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A Decent Interval (Charles Paris) by Simon…
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A Decent Interval (Charles Paris)

by Simon Brett

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Simon Brett's books had been on my radar for quite some time, so when I found a BBC radio production of A Decent Interval - starring Bill Nighy - I had to give it a shot.

The story basically focused on an out-of-work actor who finds work as a minor part in a production of Hamlet - to his annoyance the leading roles are given to two reality tv "celebrities" who can't act. As the story goes on, Hamlet is found seriously wounded and Paris (the actor) is dragged into the who-dunnit.

As far as murder mysteries go this one was decent, but nothing to shout about. I am not sure it would have held my interest if I had read this in book form. ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
This book marked the return of Charles Paris after a break of several years during which Simon Brett concentrated on his Fethering series of novels (with alliterative titles such as "The Body on the Beach" and "Murder in the Museum"), Despite the passage of years, Charles Paris remains instantly recognisable as the down-at-heel and rather mediocre journeyman actor (and he hasn't really aged being still in his mid to late fifties) who is, to my mind, Brett's finest creation.

In this outing Charles lands a part (well, two parts, actually) in a production of Hamlet which is scheduled for a tour of provincial theatres around England before a hopefully triumphant run in London's West End. Charles is gratified to have the roles of The Ghost and the First Gravedigger, and is looking forward to an enjoyable spell of work. The title role is, however, to be taken by Jared Root, recent winner of a reality TV singing competition (clearly modelled on the X Factor) while Ophelia is to be played by Katrina Selsy who had landed the part as her prize for winning a similar television competition.

It soon becomes clear that Jared Root can't act at all, while Katrina Selsey has delusions of stardom way beyond her as yet untested talent. Just before the opening night in Marlborough, first stop on the provincial run of the production, part of the stage set falls down, seriously wounding Root. And then Katrina Selsey dies under strange circumstances. Charles decides to investigate.

The Charles Paris novels are always amusing, filled with Brett's insight into the trials and tribulations of an actor's life (exacerbated by Charles's relentless drinking). This latest in the series is well up to standard, and proved most enjoyable. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Oct 19, 2015 |
Charles Paris is back! After a break of several years during which he has concentrated on his Fethering series of novels (with alliterative titles such as "The Body on the Beach" and "Murder in the Museum"), Simon Brett has returned to Charles Paris, the down-at-heel and rather mediocre journeyman actor who is, to my mind, his finest creation.

In this outing Charles lands a part (well, two parts, actually) in a production of Hamlet which is scheduled for a tour of provincial theatres around England before a hopefully triumphant run in London's West End. Charles is gratified to have the roles of The Ghost and the First Gravedigger, and is looking forward to an enjoyable spell of work. The title role is, however, to be taken by Jared Root, recent winner of a reality TV singing competition (clearly modelled on the X Factor) while Ophelia is to be played by Katrina Selsy who had landed the part as her prize for winning a similar television competition.

It soon becomes clear that Jared Root can't act at all, while Katrina Selsey has delusions of stardom way beyond her as yet untested talent. Just before the opening night in Marlborough, first stop on the provincial run of the production, part of the stage set falls down, seriously wounding Root. And then Katrina Selsey dies under strange circumstances. Charles decides to investigate.

The Charles Paris novels are always amusing, filled with Brett's insight into the trials and tribulations of an actor's life (exacerbated by Charles's relentless drinking). This latest in the series is well up to standard, and proved most enjoyable. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Jul 15, 2014 |
witty and fun. ( )
  pnorman4345 | May 14, 2014 |
Charles Paris is back! After a break of several years during which he has concentrated on his Fethering series of novels (with alliterative titles such as "The Body on the Beach" and "Murder in the Museum"), Simon Brett has returned to Charles Paris, the down-at-heel and rather mediocre journeyman actor who is, to my mind, his finest creation.

In this outing Charles lands a part (well, two parts, actually) in a production of Hamlet which is scheduled for a tour of provincial theatres around England before a hopefully triumphant run in London's West End. Charles is gratified to have the roles of The Ghost and the First Gravedigger, and is looking forward to an enjoyable spell of work. The title role is, however, to be taken by Jared Root, recent winner of a reality TV singing competition (clearly modelled on the X Factor) while Ophelia is to be played by Katrina Selsy who had landed the part as her prize for winning a similar television competition.

It soon becomes clear that Jared Root can't act at all, while Katrina Selsey has delusions of stardom way beyond her as yet untested talent. Just before the opening night in Marlborough, first stop on the provincial run of the production, part of the stage set falls down, seriously wounding Root. And then Katrina Selsey dies under strange circumstances. Charles decides to investigate.

The Charles Paris novels are always amusing, filled with Brett's insight into the trials and tribulations of an actor's life (exacerbated by Charles's relentless drinking). This latest in the series is well up to standard, and proved most enjoyable. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Sep 29, 2013 |
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Enduring his part in a touring production of Hamlet that features drama-prone reality television contest winners in the lead roles, actor and amateur detective Charles Paris investigates a suspicious accident that has killed a company member.

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