A Lifetime Achievement Award for John Mortimer

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The Strand Magazine has announced that the 2009 Strand Critics Lifetime Achievement Award goes to John Mortimer.

United Agents are extremely pleased that Sir John Mortimer has been given this award at this time of his life and would like to thank Andrew Gulli from Strand Magazine for helping to promote the Rumpole name in the United States.

Famed British writer and barrister Sir John Mortimer has won a lifetime achievement award sponsored by The Strand Magazine and judged by several critics from top daily papers in the U.S.

In addition to once being one of London's top barristers, Mortimer has written numerous successful plays, screenplays and novels, and is most renown for creating the curmudgeonly defender Horace Rumpole of The Old Bailey.

"I feel honoured to be chosen to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Horace Rumpole," said Mortimer, 85, in a statement Wednesday. "He is, of course, a truly British character and I am delighted that he has come to be appreciated so much by his American cousins."

"I think that John Mortimer has made an excellent contribution to crime writing," said Andrew Gulli, managing editor of The Strand. "When you think about larger-than-life mystery characters, you think of iconic characters like of Holmes, Poirot, Marlowe and Rumpole "

The first pair of Strand Critics awards were given last year to Laura Lippman, for best mystery novel, and Marcus Sakey, for best first mystery novel. This is the first year that a lifetime achievement award will be presented.

Mortimer has written 13 short stories that have appeared in The Strand. In 2003, "Rumpole and The Primrose Path" was nominated for an Edgar Award. According to Strand associate publisher Frank Simon, "Mortimer is the new Strand's equivalent of Conan Doyle -- with the years, his work if anything has gotten better."

Since publishing Rumpole of the Bailey in 1978, Mortimer has authored more than 20 novels and short story collections featuring Rumpole, which have made the character a worldwide success. The books also spawned a television series, starring Leo McKern, which lasted from 1978-1992 and was a successful staple for years in the U.S. on Mobil's Mystery! Series.

On hearing news of the achievement award, Mortimer's agent, Carol Macarthur, said, "United Agents are extremely pleased that Sir John Mortimer has been given this award at this time of his life and would like to thank Andrew Gulli from Strand Magazine for helping to promote the Rumpole name in the United States."

The award will be presented at an invitation-only cocktail party, hosted by The Strand in July, in New York City. For more information, please contact Christine Jones at 248 569 3702 or visit http://www.strandmag.com

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