Joining the cast of a musical loosely based on She Stoops to Conquer, actor/detective Charles Paris is soon regretting his decision, irked as he is by the odious theatre and television star who is backing, producing and starring in the show. But when rehearsals are hampered by a strange series of mishaps, including the rehearsal pianist being shot in the hand and an actor falling and breaking his leg, Paris investigates and quickly decides that the...
'Dear Old Shakespeare!' Charles Paris can hardly wait. He's already endured the amateur theatre company's production of 'Dear Old Chekhov'. God only knows what this self-centred group will do to the Bard. But before Charles can escape to the nearest bar, the company's young and beautiful leading lady turns up dead, Charles's friend Hugo is charged with the crime, and Charles's interest is very much revived.
About to receive an award as Most Promising Newcomer, a rising young stage comedian sensationally drops dead on stage at the start of his act: as he picks up the mike, he is electrocuted. Faulty wiring seems to be the cause and a verdict of death by misadventure is returned at the inquest. But actor/detective Charles Paris was in the audience that night and when another member of the cast reveals that the comedian checked his equipment just before...
West End TV are planning a new sit-com series called The Strutters and Charles Paris has landed the role of a golf club barman. But when, one by one, members of the production crew start falling victim to mysterious 'accidents', Paris finds himself on the trail of a mass murderer.
As understudy to the lead in a West End play, Charles Paris's thespian and detective skills are called upon once again when the lead is shot dead on stage on the opening night. The suspects range from a jealous wife to a bitter actor who lost his part, from the playwright who heard his beautiful lines twisted to the director who saw his work ruined.
During a period of 'resting', actor Charles Paris takes on a job as a house painter. Arriving for work at the flat above a fashionable Holland Park restaurant, he discovers the mutilated body of chef Yves Lafeu. It would appear to be an open-and-shut case. Yves' business partner Tristram Gowers caught the night boat to France within hours of a spectacular public quarrel with Yves, and has now disappeared. But is there more to it than that? Charles...
A brief appearance on a TV game show, 'If the Cap Fits', means a day's pay, a few interesting contacts and a chance to visit the West End Television bar - not the least of incentives for a man of Charles Paris's thirst. But murder? Even for game shows where they'll try almost anything once, murder is going too far.
For once Charles Paris is gainfully employed in the role of Sergeant Clump in what promises to be a long-running TV series based on rather dated 1930s detective novels. Yet once again, Charles finds himself in the role of real-life detective when he discovers a young actress's body crushed beneath a props case, and sets out to prove his hunch that she was murdered.
Things are going suspiciously well for Charles Paris. He has moved back in with his ex-wife and landed a proper part in a proper production: Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. But when two members of the theatre company suddenly fall ill, Charles finds himself in trouble again - both on and off stage.
A three-month run in a new farce, Not On Your Wife, is not to be sniffed at by jobbing actor Charles Paris. But by the time the troupe reaches Bath, a dark mood has set in, and Charles's old friend Mark has a drink problem that amounts to a death wish. But it's not the drink that kills Mark; it's somebody in the cast who has a dirty secret to hide.
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.
Landing a minor part in the Empire Theatre Eastbournes Christmas production of Cinderella, Charles Paris soon discovers that his main role is to gently introduce the show's baffled American star, famous sitcom actor Kenny Polizzi, to the bizarre customs of English pantomime. During their convivial sessions in the local pub, Charles finds himself increasingly caught up in Polizzi's tangled affairs as the American fends off a vengeful soon to be ex...
Having landed a small part in a new West End play, The Habit of Faith, Charles Paris is dismayed to discover that his good fortune has been orchestrated by his bête noire, the now-famous screen actor Justin Grover. But why has Grover become involved in this relatively obscure production - and why has he roped in Charles to star?
Ranging from stark psychological suspense to frothy frolic, this stunning collection of twelve short stories demonstrates Simon Brett's astonishing versatility. In TICKLED TO DEATH, a lover of practical jokes is smothered to death in a custard pie. DOUBLE GLAZING reveals the patient and perverse logic of an elderly Do-It-Yourselfer. And in BIG BOY, LITTLE BOY, a former hotel porter plots the murder of a very rich wife - with shocking results.