When your life at the Bar has been as rich as Rumpole's, the past is best avoided - who knows what might have happened to ex-defendants? Still, it keeps intruding on the present. When Rumpole takes a break in the country, he's sure he's met the local squire before. And that pantomime dame at the Tufnell Park Empire seems familiar . . .
Of course, some things - Pommeroy's Wine Bar, She Who Must Be Obeyed - never changed anyway. But now, for the first time, Rumpole appears for an asylum seeker at the Appeals Tribunal, and - horror of horrors - his chambers have become a smoke-free zone. Could it all be too much for Rumpole? Might he have to hang up his wig for good?