All's Fair in Love and Law: Small Town Tales of Life, Laughter and Litigation by Alan Hammond
Dufty Dufty Popple & Dunn is a traditional solicitors' firm in the small Midlands town of Hockam (pronounced Hokum, as the local residents are at pains to point out). This heart-warming collection of stories revolves around the lives, relationships, triumphs and failures of the good people of Hockam and of the lawyers to whom they look for help. We meet the lonely dentist and his noisy neighbours, the TV celebrity chef and his complex family, the policeman and his beloved budgies, the Vicar and the Major General, the greedy beneficiary of an uncle's Will. These and many others bring their problems to Dufty Dufty Popple & Dunn to be resolved by the long-suffering and well-meaning members of the firm, all of whom have their own lives to live when time permits, from Bernard, the hapless trainee, to Hugo Dufty, the nominal senior partner. And then, of course, there are the ever-present rumours concerning Robert Popple, the former partner who departed from the firm some years previously in mysterious circumstances. The whole symphony of life portrayed here is conducted with gentle humour and charm by Hugo's father, Charles Dufty, who founded the firm fifty years ago and whose wisdom and deep understanding of the human condition helps to make sense of even the most difficult and apparently insoluble problems. In this humorous and touching debut collection, Alan Hammond paints a timeless portrait of life in a rural English town. Welcome to Hockam.