“The Best of Rumpole” is a collection of seven Rumpole stories personally selected by the author John Mortimer and considered by him to be the best among those he has written so far.
Horace Rumpole is an old barrister practising at The Old Bailey, the criminal court in London, who is willing to defend anyone at all, who loves to quote verse and who secretly refers to his wife Hilda as “She Who Must Be Obeyed”.
The stories presented in this book are really nice and are particularly enjoyable if you appreciate the British style of subtle humour. There usually is a mystery that must be resolved in every story but it is not as pronounced in a given story as in other examples of detective fiction. The author is a former practising barrister himself and therefore writes convincingly about the lives of barristers. Particularly amusing is the description of the interaction between barristers and judges, both in the court and out of it.