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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paris- A Perfectly Entertaining Mystery- Nighy Excels.
This production will not blow your socks off nor strain your speakers for that matter it is a gentle fully dramatized BBC production and surprisingly good company for two decent journeys in your car.

The big attraction in this laid back murder is Bill Nighy.
Nighy plays the middle aged `resting' actor or better described by the adaptor for radio, Jeremy...
Published on 22 Jan. 2013 by Glenn Cook

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solid Enough, but not one for fans of the books
Having read the majority of the Charles Paris books as a teenager, I was really looking forward to this release - my favourite of the series. But I was ultimately left disappointed. I know Jeremy Front takes some liberties with the adapting of the plots for this series, but I'd never really noticed before, not remembering the books too well. Sadly the original novel is...
Published 23 months ago by J. C. Dorney


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paris- A Perfectly Entertaining Mystery- Nighy Excels., 22 Jan. 2013
By 
Glenn Cook (South Cave, near Hull UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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This production will not blow your socks off nor strain your speakers for that matter it is a gentle fully dramatized BBC production and surprisingly good company for two decent journeys in your car.

The big attraction in this laid back murder is Bill Nighy.
Nighy plays the middle aged `resting' actor or better described by the adaptor for radio, Jeremy Front, as a ` louche, lascivious actor-cum-sleuth' who is `at the centre of Simon Brett's novels'.

Jeremy Front has done an excellent job in his adaptation with all the dialogue, so I understand, being Front's own work.

So the (has been?) actor has been updated and part of the attraction is Paris' complicated relationship with his hardworking wife and his mother who is sleeping on his couch as she recovers from a minor op.
Nighy plays this character to the hilt and really convinces.
He is matched in this by his wife played by and the evergreen Geraldine McEwan who plays his mum Joan.

Charles Paris meets an old friend from his Rep days, Hugo Mecken.

Hugo realized his limitations as an actor and has become a great success as a voice over production company director. Would Charles like some work- is the Pope Catholic?

Turns out Mecken although as rich as Cresus also hits the bottle as fast as an alcoholic in a six hour extended happy hour. Mecken has a hot young actress wife who is in an Am-Dram production the hot wife is matched by Meckan's mean and violent nature when drunk...
I would give much of the plot away but the wife is killed and the new widower suspected.
Can Charles Paris prove his friends innocence or find out that the no memory of events after a massive bender husband really did do it?

The cast supports the drama really well especially Geraldine McEwen who plays Paris' `gamine ex model, once hotter that Lulu on a good day' aged mother Joan who just might be an alcoholic as well. Paris wife is also well played by Suzanne Burden.
This is one of the strenghths of the production and plot that Paris' troubled life is under the spotlight just as much as the murder.

The rest of the cast is excellent Breckton Back stagers being exactly what I imagine an Am Dram cast to be like- bright, intelligent and at it like rabbits.

The good news is there are a few others in the series.
Charles Paris: A Reconstructed Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes)
Charles Paris: A Series of Murders (Radio Crimes)
Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes)

True, as I said at the start this production is no blood and guts hardboiled murder story it is what it is a gentle play with the ever excellent Billy Nighy in the convincing lead role and that cannot be all bad can it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solid Enough, but not one for fans of the books, 8 Jun. 2013
By 
J. C. Dorney - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
Having read the majority of the Charles Paris books as a teenager, I was really looking forward to this release - my favourite of the series. But I was ultimately left disappointed. I know Jeremy Front takes some liberties with the adapting of the plots for this series, but I'd never really noticed before, not remembering the books too well. Sadly the original novel is one of the more memorable stories, with a great and cunning villain, a beautiful piece of misdirection and a striking last scene. All of these are absent from the adaptation. I know some things need to be dropped in conversion from one medium to another, but this version probably pushes that too far, leaving it an enjoyable enough but utlimately ordinary story devoid of any compelling reason to be told.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard much more.(we hope), 23 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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Charles Paris, world weary roué and never quite anywhere near making it actor, though always hopeful that something wonderful is just around the corner, may not be a particularly brilliant thespian, but he is a particularly astute investigator.

Murder and mayhem follow him everywhere, and no doubt many a thesp, on signing a contract, and learning Paris is to be of the company, turns pale and asks their agent to get them released, pronto, as the body count is high, wherever he works - a fellow performer is sure to depart this life by violent and unnatural means.

Author Simon Brett created, in Paris, a character and a world that translates brilliantly from page to radio. . And just which actor might you think would do world weary, dissipated roué, with intelligence and almost inexplicable faded allure, despite penury and an obvious drink problem, to perfection? Why the wonderful Bill Nighy of course, his rumpled, laid-back, rueful delivery relishing every bit of loucheness allowed

Brett has his jobbing-oh-if-only-it-was-that-simple-to-find-one actor exploring the murderous in any number of actorish settings, from West End to commercial, from radio to rep. In this particular story, Paris long-sufferingly gets tied up with a group of exceedingly pretentious am-drams, out-experimental theatre-ing even the most experimental. All in pursuit of a typical Paris could rags become riches pipe-dream - a test voiceover pitch which if it happens, might yield reasonable dosh, done privately for a fellow friend and old soak from the past. Murder, of course, soon appears, along with Paris's long suffering on off relationship with his ex-wife and his usual sometimes half-hearted attempts at seductions.

Far from being a hackneyed and predictable series, Charles Paris continues to delight. This of course is as much down to the brilliance of Nighy in the role, as it is to the rather dreadful, but nonetheless loveable ham Brett created.

Sterling fun is had by a ripping cast, relishing the other entourage of staple characters who are part of Paris's social circle - notably Geraldine McEwan as Charles' dotty-and-drink-besotted Mum (alcohol clearly runs in Parisian veins!), Suzanne Burden as Frances, Paris's on-off-on-off long-suffering wife, and a particularly fine, wittily relished performance by Jon Glover as Charles's agent, Maurice. 2 CD set, 4 episodes, each running 30 minutes. Enjoyable production with fine sound effects and music adding to the atmosphere

May Charles Paris continue to find corpses a plenty, foully dispatched!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mystery, and Also a Pleasure, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
K. Petersen "Ken" (Hemsby,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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If, like me, you are an affectionado of crime stories, you will understand the mixture of excitement and trepidation that I feel whenever one of my 'heroes' is to be projected upon the big, or small, screen or portrayed upon the radio. This certainly was relevant, the first time that I heard that the BBC were to produce a radio serial of one of Simon Brett's excellent Charles Paris mysteries: however, I need not have worried. Auntie did her usual excellent job and Bill Nighy's voice sounded so much like the Charles Paris in my head, that I realised that I had been seeing him in the role from the first time I opened one of the books!

These books are not great literature and yet, they are well written and deserve to be given a serious place in the oeuvre of detective fiction. Simon Brett is an expert at allowing his reader (or, in this case, listener) to work out the plot line just a word or two before our detective. Of course, this revelation only occurs after one has been lead down enough blind alleys for all to be aware that the author is toying with his humble reader/listener.

This is another cracking yarn; making no pretension to be 'realistic' - i.e. the murders and gruesome and the story has a nice line in gentle humour. This marvellous rendition will play on my CD machine more than once (fortunately, I have a head like a sieve and can forget who the murder is within a couple of days!).

I definitely recommend this title to detective fiction fans, fans of Simon Brett and/or Bill Nighy and anyone who simply enjoys a good, light-hearted tale, well told - and if that list misses you out, the I recommend it to you too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one for the archive!, 5 Feb. 2013
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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I was drawn to this by enjoying 'After Henry' so many years ago and not knowing much about Simon Brett's work since then.

I'm afraid I found this 'OK' but nothing more. Bill Nighy is .... well, what I'm afraid Bill Nighy seems to me to be so often these days: others describe him as 'laid-back', but I honestly felt there were whole sections where one felt he was simply reading the script, which he may well have been doing. But the role of acting, surely, at least in part, is to create the sense that one isn't JUST doing that. Despite some outstanding performances over the years, I find him more and more Bill Nighy these days rather than the part he's playing.

The humour is often so based on easy stereotypes (pc feminism, boozed up 50+ types playing air guitar, jokes about 'proper' subjects for study at university, barmy mother rather archly played and written etc) that it is tiresome. And no, I don't think it rooted in characterisation - it's just facile writing. As for the 'mystery'........

I listened in two sittings, and, frankly, had the second cd been pinched before completion I wouldn't have minded, so long as no windows had been broken, of course.

As I said, OK. Had it been live on the radio on a long journey, I would have been happy for the distraction. But nothing beyond that, and certainly nothing that I, and of course this is just my own opinion, would want to own or ever listen to again. Sorry
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charles Paris.....drinking, acting....finding dead bodies......, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
mandynolan "mandynolan" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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I listened to this story on Radio 4 and loved it.....I have enjoyed all of the Charles Paris stories and this is up to the usual good standard....Bill Nighy is Charles.....an actor who constantly gets involved accidentally in crimes......in this he has been invited to do some voice over work by an old friend but quickly gets pulled into the mystery death of his friends young wife...an amateur actress...it is an enjoyable listen....It comes on 2 CD's and is approx 2 hours long...
I would recommend all of this series....I don't know why the BBC hasn't made a TV series out of these yet......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Characterful Entertainment, 27 Jan. 2013
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Post Scriptum - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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This four part CD is the latest instalment of the excellent Charles Paris murder mysteries, created by Simon Nye, adapted by Jeremy Front and starring Bill Nighy. This story finds Charles in familiar circumstances, cohabiting awkwardly with his wife, struggling with the drink and still looking for work. He relishes the chance to do some undemanding but well-paid voiceover work (the remuneration for which is made all the sweeter by the fact his agent won't get a cut), but when his patron, an old drinking friend from his student days, becomes embroiled in a murder investigation, he is once again required to use his detecting skills. Although the presence of Geraldine McEwen as Charles's dotty mother jars, for me, as the performance seems far too arch and not even that convincing (she's supposed to be a still-attractive ageing lust object rather than an unusually louche, dainty-voiced, Mrs Marple type), Bill Nighy is as charmingly engaging as ever and the story moves along with deceptive ease. Very entertaining. (Be careful if you're going for the audiogo download version, as it comes in two big 57 minute chunks, so if you prefer to listen to the original 4 episode format you'll need to chop these files up.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT REALLY YOUR USUAL MURDER MYSTERY, 26 Jan. 2013
By 
Helpless "Helpless" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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Not one of the strongest Charles Paris murder mysteries, this one is more of a comedy sketch with a little touch of serious drama thrown in almost as afterthought. It would have been just as entertaining without the amateur corpse thrown in.

I don't want to add any spoilers to the review because it is still very good and the choice of the voice of Bill Nighy as Charles Paris is excellent.
It is everything you could expect of him and more and if any part could have been written for him this is it.

It is a 2x CD set containing four episodes. The first two episodes have nothing to do with any murder or mystery but build up a background to the incident which happens pretty much at the end of disc 2. The rest follows but without any depth to it.

Listening to it has not been a disappointment and it just goes by too quickly. There are also some good laughs to be had mostly centered around the character of his mother. It also paints a picture in your mind of something you would never want to come across and see, which is preceded by a loud scream.

All in all, not quite up there with the best but has quality voice acting and a quality believable cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nighy plays his part, 1 Feb. 2013
By 
Mr. Stephen Redman (York England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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This 2 hour dramatic performance is narrated by Bill Nighy who also acts as Charles Paris in this adaptation of a novel by Simon Brett. Paris is an out of work actor who also blunders into a mystery.

These 2 CD's offer a four part piece delivered in half hour episodes. Each one requires your attention; you cannot afford to lose concentration, but having said that the performance is of a standard which holds the listener well.

The pace is fast, with an ample sound track. The cast are brilliant

A lucky meeting with an old friend who can out drink Paris (which is a feat in itself) leads him to temporary work and a murder. The great thing about this story is that there is no murder until the half-way point in the story - this gives lots of time for the development of character and tension.

This is by no means an average murder mystery - this is an involved drama with drops of dark humour littering its content.

The ending is good and I didn't expect it.

There are at least another 5 titles in this series. If they are as good as this one I would recommend them all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime novel with a difference - comedy. Absolutely brilliant on both fronts, 27 Jan. 2013
By 
Aremess "AremessUK" (Littlehampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) (Audio CD)
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A Charles Paris Mystery - An Amateur Corpse by Simon Brett dramatized by Jeremy Front.
A BBC Radio 4 Full Cast Audio Dramatization Starring Bill Nighy, Susanne Burden and Geraldine McEwan
2 CD's running time 2 hours

This novel is a refreshing change - a crime novel with a slight comedy slant.

As always, Bill Nighy puts in an excellent performance as Charles, an out of work actor with a penchant for detective work, who is struggling with drink, his overpowering mother (Geraldine McEwan) who is staying with him following an accident; and his wife (Suzanne Burden) and I found one of the strenghths of the production and plot that Paris' troubled private life is under the spotlight as much as is the murder.

When Paris is offered `voice over' work by an old friend, Hugo, he little knows the dramas that will evolve which tests his loyalty as a friend.

An entertaining mystery, which is well acted. I understand that this is one of a number of titles available and would certainly buy any other productions. 5 out of 5 stars.

Brilliant and highly recommended
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Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes)
Charles Paris: An Amateur Corpse (BBC Radio Crimes) by Simon Brett (Audio CD - 3 Jan. 2013)
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