Judge Walden - Call the Next Case

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

The third book in the Judge Walden by Peter Murphy series is great.  A wonderful foreword by Baroness Hale of Richmond, President of the UK Supreme Court, recognises the brilliance of the book.  
Judge Walden, Resident Judge in charge at Bermondsey Crown Crown Court, alongside fellow judges Marjorie, ‘Legless’ and Hubert, is back for another round of interesting cases.
Bermondsey Crown Court is being transformed into a paperless court. Will the judges embrace this with open arms? Will such a huge change run smoothly without any technical challenges? One can foresee it will not, even without being a astrologer, such as Gerard Busby who appears before Judge Walden charged with fraud. The charge arises when Mr Busby’s client does not get the job he said she that would. Judge Walden other cases include; a bigamist, dealing with a cleaver wielding chef, a complex theft from an 92 widow and sitting outside of London as a judge in a civil trial for the first time.
This is as well as having to deal with the ‘Grey Smoothies’.
With so much to contend with it is just as well that the Judge is supported by the great cast of court staff, Jeanie and Elsie in their sandwich bar and George at his newspaper stand. However, Judge Walden’s greatest support comes from his wife, Reverend Clara, who gives much needed love as well guidance to her husband on matters such as Caesar salad dressing, Mormons and the Prophet Daniel’s choice of career.
A very amusing read by a very talented author.
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Apparently this is the 3rd outing for the Resident Judge of Bermondsey, Charlie Walden, by Peter Murphy, but my first wonderful encounter with him. With a foreword by Baroness Hale of the Supreme Court, and a prologue by Judge Rinder, this is an entertaining look at the wily, compassionate, and wise Walden's court cases which give us a well researched look at the British legal system, with a healthy dose of authentic reality with the portrayal of the grey smoothies (GSs), a source of frustration, with their overt agenda of cutting costs, often to the detriment of achieving justice. Charlie is there to ensure the right outcome arises, even if he has to deploy unorthodox, occasionally illicit, means to get there, or tweak the circumstances a little. This applies even to his efforts to ensure fellow judges, the towering legal talent that is Marjorie Jenkins and the elderly outspoken Hubert Drake are protected from incompetent and malign forces.

Charlie is married to the local vicar, the strong, direct and independent Reverend Clara Walden, unapologetically her own woman, unafraid to dissent from Church party lines, whose thoughtful sermons often end up in places that her congregation, and Charlie, are surprised by and which often go on to inform Charlie's actions in his court cases. We see the judges, with the exception of Marjorie, struggle to come to terms with the paperless court, driven by the GSs, unfortunately not backed by the resources required for such initiatives. However, the taking advantage of the elderly, which Charlie feels intensely concerned by, after all he is edging ever closer to this state, has him presiding over the paperless crime of Laura Catesby, who swindles the 92 year old Muriel Jones. We have a meat cleaver wielding chef almost lethally stabbing a customer in a Italian restaurant, an angry protester convinced she is being discriminated because of her religious faith, an astrologer on trial for fraud, an inebriated mediation session in Cambridge and a wealthy banker with a penchant for getting married.

Peter Murphy showcases his expert knowledge of the legal profession and the running of the courts. There is a gentleness and wit in the narrative, and great characters that had me totally immersed in the novel. I am sure many readers will find it an eye opening education in the quintessentially British legal system and it will appeal to those who love Rumpole of the Bailey and courtroom dramas generally. The character of Charlie is a delight, willing to break with traditions and the letter of the law when he needs to, with a tender relationship with his wife, the formidable Clara. This is a brilliantly engaging read from beginning to end. Many thanks to Oldcastle Books for an ARC.
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A book full of mild humour based on actual factual type ideas which may or may not take place, written in a nice gentle style which can’t really upset anybody. Not thought provoking just a pleasant way to spent a few hours ready a book.
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Wonderful fun involving read Judge Walden life in the courtroom the characters the cases.I am always fascinated by the world of courtrooms all that occurs. Really enjoyed reading this involving entertaining read. #netgalley #oldcastlebooks
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Gentle, fun, atmospheric, beautifully written and full of inside knowledge of the legal system as you would expect given the author's impeccable legal credentials and background, this is the third volume of Judge Walden's purported memories and accounts of cases heard in Bermondsey Crown Court, and is well up to snuff.

An easy but deeply enjoyable if unchallenging read this is great entertainment for anyone who has an interest in the criminal justice system and as one who has also had nightmare experiences of the so-called "paperless" court system I can attest to the accuracy of his astute observations.

As always, a delight from start to finish.
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