©1978 by Simon Brett; (P)1993 by Blackstone Audiobooks
I have found myself downloading all of Simon Brett's 'Charles Paris' mysteries. They are light, but I really enjoy his characters and the atmosphere he creates. They are peopled with slightly quirky characters, but nothing beyond belief. The fact that an actor somehow finds himself caught up in all these murders should stretch belief, but the author creates a world where it seems totally plausible.
Charles Paris is my absolute favorite mystery series character. I love all the theatre lore and those wonderfully painful "reviews" inserted whenever one of his performances is mentioned. The characters are recognizable and funny without being characatures or even unsympathetic. There is lots of sly humor but also pathos.
I wish Audible had more of the Charles Paris series. I understand Simon Brett narrated one himself. I enjoy Geoffrey Howard’s narration-- he sounds like Charles Paris-- a seasoned performer who knows his way around all the various accents and personalities.
But why, oh why did they unleash Frederick Davidson on so many of his audiobooks? Am I the only person that thinks he turns every character from Lord Peter Whimsey to Bertie Wooster and God knows who else into a smoke-gasping drag queen? Nothing against drag queens but his manner of speaking is so severe and affected it overwhelms any characterization this side of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and adds a dimension to these beloved old friends I just can't get used to.
Is there any other series hero as flawed as Charles Paris? Drinks too much, unfaithful to his wife but unable to let her go as she tries to move on, mediocre in his profession - sounds pretty contemptible but in fact he is very likable and somehow I end up believing with him that it's not really his fault.
Meanwhile, as usual it is a good mystery.
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