Sir John Mortimer was an English lawyer and author who was best known for his Rumpole series of books. As a young man he had hopes of being an actor and then a writer, but his father encouraged him to get into the law. During his law career he worked in defense of many high profile obscenity cases including defending Gay News editor on charges of blasphemous libel and Virgin Records over their use of the work “bollocks” for the famous Sex Pistols album.

It was the barrister Horace Rumpole that was ultimately Mortimer’s greatest contribution. The character was created based on his father and debuted on BBC Play for Today played by Leo McKern. The short was such a success that it later became it’s own series.

Publication Order of Rumpole of the Bailey Books

Rumpole of the Bailey (1978)Description / Buy at
Rumpole’s Return (1980)Description / Buy at
The Trials of Rumpole (1981)Description / Buy at
Regina V. Rumpole (1981)Description / Buy at
Rumpole for the Defence (1982)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Golden Thread (1983)Description / Buy at
Rumpole for the Prosecution (1986)Description / Buy at
Rumpole's Last Case (1988)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1989)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Age for Retirement (1989)Description / Buy at
Rumpole a La Carte (1991)Description / Buy at
Rumpole on Trial (1992)Description / Buy at
The Best of Rumpole (1993)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Younger Generation (1995)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Angel of Death (1995)Description / Buy at
Rumpole Rests His Case (2002)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Primrose Path (2003)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders (2004)Description / Buy at
Rumpole and the Reign of Terror (2006)Description / Buy at
The Anti-Social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole / Rumpole Misbehaves (2007)Description / Buy at
Rumpole at Christmas / A Rumpole Christmas (2009)Description / Buy at
Forever Rumpole (2011)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Rapstone Chronicles Books

Paradise Postponed (1985)Description / Buy at
Titmuss Regained Tie In (1990)Description / Buy at
The Sound of Trumpets (1998)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Charade (1947)Description / Buy at
Like Men Betrayed (1953)Description / Buy at
The Narrowing Stream (1954)Description / Buy at
Summer's Lease (1985)Description / Buy at
Dunster (1992)Description / Buy at
Felix In The Underworld (1996)Description / Buy at
Quite Honestly (2005)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Chapbooks

The Scales of Justice (2005)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Plays

A Voyage Round My Father. John Mortimer (1971)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Fear Of Heaven (1978)Description / Buy at
Clinging to the Wreckage (1982)Description / Buy at
Character Parts (1986)Description / Buy at
The Oxford Book of Villains (1992)Description / Buy at
Murderers and Other Friends (1994)Description / Buy at
The Summer of a Dormouse (2000)Description / Buy at
Where There's a Will (2003)Description / Buy at
Zerah Colburn - Spirit of Darkness (2005)Description / Buy at
In Other Words (2008)Description / Buy at

Publication Order of Anthologies

Great Law and Order Stories(1990)Description / Buy at
Death Cruise: Crime Stories on the Open Seas(1999)Description / Buy at
Fanfare: Fourteen Stories on a Musical Theme(1999)Description / Buy at
Murder Most Merry(2002)Description / Buy at
Midsummer Nights(2009)Description / Buy at
A Christmas Anthology(2011)Description / Buy at

If You Like John Mortimer Books, You’ll Love…

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders is a full-length novel that tells the long-awaited story of Rumpole’s first case. A an is accused of murdering his father and his father’s friend with a pistol taken from a dead German pilot. This is the case and trial that put Rumpole on the map and helped shape him into the barrister that he would become. This book is considered a great jumping on point for new readers as well as a must-read story for fans of the classic character.

The character of Rumpole is very much of his era, but that idea was thrown for a loop in Rumpole and the Reign of Terror as he is given a very modern case in our new world. He is asked to defend a Pakistani doctor who has been imprisoned for suspicion of aiding Al Qaeda. The man has not been charged or put on trial and it is up to Rumpole to set things right. Meanwhile, his wife is causing him some problems as well as she threatens to write a tell-all memoir.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of John Mortimer Books

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