FOR those of a certain age (i.e. anyone born in the last century) one word will be sufficient to evoke fond memories of unmissable criminal court dramas. A reminder of tantalisingly clever tales rich in humour, wry comment and a panoply of credible and almost loveable rogues. And that word is Rumpole. Horace Rumpole, barrister. Irascible and grumpy. Denizen of the Old Bailey. Scourge of judges, fellow legal eagles and the police in almost equal measure. Pricker of the pretentious and the pompous. Fondly regarded by London’s underworld as the go-to man when “up before the beak”, he made a… Continue reading

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IN the words of advice so often given, it was time to “get out more”; extend my horizons. Not physically, but in more mentally stimulating terms. Specifically, to broaden the reading experience, to redress the balance of genres ingested in my reading time. A glance at my bookshelves provided ample proof; without going into great detail, they are excessively weighted in favour of crime fiction. And I underplay the situation by saying “excessively”; more like, “over the top”. It was not always thus. In more settled times and with ample house room available, the “library” was much bigger, more expansive,… Continue reading