I can kind of see why these are being allowed to go out of print. They are a picture of a world long gone, law courts where anachronisms like Rumpole are still allowed to thrive and there are still the vestiges of the old fashioned thieves honour code. Having said that, it is a real shame because these are lovely, gently humorous stories with a subtle eye for social and political criticism that are in turn funny, poignant, wry and despite the bombast, oddly understated.
Rumpole is a hidden gem and should be revived immediately. For those uninitiated in the ways of Rumpole, he is a defence lawyer in the inns of courts and the books are a series of short stories, each one regarding a particular memoir of a case. These stories are also filled with wonderfully funny details about Rumpole's long suffering wife, known as She Who Must Be Obeyed and the various skirmishes he has with the other members of his team and various judges before whom he has to pit his wit.
In this collection he has a run in with a provincial theatre group, helps his boss become untangled from a compromising situation with a young socialist and fights the forces of those who wish him to retire gently into that goodnight.
Simple, funny and well worth a read.