prisoner with a life sentence, Rumpole learns that another patient fellow patient died under strange circumstances. Refusing to rest at the rest home, Rumpole escapes confinement and is back on the case trying to learn what happened to his rest home mate.
That is the first of five cleverly designed stories and one other well written but flawed tale that brilliantly return Rumpole back in London solving cases, obeying his wife Hilda, and entertaining his myriad of fans while he achieves all that. John Mortimer scores big time with this superb collection that ends with a toast the barrister's fans will join Hilda in hoping that Horace has more escapades next year.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner