Walden of Bermondsey by Peter Murphy @noexitpress #Walden



When Charlie Walden took on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he was hoping for a quiet life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their job, and about how Charlie should do his.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the humourless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilisation.

No hope of a quiet life then for Charlie, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.

‘No one writes with more wit, warmth and insight about the law and its practitioners than Peter Murphy. He has no equal since the great John ‘Rumpole’ Mortimer’ – David Ambrose

‘Though his exasperation is sometimes palpable, what triumphs over everything is his sense of humour. And it is the humour that makes Walden of Bermondsey such a delightful read. Think of him as what Rumpole would be like if he ever became a judge, and you get some idea of his self-deprecating wit and indomitable stoicism. Add a dash of Henry Cecil for his situation and AP Herbert for the fun he has with the law, and you get a sense of his literary precedents’ – Paul Magrath



I originally read the sample story from this book which is a separate download and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have seen gone on to read the full book now. I got quite a feel for Walden in the first story and must say the rest of this book has been a treat. There are six stories in total so they can be broken down to manageable read in one session stories.

I loved reading about not only the cases but the ins and outs of how the court worked, and on occasion the mischief and deals that were got up to behind the scenes. You really get the whole bundle with this book. Walden is a real fair man who confides in his wife’s better judgement at times. He calls her the ‘Reverend’, definitely my favourite character in the book. She always puts a new spin on the cases that he is struggling with.

The court has three other Judges too, Judge Rory ‘Legless’ Dunblane, Judge Herbert Drake and Judge Marjorie Jenkins. One of my favourite stories in the book was about ‘Legless’ and his directing the jury before sending them out to deliberate, it was hilarious. What it does is open up the extreme variety of cases that come to court and how much tradition is followed.

There are some bizarre cases that seriously worry Walden, the sort of cases that could bring attention to a judge that will make or break him. Walden is happy to fly under the radar of these and work towards his portrait hanging on the wall as a Judge severed his time and retired. I hope to see more of these characters very soon in a series.  Really enjoyed this collection of stories.


Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy graduated from Cambridge University and spent a career in the law, as an advocate, teacher, and judge. He has worked both in England and the United States, and served for several years as counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. He has written seven novels: two political thrillers about the US presidency, Removal and Test of Resolve; five historical/legal thrillers featuring Ben Schroeder, A Higher Duty, A Matter for the Jury,  And is there Honey still for Tea?, The Heirs of Owain Glyndwr and Calling Down the Storm. He lives in Cambridgeshire.

This first story in the book can be downloaded free from Amazon by clicking the link below:


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