For Mrs Pargeter, it is a matter of principle that she should complete any of her late husband's unfinished business. Amongst his many bequests, perhaps the most valuable is his little black book, in which he listed all the people who ever worked for him, with details of their particular skill sets. This means that whenever Mrs P has a crime to solve, she can readily contact someone with the relevant expertise.
When the owner of Polly's Cake Shop announces her retirement, the Fethering residents start to worry about the loss of this popular amenity. Alarmed by rumours that the café might become a Starbucks, a group clubs together to form an action committee. The plan is that Polly's should become a community venture managed and run by volunteers from the village. Roped in to help, Jude finds the committee meetings fraught with petty power struggles, clashing personalities and monstrous egos.
A BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of Simon Brett's comic murder mystery, starring Bill Nighy as the irrepressible Charles Paris. Charles Paris (unsuccessful actor, bad husband, dipsomaniac) is currently appearing as a fork lift operator in a corporate video. It's not prime-time television or a major film, but it seems like easy money - until the fork lift is used to commit a murder. When Charles himself comes under suspicion, he decides to find out for himself who the murderer is.
"A stronger entry in Charles Paris series"
The life of noted man of letters Esmond Chadleigh is celebrated in the halls of Bracketts House, though most of his work remains out of print, leaving Bracketts out of funds. Carole Seddon can keep Bracketts running, in exchange for assistance on her Chadleigh biography. But the trustees are afraid the biographer is only interested in rooting out the skeletons in Chadleigh's closet, especially after uncovering one in his garden.
"Simon Brett - always fun to listen to"
A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Simon Brett's entertaining crime novel, starring Bill Nighy. Charles Paris has been resting for quite a while, so he's relieved when he is cast as Ghost of Hamlet's Father and First Gravedigger in a touring production of Hamlet. But rehearsals are a little tense - the lead roles of Hamlet and Ophelia are played by a reality TV contestant and TV talent show winner respectively, and their opinions on celebrity and the theatre differ somewhat from those of the more experienced members of the cast.
"Another excellent dramatization"
The Hopwicke Country House Hotel is to host an event for the all-male society, The Pillars of Sussex. Jude helps out on the night, and in the early hours of the morning she watches with relief as the rowdy guests drag themselves to their beds. The next morning, one young solicitor is absent from breakfast. But when Jude heads for Nigel Ackford's room, presuming he is feeling the effects of the night before, she is horrified to find him hanging from the beams of his four-poster bed.... Was it suicide? Jude has her doubts.
Invited to a Private View of the work of controversial artist Denzil Willoughby, the good citizens of Fethering are not quite sure what to expect. And it certainly turns out to be a lively affair, culminating in a confrontation between Willoughby and his ex-lover, followed by a heated argument with the gallery owner and a rival artist. But what no one could have anticipated was that the evening would end in sudden, violent death.
"Brett Never Disappoints"
Fethering's favorite sleuths are at it again. Jude and Carole Seddon find themselves in the midst of some horseplay after stumbling upon the body of ex-equestrian Walter Fleet at Long Bamber Stables. The police attribute the stabbing death to the mysterious "Horse Ripper," who's been mutilating mares across West Sussex and who Walter obviously caught in the act.
"Wonderful continuation of series."
A dinner party at an English mansion with some stuffy, not-very-close friends is not exactly Jude's cup of tea. But the practically mummified torso of a woman found in the cellar is much more up Jude's alley. Once again, the two middle-aged women from Fethering, Jude and her reluctant neighbor, Carole, find themselves embroiled in another puzzling whodunit.
"A darn good listen!"
It isn't the rain that upsets Carole Seddon during her walk on the West Sussex Downs. It isn't the dilapidated barn in which she is forced to seek shelter. No, what upsets her is the human skeleton she discovers there, neatly packed into two blue fertilizer bags.
"Quirky characters and British satire!"
Jude's life has been turned upside-down thanks her new man, Piers Targett, who's keen to get her involved in his hobby – or obsession – of Real Tennis. But when one of Piers' friends dies on the court in suspicious circumstances, Jude finds herself caught up in the police investigation. Meanwhile, Jude's neighbour Carole is trying to identify the human remains known locally as the “Lady in the Lake”.
"Simon Brett Doesn't Disappoint!"
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.
Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris with Martine McCutcheon as Jodie Ricks in this BBC Radio 4 comedy detective drama. Charles finds himself uncharacteristically employed in a film, having landed the part of Szabec, a middle management vampire in 'The Wreathing'. His co-star is swimwear model turned actress Jodie Ricks and before long, Jodie is using Charles as a confidant.
"Always a Trip to Paris!"
Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast adaptation of Simon Brett's comic crime novel An Amateur Corpse. Charles is out of work again, and to make matters worse his mother has come to stay and he's no way of escaping her. So when he's offered some voiceover work by old friend, Hugo, he's delighted to get out of the house. But Hugo's marriage is in trouble: his much younger wife, Ellie, spends all her time at her Amateur Dramatic Group, and Hugo is drinking too much.
"Bill Nighy is hysterically funny"
Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Simon Brett's novel. Charles Paris is understudying in a West End production whose star, Michael Banks, seems unable to master the script. Has Charles time to solve a murder, win Frances' heart and make it onstage by the time the curtain goes up?
"Bill Nighy Is Perfection"
Bill Nighy returns as Charles Paris: unsuccessful actor, bad husband, and dipsomaniac. Desperately in need of work, having been kicked out of his marital home, Charles jumps at playing a missing property developer in a crime-reconstruction program. But the missing person case soon turns to murder when severed body parts begin to appear.
"Well worth the sales price!"
After a long period of "resting", life is looking up for Charles Paris, who has been cast 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. But when the company reaches the first staging post of their tour, 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.
"Charles Paris is back but he hasn't changed"
Bracketts, an Elizabethan house near the town of Fethering, is about to be turned into a museum. Once the home of celebrated poet Esmund Chadleigh, it has been decided that it should now become a shrine to his life and poetry. But the transition from house to museum is running far from smoothly, and Carole soon begins to regret her decision to be on the Board as she witnesses bitter antagonism and rivalry amongst the other members. Then a sudden discovery is made.
Recently retired, Carole Seddon is residing in Fethering in the cottage she purchased with her ex-husband. There she maintains a quiet and sensible life with the companionship of Gulliver, her Labrador retriever. But everything changes when she and Gulliver, while taking their daily constitutional, find a corpse on the beach. What's more, there are two wounds on its neck. The body mysteriously disappears and the police dismiss Carole as a befuddled middle-aged woman.
"I loved it!"
The Hopwicke Country House Hotel once hosted a rich clientele. But hard times have forced Suzy Longthorne to open her doors to the Pillars of Sussex, a group of elitist businessmen. Suzy recruits Jude to help out, but the next morning, Jude discovers the body of a supposed initiate of the Pillars hanging from the beam of a bed. The police rule the death a suicide. The Pillars deny that the victim was an initiate. Jude knows both parties have something to hide, and she's determined to uncover the truth.
"Another Carol and Jude winner"