Wig Begone by Charles Courtney
Charles, a newly qualified lawyer without a penny to his name, plunges into the archaic world of the Bar as it was thirty-five years ago. After a stroke of beginners’ luck – and a taste of good living – he soon becomes established in practice battling away in the criminal courts, conducting court-martials in Germany and on one horrifying occasion actually appearing in a commercial court, “winding up ” companies of which he knows nothing! He encounters a wide range of clients including an Italian motorist charged with assault, who claims to have been savagely attacked by an elderly lollipop man wielding his road sign. On top of that, there are instructing solicitors who never pay him and even one who has departed this world altogether yet still manages to operate on a shadowy basis from the vicinity of Bow Road in East London. Court-martials take Charles abroad where he encounters a German policeman’s dog whose canine expertise is deemed to be perfectly sound evidence and samples a night out on the other side of the infamous Berlin wall just making it back to the safety of the West. Wig Begone is an exhilarating tale of Charles’ early career with disaster often lurking round the corner and culminating in his own appearance in front of England’s most notorious judge!
I have always enjoyed reads that surround a court setting. I have no idea what the fascination is, but you can imagine years back I poured through many a John Grisham read for the thrill of the court cases, and more currently Jodi Piccoult.
Wig Begone however was a little bit of a different read for me. Following the early career of Charles Courtley and his steps as well as miss-steps through those still “wet behind the ears” years. The interesting thing about this read, is that the author is really Robert Seymour, a newly retired Judge who had once been a barrister. This book, under the pen name Charles Courtley, is really a recap of the trials and errors of Robert’s career. (yes, pun intended)
What started out as Robert Seymour’s memoir turned into this somewhat witty tale, that I found to be a welcome break from the usual court case reads I enjoy. Quick paced, I loved the inner look of the court from the first person view of Charles. Occasionally laughing out loud, and one incident where I actually choked on the popcorn I was eating while I read.
Did I enjoy the book?
Guilty as charged.
Book Journey has updated the 2010 reading map to include Wig Begone
I read this book as part of a Pump Up Your Blog Tour