Rumpole for the Defense

By John Mortimer
Read by Frederick Davidson

The Rumpole Series: Book 1982

6.58 Hours 12/01/1998 unabridged
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Whether he’s quoting Wordsworth or having words with a particularly obtuse judge, Horace Rumpole always knows what he’s doing––even if no one else does. In this delightful collection of stories, Rumpole straightens everyone out in the shocking case of a “bent copper,” gallantly teaches a professor of moral philosophy about blackmail, consults with the dear departed when a will is contested, traces the path of true love when a doctor is accused of murder, and (in the name of duty, of course) drinks to excess with a teetotaling member of the prosecution. There is even a rare moment or two when Rumpole finds himself appreciative of “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (Mrs. Rumpole), when she inadvertently provides some essential clues that clinch his cases. Stories in this collection include “Rumpole for the Defence,” “Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail,” “Rumpole and the Dear Departed,” “Rumpole and the Rotten Apple,” “Rumpole and the Expert Witness,” “Rumpole and the Spirit of Christmas,” and “Rumpole and the Boat People.”

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Summary

Summary

Whether he’s quoting Wordsworth or having words with a particularly obtuse judge, Horace Rumpole always knows what he’s doing––even if no one else does. In this delightful collection of stories, Rumpole straightens everyone out in the shocking case of a “bent copper,” gallantly teaches a professor of moral philosophy about blackmail, consults with the dear departed when a will is contested, traces the path of true love when a doctor is accused of murder, and (in the name of duty, of course) drinks to excess with a teetotaling member of the prosecution. There is even a rare moment or two when Rumpole finds himself appreciative of “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (Mrs. Rumpole), when she inadvertently provides some essential clues that clinch his cases.

Stories in this collection include “Rumpole for the Defence,” “Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail,” “Rumpole and the Dear Departed,” “Rumpole and the Rotten Apple,” “Rumpole and the Expert Witness,” “Rumpole and the Spirit of Christmas,” and “Rumpole and the Boat People.”

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Any mystery-lover looking for an engaging audiobook will enjoy this collection of short stories about Horace Rumpole and the Old Bailey. These stories are well-written, interesting and clever. The wide variety of characters are—well, characters—and each is given life and entirely appropriate voice by Frederick Davidson. His various British accents are convincing. Perhaps more difficult, his portrayal of both men’s and women’s voices is right on target so that ‘She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed’ sounds as believable as Rumpole himself. Pacing and sound quality are good. This is an excellent production, sure to be savored by listeners and good enough to listen to again.” AudioFile
“Rumpole is one of the immortals of mystery fiction.” San Francisco Chronicle, praise for the Rumpole stories
“Mortimer has created one of the legendary fictional detectives…a barrister [who’s] as much a detective as Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.” Boston Sunday Globe, praise for the Rumpole stories

Reviews

Reviews

by Nelle 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Very Highly Recommended

One of my favorite listening experiences is hearing Frederick Davidson deliver the Rumpole stories with all the various voices he uses for the characters. They are hilarious and extremely well done. There’s the sardonic voice of Rumpole; the short, clipped voice of his bossy wife Hilda; the cockney accent of the petty criminals; the languid, posh, snobbish tones of the upper-class members of the bar; and sharp, impatient tones of Judge Bullingham and other judges who dislike Rumpole; and more. The wit and humor are understated but very entertaining. I have listened to this recording more than once and will do so again. I have no interest in hearing other narrators do the Rumpole stories because I can’t imagine anyone else doing as good a job. I even watched a DVD of the BBC series Rumpole of the Bailey and came away disappointed because, compared to the audiobook, the wit and humor just did not come across as well. I highly recommend any of the Rumpole audiobooks narrated by Frederick Davidson.

Author

Author Bio: John Mortimer

John Mortimer (1923–2009) was a playwright, novelist, and barrister. He wrote many radio, film, and television scripts, including the British television series Rumpole of the Bailey, and won the British Academy Writer of the Year Award in 1979. He retired from the bar in 1984 and was knighted in 1998.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Runtime: 6.58
Audience: Adult
Language: English