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Rumpole and the Angel of Death Hardcover – 26 Oct 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition. 5th Impression edition (26 Oct. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067086451X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670864515
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.8 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 176,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

JOHN MORTIMER is a novelist, playwright and former practising barrister. Among his many publications are several volumes of Rumpole stories and a trilogy of political novels (PARADISE POSTPONED, TITMUSS REGAINED and THE SOUND OF TRUMPETS) featuring Leslie Titmuss - a character as brilliant as Rumpole. John Mortimer received a knighthood for his services to the arts in 1998. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 April 2006
Format: Paperback
Always wary of pompous judges, "their assembled lordships who like nothing less than being judged themselves," British barrister Horace Rumpole faces off against them once again, defending six new clients in this 1995 collection of stories, the author's first collection to have been written as short stories and not as adaptations of his TV scripts. Here many familiar characters continue, though their roles are much reduced in scale, compared to author John Mortimer's longer novels. The biggest and most pleasant surprise is that Rumpole's cantankerous wife Hilda, long a fixture known as "She Who Must Be Obeyed," has written her own story here, her recognizable "voice" describing her marriage and giving a new slant to our views of Rumpole.

Other stories in this collection include: "Rumpole and the Way Through the Woods," in which Rumpole deals with animal rights and foxhunting; "Rumpole and The Little Boy Lost," in which he defends a "kidnapper"; "Rumpole and the Model Prisoner," in which he deals with a feminist who wants revenge on a fellow barrister for calling her "fat"; "Rumpole and the Rights of Man," which takes him abroad to the European Court of Human Rights"; and "Rumpole and the Angel of Death," in which he defends an unabashed proponent of euthanasia who is accused of murdering his old friend, "Judge Chippy."

In each of these stories, author Mortimer treats a contemporary issue with the seriousness it deserves. At the same time, however, he uses his trademark the wit and ascerbic humor to put these issues into perspective and keep the major characters from taking themselves too seriously. Because the plots are not complex and tend to follow familiar patterns, there are few surprises, and the stories and Rumpole himself feel familiar and "comfy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
"I've never thought that those who were entirely sane would undertake the thankless task of judging their fellow human beings." 24 April 2006
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Always wary of pompous judges, "their assembled lordships who like nothing less than being judged themselves," British barrister Horace Rumpole faces off against them once again, defending six new clients in this 1995 collection of stories, the author's first collection to have been written as short stories and not as adaptations of his TV scripts. Here many familiar characters continue, though their roles are much reduced in scale, compared to author John Mortimer's longer novels. The biggest and most pleasant surprise is that Rumpole's cantankerous wife Hilda, long a fixture known as "She Who Must Be Obeyed," has written her own story here, her recognizable "voice" describing her marriage and giving a new slant to our views of Rumpole.

Other stories in this collection include: "Rumpole and the Way Through the Woods," in which Rumpole deals with animal rights and foxhunting; "Rumpole and The Little Boy Lost," in which he defends a "kidnapper"; "Rumpole and the Model Prisoner," in which he deals with a feminist who wants revenge on a fellow barrister for calling her "fat"; "Rumpole and the Rights of Man," which takes him abroad to the European Court of Human Rights"; and "Rumpole and the Angel of Death," in which he defends an unabashed proponent of euthanasia who is accused of murdering Rumpole's old friend, "Judge Chippy."

In each of these stories, author Mortimer treats a contemporary issue with the seriousness it deserves. At the same time, however, he uses his trademark wit and ascerbic humor to put these issues into perspective and keep the major characters from taking themselves too seriously. Because the plots are not complex and tend to follow familiar patterns, there are few surprises, and the stories and Rumpole himself feel familiar and "comfy."

Those who are already fans of Rumpole will love these stories, as they show Rumpole continuing his assault on hypocrisy, using the legal system and his own insights to see that justice prevails, engaging in the marital tug of war with Hilda, and enjoying his cigars, his claret, and the good fellowship of his friends. Those new to Rumpole may prefer to start by reading one of the Rumpole novels or listening to one of the full-length audiotapes instead. The additional length allows author Mortimer to develop the characters in greater depth and to highlight the humor and absurdity of some of the plots. n Mary Whipple
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Worthy addition to the Rumpole saga 26 July 1999
By Brian Hackney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this latest--is it the last?--addition to the Rumpole saga, She Who Must Be Obeyed lifts a pen and the result is "Hilda's Story", an engaging piece that shows that Mortimer is still coming up with new and entertaining angles on Rumpole. The only sour note is that "Angel of Death" rounded out the third 'Rumpole' omnibus, and the devotee fears that this could be the last. If it is, it's also one of the best.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Six more wonderful stories. 29 Jan. 2007
By S. Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Rumpole and the Angel of Death is a worthy addition to the wonderful Rumpole series. For one thing we get to see a story from "She Who Must Be Obeyed's" perspective in the story called "Hilda's Story", and we see why this couple has remained strong together for 47 years. Each of these stories is wonderful in it's own right, but I enjoyed the short story "Rumpole and the Angel of Death" the most. Rumpole is totaly endearing, and we still see the old spirit where he won't sit still and stand for something if it's something he doesn't believe in. He is also not deterred from extraneous personalities and lies in his search for the truth. He has a habit of being able to get to the nut of every matter, and lay everyone's subterfuge away, so that the truth will out. Thank heaven I still have a few Rumpole stories left to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
She who must ... writes. 11 Sept. 2001
By Gary Sprandel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sit down with a glass of Pomeroy's finest wine and settle in for a good read. Rumpole continues his battles with Judges, avoiding Chamber politics (and efficiency experts) saving Claude Eskine Brown from his failed romances, and staying in the good graces of "She who must be obeyed". Hilda gets her say in this book too, as her letter to Dodo Mackintosh details on of the cases and even she says "he was a man in his element" in the courtroom. Indeed! May Rumpole always avoid the Angel of Death!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The usual vintage, with an extra sparkle 23 July 2004
By Lynn Harnett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mortimer's 1996 collection of six Horace Rumpole stories, delivers the expected treat, with one special departure. Recounted with his usual consumate dry wit, Rumpole's solutions to murder and social mayhem in his legal chambers and at home dovetail cleverly.

But this time there's one unusual addition ? "Hilda's Story" is narrated by She Who Must Be Obeyed, giving her own take on marriage and proving a great help to a more than usually beleagured Rumpole.
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