Actor and reluctant sleuth Charles Paris is facing chaos on the domestic front. He's lodging with his ex-wife Frances, and now their pregnant daughter has moved in as well. It's all a bit much....
So he is over the moon when he lands a job on the BBC Radio Rep - but the ink is barely dry on his contract when a murder takes place in Broadcasting House. A young female studio manager is found dead in an editing suite, and Charles steps in to investigate.
With a distinguished cast including Bill Nighy as Charles Paris, Suzanne Burden as Frances, and featuring Charlotte Green as herself, this four-part drama, adapted by Jeremy Front, is sheer listening pleasure.
©2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
I will never know why Simon Brett stopped writing his wonderful books starring Charles Paris. I find his other books unreadable. The plots of this series are reasonable, but the world of theatre and the comedy element are wonderfully realised, especially when voiced by Bill Nighy who was born to play Charles Paris.
If Simon Brett's name appears as author or producer I will buy it without hesitation. He is a master at creating good thrillers, full of suspense and good twists in the tale. He manages to do this too with a great deal of dark humour. This is a light world of crime - one can listen to this in bed at night without having nightmares! Thouroughly enjoyable and the main actor gives a splendid performance as the half-sloshed Charles Paris.
Never having read or listened to any of Simon Brett's work, I took a chance on this based on someone else's positive review. I am very glad that I did so. It introduced me to a new amateur 'sleuth', Charles Paris, splendidly portrayed by Bill Nighy. Enjoyed the whole experience and have to say, I've since treated myself to several early nights, with the naughty but sublimely sexy voice of Bill Nighy, (sorry, Charles Paris) murmuring in my ear!
I love Paris in the Springtime - anytime - as long as he's performed by Bill Nighy. He is so listenable that I can't put him down. Entertaining; I'll say!
The 25% off this audio-book was a real attraction, as it is less than two hours long. I'm guessing that it was originally a BBC broadcast as it is divided into four episodes, with an annoying cast list at the end of each one. The storyline is not bad, but I found the domestic intrusions to be tiresome verging on irritating, and soon lost interest in Charles Parris' shrill daughter - small wonder he left home!
The performance seemed crowded with noise of one kind or another, and that, coupled with the actors' tendency to speak their lines really fast, rather spoiled it for me, even though all the cast gave good performances. The plotline was fair to middling; not one of Simon Brett's best in my opinion, but maybe that was due to changes made during the adaptation (one particular scene with Bill Nighy had me cringing).
All in all, not one of my better buys from Audible.
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This is superb. Laconically brilliant. It may be short .. but well worth spending a credit on.
"Bill Nighy on tip, top form"
There's an excellent cast in this audio drama, which helps whisk you along the nearly two hours of drama in and out of BBC Broadcasting House. The plot loses quite a bit from the novel, as often happens with radio dramatisations but Bill Nighy is really perfectly cast as Simon Brett's morose amateur sleuth - and there's a wonderful cameo by Charlotte Green which will bring a smile to the most intense Radio 4 listener!
Although based on a novel written in 1980, this Charles Paris outing has production values, a soundtrack and pace that ensure you're whisked through the two hours of old-fashioned sleuthing with a wonderful modern twist.
I love these audiobooks that are like the old-time radio shows with different readers for each role. It's much more absorbing than a single reader. The Charles Paris character seems a little dated, but the story moved along quickly and the dialog was witty. I wish there was a greater variety of BBC Radio Crimes.
"We need more of this type of radio drama!"
I'm greatly enjoying the Charles Paris BBC dramas - the music alone is a blast from the past; the actors are pitch-perfect; and the stories a lot of fun. I know Charles would not be much fun to know or live with, in reality, but he is such a wonderful scoundrel to hear from as he continues to live in a state of scotch-fueled non-divorce with his long-suffering wife Frances. The scene where he's a stand-in in his daughter's prenatal class is particularly memorable; as is the anniversary scene in "A Reconstructed Corpse." If you like radio drama with a sense of humor, these are for you.
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