Bittersweet. There are five enjoyable short stories in a collection from the late John Mortimer titled, A Rumpole Christmas. Fans of the PBS series Rumpole of the Bailey will recognize a familiar cast of character from Horace Rumpole himself, to his wife Hilda (“She Who Must Be Obeyed”), to his chambers colleagues and recalcitrant judges, as well as charming rogues. Each story is set around Christmas and presents a perfect mix and the familiar and the new. John Mortimer died in early 2009, and while these stories had been published individually in English periodicals, this is the first time they appear in a collection. I had a bittersweet reaction as I finished the last story with the realization that I may have read all the Rumpole that has been written. So, I drained the glass of my equivalent of Chateau Thames Embankment and poured another, offering a toast of thanks to Mortimer for creating such a great character. Any reader will find something to like in each of the five stories in A Rumpole Christmas.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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