Charles Paris is thrilled - he’s landed a nice juicy part playing Sergeant Collins in the TV detective series, 'The Stanislaus Braid Mysteries', and his estranged wife Frances seems to be on the brink of taking him back.
But filming turns out to be a tortuous process, with pompous star Russell Bentley demanding numerous retakes and irascible author Winifred Railton constantly interrupting. To cap it all, nubile actress Lisa Stokes is crushed to death on set - and Charles finds her body.
It seems like a straightforward accident, but Charles can’t shake the suspicion that she was murdered. Can he find the killer, stay away from the booze and the women, and win back his wife?
Bill Nighy stars as alcoholic actor and amateur sleuth Charles Paris in this full-cast radio dramatisation.
©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
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"'A Series of Murders'"
When I first saw that this audiobook was only 57mins long for ?8.89, compared to the other Charles Paris audiotape which is 6hs.28mins for the same price, I thought there must have been a misprint somewhere. But being a long-time fan of both Charles Paris and Bill Nighy, I went ahead and treated myself regardless.
Was this originally a full-length book? While the 'play' was enjoyable, it felt very 'compressed', to the extent that the characters came across as two-dimensionable cardboard cut-outs. This seems to be the fault of the BBC rather than the scriptwriter, who did his/her best with the time available. Surely extending it just another half hour would have made all the difference. I don't know where the 'series' of murders came from; there were only two. However, all the cast made the best of their lines; Bill Nighy has the perfect voice for Charles Paris. But I had to listen to it twice to catch the fast bits I missed the first time. It really deserves 5 stars, unfortunately
a big thumbs down and a lost star for the BBC for skimping on the time allowed, and another lost star for the decision to price a 57mins tape at ?8.89, whoever made it. ?4 - ?5 would be a fairer price, I think.
Nevertheless, an enjoyable listen. But most definitely a 'very special treat'!
"a wonderful play, gripping and entertaining"
Nighy makes Paris's slightly seedy, but self aware and almost-past-it cad utterly convincing with a tired, sardonic wit that carries the classically styled 'who-dunnit' plot to perfection. With every double whisky and plot twist I smiled or laughed. More please.
"A couple of easy listening murders!"
A Good story line with a few twists and turns which make for an interesting listen. The play within a play works well too.
Both are good. The BBC dramatisation though brings the story forward to today, and with wonderful down to earth dialogue - you're in the heart of the crime, the play, the tangled personal relationships and their history before you know it.
Charles, Frances, Maurice ............... they're all played expertly.
Love these dramatisations.
"What long car journeys were made for"
I've listened to 2-3 of this series and thay are all excellent. The stories have excellent pace and the cast, very ably captained by the always-reliable Mr Bill Nighy, keep you engaged throughout. I also like the way that the overall production, whether by accident or design, reminds me of the very best radio plays you can hear on Radio 4, or even better, sitting in a tent listening to the radio as a boy in my parents back garden.
Very highly recommended
Fantastic Bill Nighy and cast, all of these Simon Brett stories are excellent, more please.
"short and sweet"
excellent performances and feeling
wish I'd realised this one is only an hour long. I'd not have bought it if I'd realised.
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