The Charles Paris Mysteries

I don’t usually stray from writing about gaming or warhammer but recently my wife and I have been listening to the excellent Charles Paris audio books from the BBC. They are based on a series of books (I admittedly haven’t read) by Simon Brett and adapted for radio by Jeremy Front. The stories follow a struggling late middle-aged actor who somehow ends up being in the middle of a murder investigation in pretty much every show he is in.

The stories follow a pretty consistent formula; in episode 1, Charles will get a part in a show, then he gets to know the cast and the politics of the situation and then a murder generally occurs. The following 3 episodes (there are almost always 4 in a series) is Charles investigating the murder in his own partiuclar style and potenitally stumbling across a couple more murders along the way. The body count across all of the Charles Paris Mysteries isn’t too far off an average for an episode of Midsomer Murders!

What makes the audio books so good though is the production and the cast. The production is spot on, with particularly good music choices to intersect each scene. The cast has the excellent Bill Night and his dulcet tones as Charles; his performance is the standout and really makes the programme. The supporting cast are also excellent, with his long-suffering wife Frances played by Suzanne Burden and his infuriating agent by Jon Glover.

I can highly recommend all of the Charles Paris Mysteries on audio but if you want to find one to start my top 3 are (all links are to Amazon.co.uk):

  1. Corporate Bodies

  2. A Reconstructed Corpse

  3. A Decent Interval

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