Riotous Assembly

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Riotous Assembly
Author Tom Sharpe
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Secker & Warburg
Publication date
Pages 204
ISBN 0-330-23423-4
Preceded by -
Followed by Indecent Exposure

Riotous Assembly is the debut novel[1] of British comic writer Tom Sharpe, written[1] and originally published in 1971.[2] Set in the fictitious South African town of Piemburg, Riotous Assembly lampoons South African apartheid,[1] and the police who enforced it.

Plot summary

Kommandant van Heerden, who has risen to Chief of Police of Piemburg through family connections rather than merit, is called out to deal with a strange murder case involving the eccentric British spinster, Miss Hazlestone. It appears that Miss Hazlestone has obliterated her black cook with a quadruple-barreled elephant gun. As a great believer in apartheid South Africa, van Heerden is initially willing to brush the incident under the carpet, until Miss Hazlestone reveals that she and the cook were former lovers who engaged in some extremely unseemly fantasies. In his panic to stop the truth getting out, van Heerden resorts to placing Miss Hazlestone under house arrest, calling in all the reinforcements he can to quarantine the area and placing his assistant, the profoundly stupid and bloodthirsty Konstabel Els, on guard with the elephant gun. The chaos that follows turns a potentially sensitive political scandal into a full-blown catastrophe, one that van Heerden, his deputy Lieutenant Verkamp and Els must resolve to uphold the honour of Piemburg and apartheid.


  1. ^ a b c "Tom Sharpe, Porterhouse Blue novelist, dies aged 85". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Full Record; Riotous Assembly". Integrated Catalogue. British Library. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 

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