I’m a pretty enthusiastic fan of Simon Brett’s Charles Paris mysteries—they are light, charming, and funny, rather like Simon Brett, if a little bloody and boozy (which, for all I know, Simon Brett is too) Decent Interval, his comeback appearance, is a good place to start.
The Charles Paris Mysteries on the radio, however, are simply exquisite. Bill Nighy is, as you’d expect, brilliant as the down-at-heel irresponsible, formerly philandering, lush. Jon Glover is hilarious as his neglectful agent, and Suzanne Burden makes his long-suffering estranged wife with whom he often lives as believable as anyone could. The scripts are terse, witty, and filled with in-jokes (I love his ring tones for his wife and Maurice, his agent). And, as in the books, nobody seems to have noticed the a very large fraction of all the murders in the UK seem to have happened with Paris in the next room. Radio 4’s Christmas present to us all is The Cinderella Killer. I haven’t listened to it yet, because they only just broadcast episode 2, and my preference is to wait for them all, and then binge (its only two hours—I’ll listen while shoveling snow some day). But I guarantee it will be perfect.
Oh, and incidentally, what is going on with Brian Protheroe? He seems to be in everything on the radio these days. When’s the next album coming out? Has anyone other than me heard of him?