A Comedian Dies (Charles Paris Series #5)

A Comedian Dies (Charles Paris Series #5)

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by Simon Brett
     
 

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About to receive an award as Most Promising Newcomer, a rising young stage comedian sensationally drops dead on stage at the start of his act: as he picks up the mike, he is electrocuted. Faulty wiring seems to be the cause and a verdict of death by misadventure is returned at the inquest. But actor/detective Charles Paris was in the audience that night and

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Overview

About to receive an award as Most Promising Newcomer, a rising young stage comedian sensationally drops dead on stage at the start of his act: as he picks up the mike, he is electrocuted. Faulty wiring seems to be the cause and a verdict of death by misadventure is returned at the inquest. But actor/detective Charles Paris was in the audience that night and when another member of the cast reveals that the comedian checked his equipment just before the performance, Charles decides to investigate further. Misadventure – or murder?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
'Not On Your Wife!' is a poor excuse for a stage comedy, all dropped trousers and double entendres. But then Charles Paris is a poor excuse for an actor -- and husband, father and lover. Yet he's proved to be an enduring amateur sleuth, whose cases take place during his sporadic moments of gainful employment. This latest dire dramatic vehicle is debuting in Bath, and Charles, between boozing bouts with his beloved Bells whiskey and romantic bouts with Cookie Stone, an aging actress unaccountably smitten with him, has landed a nice gig on the side reading books on tape. Mark Lear is in charge of the recording facility. He's a former BBC man and a bigger and more bitter drunk than Charles. His lover, Lisa Wilson, is concerned. Charles fancies Lisa more than poor Cookie and gets a rare chance to act chivalrous when Mark dies and all the signs (especially a locked sound room as the likely place of death) point to foul play. Brett is no stranger to the dramatic arts; his A Shock to the System was a Michael Caine movie, and he scripted a popular sitcom on British television. His characters are all priceless -- haughty ham actors, melodramatic drunks, driven company hacks. The play itself is trite and bawdy and rendered by the author with leering panache. Charles is once again in for bloody awful reviews, but he does find the killer after discovering that Mark once supplemented his wages with the manufacture of gay audiotapes that starred a few names familiar to Charles. Brett, who remains better known on his own side of the pond, is a master of breezy, boozy buffoonery.
Marilyn Stasio
. . .Brett. . .has not exhausted his witty ways of sending up the theater and all the benighted souls who gladly make asses of themselves in its cause. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Rolling-stone actor/detective Charles Paris has fallen away from the relative good fortune he enjoyed in Sicken and So Die(1997): Separated again from his eternally undivorced wife, he's reduced to touring in a frisky sex farce whose thoroughly professional author is in no hurry to get the lines right. The star, Bernard Walton, is a frigid egoist who gives his supporting cast no help and precious little eye contact; he's joined by bluff sponger Ransome George, Pippa Trewin, an ingenue over her head, and sexy stooge Cookie Stone. Not a warm heart among the lot, unless you count Cookie's dispatch in taking Charles to bed, and even that little exercise, in the peerlessly inexpert manner of Charles's amours, turns out to be more trouble than it's worth. One fine day the company travels to a studio, on the outskirts of Bath, to record a radio ad for the play for ex-BBC producer Mark Lear, and soon after they leave, Lisa Wilson, who's more than just a partner to Mark, finds his dead body locked in an airless recording room. Accident, suicide, or murder? Mark's unlovely ex, smacking her lips over an insurance payoff for her children, wants Charles to prove that Mark couldn't have killed himself, but the gentle reader is most likely to remain indifferent. Much civilized mirth over Charles's equally incontinent drinking, wenching, and acting, though the mystery itself produces scarcely a peep. Strictly for fans who wouldn't miss a single one of Charles' hapless performances.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781448300044
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
06/01/2012
Series:
Charles Paris Series , #5
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
130
Sales rank:
687,344
File size:
381 KB

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A Comedian Dies (Charles Paris Series #5) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
RandeeBaty More than 1 year ago
A Comedian Dies is the 5th book in the Charles Paris series. I’ve read reviews of books in this series where the reviewers have commented that there is no one to like in the story. This is the first one I’ve read where that is almost true. Charles and Francis are taking a vacation together to see if they can fix their marriage. While attending a variety show in the seaside town where they are staying, the lead comedian is electrocuted. Violent death never seems to be far from Charles! Naturally, he refuses to believe that the death is an accident and begins to investigate it. In the show is an old comedian who is well past his hayday and looking to get back on top. His partner in his old comedy routine has been dead for a long time and through the course of events Charles is asked to reproduce that part which gives him an opportunity to stay involved with all the suspects. No one involved in the story is likeable except Charles. They all seem to be show business stereotypes that would be unpleasant to be around. As always, Simon Brett nails his characters and they are imminently believable. There is a lot of discussion about what is funny, what comedy is and how comedians work. I found this to be quite enlightening. Simon Brett knows his show business!