Tom Sharpe: Riotous Assembly

Plot summary

Kommandant van Heerden, who has risen to Chief of Police of Piemburg through his family connection with a ‘hero’ of Boer republicanism rather than merit, is called out to deal with a strange murder case involving the eccentric British spinster, Miss Hazelstone. It appears that Miss Hazelstone has obliterated her black cook ‘Fivepence’ with a quadruple-barreled elephant gun. A paradoxical anglophile, van Heerden is initially willing to brush the incident under the carpet, until Miss Hazelstone reveals that she and the cook were former lovers sharing a penchant for transvestism and rubber fetishism.

In his panic to stop the truth getting out, van Heerden places Miss Hazelstone under house arrest, calling in all reinforcements available in order to quarantine the area and places his assistant, the profoundly stupid and bloodthirsty Konstabel Els, on guard, carrying the same elephant gun. The chaos that follows turns a potentially sensitive political scandal into a full-blown catastrophe, one that van Heerden, his deputy Lieutenant Verkramp and Els must resolve to uphold the ‘honour’ of Piemburg and apartheid.

(source: Wikipedia)


2 responses

  1. Habeas corpus – medieval Latin meaning
    “[we, a Court, command] that you have the body [of the detainee brought before us]”

  2. a recourse in law through which a person can report an unlawful detention or imprisonment to a court and request that the court order the custodian of the person, usually a prison official, to bring the prisoner to court, to determine whether the detention is lawful

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