Dead Room Farce (Charles Paris Series #17)

Dead Room Farce (Charles Paris Series #17)

by Simon Brett
     
 

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A three-month run in a new farce, Not On Your Wife, is not to be sniffed at by jobbing actor Charles Paris. But by the time the troupe reaches Bath, a dark mood has set in, and Charles's old friend Mark has a drink problem that amounts to a death wish. But it's not the drink that kills Mark; it's somebody in the cast who has a dirty secret to hide.

Overview

A three-month run in a new farce, Not On Your Wife, is not to be sniffed at by jobbing actor Charles Paris. But by the time the troupe reaches Bath, a dark mood has set in, and Charles's old friend Mark has a drink problem that amounts to a death wish. But it's not the drink that kills Mark; it's somebody in the cast who has a dirty secret to hide.

Editorial Reviews

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
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.
Library Journal
Despite bad reviews, actor Charles Paris finds work with a company touring the provinces. Trouble accompanies him, however, in the form of two possessive women and suspicion of murder. A solid, entertaining series.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781448300211
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
12/01/2012
Series:
Charles Paris Series , #17
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
132
Sales rank:
493,041
File size:
268 KB

Meet the Author

Simon Brett (1945) is an English author and radio producer known for his detective fiction. Brett began his writing career in 1975 with his book Cast, In Order of Disappearance which began his long running Charles Paris series featuring an actor and amateur detective of the same name. His also known for his Fethering series set in an English coastal town of the same name. In 2016 he was named and Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his writing.

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