By popular demand: a welcome return for Simon Brett's actor detective Charles Paris, last seen in 1997's Dead Room Farce .
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.
About the Author
Simon Brett worked as a producer in radio and television before taking up writing full-time. He is the author of the much-loved Fethering mysteries, Charles Paris series and the Mrs Pargeter novels. In 2014 he was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's prestigious Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence and contribution to crime writing. He lives in an Agatha Christie-style village in the South Downs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
....And not soon enough. I've really missed what author Brett terms "the old reprobate" Charles Paris. This time the often down-and-out (and unemployed) actor has landed two small parts in a new production of Hamlet. Ambitious and temperamental young stars, an over-the-hill director, a powerful and ruthless producer and assorted other characters make for a long list of suspects when two "accidental" deaths occur backstage during the early days of production. Charles's sharp eye for details, not to mention his past experiences with amateur sleuthing, come to his aid when he intuits that more was going on than meets the eye and begins doing an investigation of his own. As always, there are some humorous moments. Most hilarious for this reader are Charles's reviews for past performances which are inserted when he recalls a particular play ("As the Detective Inspector, Charles Paris was about as menacing as a kitten" - Coventry Evening Telegraph). What is sad and depressing, however, is Charles's continuing alcoholism and the shattered relationships and isolation his dependency has caused. I keep hoping that Charles will receive help with this in a future entry in this series - who knows? it might make him a better sleuth than ever.