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Rumpole Misbehaves

(Rumpole of the Bailey #15)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  952 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Beloved and bestselling Rumpole is back to solve a new and peculiar mystery

Anti-Social Behavior Orders, commonly known as ASBOs, are the New Labour government’s pride and joy. A child who plays or even loiters in an unfriendly street can, on the complaint of neighbors, have an ASBO slapped on him. If he offends again he’ll be found in breach of his ASBO and thrown in jai
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published December 31st 2007 by Viking Books (first published November 15th 2007)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  952 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Jason Koivu
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, mystery, fiction
The song remains the same, but there's something so likable about Rumpole, that old curmudgeon of a London barrister, that it doesn't matter if each book feels a little like a repeat.

On the surface, this story is just another Rumpole petty crime court case with the Timsons in-tow, however, sex slave trafficking turns out to be the seedy underbelly.

On the home front, Rumpole's wife Hilda is intrigued by the advances of a judge into studying for the bar, as well as participating in her usual pas
Jill Hutchinson
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a short book in the Rumpole series in which Rumpole hopes to be accepted as a QC and take the silk. Of course we know that it will never happen since he has teed off every judge on the bench but She Who Must Be Obeyed uses her relationship with one of the judges to push Rumpole to the forefront. In the meantime, the "Old Bailey hack" is defending one of the infamous Timsons.....this time it is a 12 year old who is accused of anti-social behavior. Not much of a case but it turns out there ...more
Marc Maitland
This was always going to be a bittersweet moment for me reading the very last of the late Sir John Mortimer, Q.C.’s Rumpole books. It is no exaggeration to say I grew up reading Rumpole, and eagerly awaited every new book as they were published over the years and, since Sir John’s death in early 2009, I knew that there were not going to be any more. And now, the last has been read. Maybe I’ll read them all over again – it is bound to be an enjoyable experience again, this time from the perspecti ...more
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once more, aging barrister Horace Rumpole, defiant to the last, takes on hopeless cases (his favorite kind) intent on winning them. What begins as an apparently trivial case of a 12-year-old Timson boy being served with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (or ASBO) soon has ties to the murder of a prostitute and a human trafficking ring.
As he fights the good fight, Rumpole must contend with being served himself with an ASBO by fellow barristers of his own chambers for consuming food and wine and smo
Karla Huebner
It's mildly peculiar that this is the first book of the renowned Rumpole series that I have read (and evidently it's the last one). I suppose the Rumpole books are simply always checked out at the library. Anyhow, I enjoyed it--it's short, funny, and a satisfying romp in which the barrister Rumpole wins a round for justice despite colleagues who tend to stand in his way.
H.William Ruback
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the show!
And I am glad to be able to add the novels to my collection.
Rumpole RULES!
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-spy
Horace Rumpole is a perpetually 70 year old barrister, comfortably ensconced in his chambers, smoking stogies, drinking Pomeroy's Very Ordinary Claret, and quoting Wordsworth. His low points (he would have you believe) are at home with his wife, She Who Must Be Obeyed. His high points are in court when he "rears up on his hind legs" for a cross-examination, battling against the prosecutor, the judge, and occasionally his partners to protect the presumption of innocence and defend his client.

Tristan MacAvery
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Rumpole becoming a QC? Hilda reading for the bar? Judge "Mad Bull" Bullingham actually supporting both applications? Has the world gone mad? Not quite, but close enough for it to be yet another delightful outing for my favorite Old Bailey hack. Few things are as delightful as revisiting these magnificent characters and seeing them spar brilliantly in and out of court. Pardon my gushing: I've yet to find a poor Rumpole story, and I'm likely to be a staunchly partisan judge of the books in this se ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
It's very ironic that I just finished reading this 2 days ago, and then heard that the author, John Mortimer, died today. I have read ALL the Rumpole books and adore them. I've also read just about everything John Mortimer wrote. The Rumpole books are wonderful and I've loved every one of them. The reason I gave this only 3 stars is that it was a little fluff of a book -- very short and the story was pretty fluffy too based on the other books. But still...Rumpole will always be one of my favorit ...more
John Mccullough
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
RUMPOLE MISBEHAVES (The Anti-Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole) by John Mortimer

How bittersweet! John Mortimer died soon after writing this last Rumpole story. It begins with Horace receiving a brief from the ever-reliable clients, the Timsons. Twelve-year-old Peter Timson is charged with anti-social behavior – retrieving a football (soccer ball here in the colonies) by a spiritual healer living in a posh town section just adjacent to the seedy Timson neighborhood. Of course, Rumpole saves the
Pam Larson
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Delightful quick read (2 hours). Rumpole fights the Anti-Social Behaviour Order laws, first for a young client, then for himself. The application of these laws seemed so ridiculous to me that I thought the author was making them up, but Wikipedia says they were actually passed in 1998.
Some of my favorite quotes:
-"Rumpole, you must move with the times."
"If I don't like the way the times are moving I shall refuse to accompany them.
- "I wasn't defending myself... I was defending the British const
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aubk, humor, 2019-read, mystery
ASBOs are the latest unfair edict against the poor and underprivileged, and Rumpole's not having it.

Anti-Social Behavior Orders are silly, rude, and nasty ways of getting at someone you don't like. Absolutely ridiculous, and yet, legal. I expect one filed against me at any moment, for laughing too loudly.

Of course, there's a more serious case, too, involving sex slaves. Bad stuff, and not conquored, but fought bravely.

John Mortimer's last gasp. Get it now. He went out fighting bad laws. Props
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been going through all of the Rumpole books in order, now only one left. I enjoyed this one, but not as much as some of the earlier books. It appears all the same ingredients are present, with a focus on Rumpole taking on the establishment, but this one didn't hit the spot perfectly. Maybe it is because Rumpole seems to be better suited to a series of short stories than a single longer work with many threads used.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A pleasure, as always, to spend some time with Rumpole. This must be one of the last Rumpole stories and the world continues to change round about him while Rumpole doesn't. That is part of the charm though the real attraction is justice being done, and being seen to be done, in court and elsewhere.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
This is classic Rumpole but not one of the best. It is essentially a sort story stretched to fill the size of a book. The Rumpole elements like poetry, Pomeroy's Chateaux Thames Embankment, She who must be obeyed, never plead guilty, etc are all present and accounted for, but the story is a bit lacking in originality. Nevertheless, it is still an enjoyable read.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely nothing in the plot or characters in this that hasn't been in at least half a dozen previous volumes and all the better for that. Happy New Year folks. You live in a world in which Rumpole has been created. It is a much better world than parallel universes where this has not yet happened.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A worthy distraction. Rumpole defends a 12-year-old accused of creating a disturbance in the course of playing football and a young clerk accused of strangling a prostitute. Those who seek justice must often travel a winding path.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Listed to this in audio. The narration was superb. My first Rumpole experience. Nothing too deep within the stories but very entertaining.
Zeb Snyder
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent conclusion to the Rumpole series, although it wasn't intended to be. I wish there were more.
Michael O'Donnell
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A light read. Same old Rumpole. Same complaints. Same villians on both sides of the law. It fit like an old friend.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The last of the Rumpoles, this was enjoyable but not quite up to the brilliance of previous outings for the old barrister.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
reading Rumpole is like deja vus all over again, but even though the plot has a familiar tinge, it is still a very pleasant read.
Ashley Abate
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This was my first try at this series and I don’t think I will continue. Cute idea though.
Andy Gore
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rumpole is glorious as a champion of subversiveness.
Vivian Lai
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished-in-2018
“The test of democracy is the tolerance shown by the majority to minority opinions. Didn’t darling John Stuart Mill say something like that?”
Still so relevant now after a decade.
A. Lieberson
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an amusing overlap of plots. Rumpole has two cases and he is accused of by the New Labor Party of anti-social behavior. Rumpole considers this restriction of his liberties. A fun read.
Miss Lilli
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first Rumpole read. It was a very quick read. Entertaining. I liked the main character. I don't think the end was written quite as well as the rest of the book.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Love this character! What a whit! Can't wait to read more in the series.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another pleasent, fun read!!
Carolyne Hay
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just VERY funny.
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John Clifford Mortimer was 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.


Other books in the series

Rumpole of the Bailey (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Rumpole of the Bailey (Rumpole of the Bailey #1)
  • The Trials of Rumpole
  • Rumpole's Return
  • Rumpole for the Defence
  • Rumpole and the Golden Thread
  • Rumpole's Last Case
  • Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (Rumpole)
  • Rumpole à la Carte
  • Rumpole on Trial
  • Rumpole and the Angel of Death

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“Rumpole, you must move with the times."

"If I don't like the way the times are moving, I shall refuse to accompany them.”
More quotes…