A Decent Interval (Charles Paris Series #18)

A Decent Interval (Charles Paris Series #18)

5.0 1
by Simon Brett
     
 

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After a long period of ‘resting’, life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast as the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father and First Gravedigger in a new production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are fraught. Ophelia is played by Katrina Selsey, who won the role through a television talent show. Hamlet himself is also played by a reality TV contestant,

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Overview

After a long period of ‘resting’, life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast as the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father and First Gravedigger in a new production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are fraught. Ophelia is played by Katrina Selsey, who won the role through a television talent show. Hamlet himself is also played by a reality TV contestant, Jared Root – and the two young stars have rather different views of celebrity and the theatre than the more experienced members of the cast. But when the company reach the first staging post of their tour, the Grand Theatre Marlborough, matters get more serious, with one member of the company seriously injured in what appears to be an accident, and another dead. Once again, Charles Paris is forced to don the mantle of amateur detective to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brett’s actor-sleuth, Charles Paris, makes a long-overdue comeback in his droll 18th outing (after 1998’s Dead Room Farce). Paris, a has-been, is delighted to get steady work in a new, offbeat English production of Hamlet, featuring reality-show stars Jared Root and Katrina Selsey as Hamlet and Ophelia, and set inside a gigantic model of the Danish prince’s skull. Root’s lack of acting talent raises the tension level on the production, as do his and Selsey’s efforts to out-diva each other. Before long, an “accident” and a murder allow Paris the chance to play amateur sleuth again. Golden-age fans will appreciate the fair-play whodunit, which demonstrates that the form can be adapted to a contemporary setting. Satirical touches, such as Paris’s reaction to a documentary about the 1455 Battle of St. Albans partially set in a shopping mall, keep the atmosphere on the lighter side. Brett has a rare gift for balancing humor and detection. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

“Brett has a rare gift for balancing humor and detection”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review of  A Decent Interval

"A cheeky sendup of TV competition shows, tweeting, texting and backstage egos".
Kirkus Reviews on A Decent Interval

" Two Hamlets, two Ophelias, a range of jostling egos, stage history and lore, and the wry figure of Paris himself make this more than worth the price of admission."
Booklist Starred Review of A Decent Interval

Kirkus Reviews
After a 16-year absence, reprobate actor Charles Paris totters back on stage. Still not quite ready for stardom, Charles Paris is grateful to accept the dual roles of First Gravedigger and Father's Ghost in Tony Copeland's road-company production of Hamlet, to be directed by Ned English, whose outré artistic sensibilities demand that the stage set be a replica of the interior of Hamlet's skull. To fill seats, Copeland has hired television pop stars Jared Root and Katrina Selsey to play the doomed lovers. And that's when everything goes wrong. Jared is hospitalized when a bit of the set's parietal bone falls on him; Katrina falls dead when she switches dressing rooms, pokes her eye with a doctored mascara wand and sags backward off a chair. Who's to blame? The understudies, of course, who now have the starring roles. But Charles, lubricating his synapses with pints at the pub and nips of Bell's whiskey at home, has other ideas, which include sexual fantasies about the actress playing Gertrude, romantic notions about getting back together with his wife, Frances, and, in the odd moment when he's not thinking about drinking or shagging, wondering who else in the troupe might have a motive. Katrina's personal manager lacks a persuasive alibi. The assistant stage manager seems to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hamlet's understudy, now replaced by a young man Copeland is grooming for stardom, is seething. So is most of the supporting cast, and the nymphet the director is bonking wants to play Ophelia. The show, however, must go on, though it's destined never to reach London's West End. A cheeky sendup of TV competition shows, tweeting, texting and backstage egos. If the plot recalls that of Brett's Sicken and So Die (1997), well, that was funny too, even if both their final acts could have used a bit of tweaking.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780104126
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/2013
Series:
Charles Paris Series , #18
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
566,488
File size:
650 KB

Meet the Author

Simon Brett worked as a producer in radio and television before taking up writing full-time. As well as the Charles Paris series, he is the author of the much-loved Fethering mysteries and the Mrs Pargeter novels. He lives in an Agatha Christie-style village in the South Downs.

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