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A Comedian Dies (Charles Paris #5)

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  164 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In spite of a negligent agent and a scrapbook of hilariously bad reviews, Charles Paris, Simon Brett's loveable if hapless actor, has landed a part in a company touring the provinces.

Once away from London, Charles finds himself embroiled with two women, each of whom seems to have taken his clumsy endearments much more seriously then planned.

And when an old drinking buddy
Audio CD, 200 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1979)
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Tony Renner
Detection takes a back seat to satiric commentary on the business of show in Simon Brett's fifth Charles Paris novel, A Comedian Dies (1979).

Television producers take the brunt of the skewering here while stand-up comedians and variety shows receive a rather gentler lampooning:

Paul Royce looked petulant. "I thought the idea of this show was to try out something new, to bring you up to date."

"Try out something new, yes. But I'm still Lennie Barber. It's got to be new material, but new Lennie Barb
Randee Baty
A Comedian Dies is the 5th book in the Charles Paris series. I’ve read reviews of books in this series where the reviewers have commented that there is no one to like in the story. This is the first one I’ve read where that is almost true.

Charles and Francis are taking a vacation together to see if they can fix their marriage. While attending a variety show in the seaside town where they are staying, the lead comedian is electrocuted. Violent death never seems to be far from Charles! Naturally,
Oct 15, 2011 Aidan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I have enjoyed many of the Charles Paris books, usually finding them to be witty, fast reads. Unfortunately something about A Comedian Dies really didn't work for me and I found myself unengaged by both the mystery and by the story's setting.

Even the main character, the perenially out-of-work actor Charles Paris, seems flat here. Usually a very colorful character, here he seems to sink into a blandness - seeming in control of each of his vices and out of control when it comes to his investigatio
Sep 10, 2015 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three-and-three-quarters? I didn't take to this one as much as I did to Star Trap. Solid story but I didn't feel like it worked as a mystery. After all, Charles doesn't as much solve this mystery as he has it explained to him by the murderer. Still, the exploration of the comic mind and the dynamics inherent in all comic collaborations I felt were spot on.
John Carter
I can’t help liking Charles Paris despite his being an actor of indifferent talents, a detective of indifferent talents and sort of a hit-and-miss alcoholic. In the same way I somewhat liked this book despite its faults. The motive for murder #2 was crystal clear, but could apply to half-a-dozen characters equally; and the necessary information to figure out the motive for murder #1 was not in the book until revealed in the required last-chapter confession. I was (correctly) convinced of the ide ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Paris gets a t.v. gig doing Barber and Pole skit. Amusing with Charles accusing half the book of murdering an upcoming comedian. The ultimate revelation of the murderer comes a bit out of left field.
Nov 02, 2015 Marj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-mystery
Enjoyed this book, but not as much as others in the series featuring Charles Paris, a mostly unemployed actor who drinks more than he should.
Stuart Graver
Feb 22, 2016 Stuart Graver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Thus was great fun. Very evocative of the light entertainment industry and was was to read. Little treasure.
Though I didn't love certain aspects of the protagonist's character, I really enjoyed the depiction of the old comedian Lenny. For me, that set the book apart from many other mysteries I've read. Brett depicts some wonderful scenes about the old man's work that provided a veritable comedic education.
A good murder mystery with Charles Paris - Some great character developement of Charles and a decent mystery with some great scenes behind the scenes of a TV Studio.
Only 3 stars as I guessed fairly easly who the murderer was. Nice twist at the end though.

3 stars
Jan 04, 2012 Curtiss rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A fairly good mystery with a protagonist whose faults are as obvious to himself as to others, which add to the hurdles he must overcome to solve the mystery of the onstage death-by-electrocution of an up and coming young comedian.
Dec 29, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
another enjoyable yarn from Simon Brett. Not enjoying this series as much as Carol & Jude though!
Nov 26, 2010 Mitch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmmmm. Not amazingly interesting or anything, but not a terrible book that I couldn't finish.
Leslie Jem
Not the best of the Charles Paris mysteries, but still enjoyable.
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
enough to put me off series for good
Mar 06, 2008 Vickie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
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Simon Brett is a prolific British writer of whodunnits.

He is the son of a Chartered Surveyor and was educated at Dulwich College and Wadham College, Oxford, where he got a first class honours degree in English.

He then joined the BBC as a trainee and worked for BBC Radio and London Weekend Television, where his work included 'Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and 'Frank Muir Goes Into ...'.

More about Simon Brett...

Other Books in the Series

Charles Paris (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • Cast, in Order of Disappearance (Charles Paris, #1)
  • So Much Blood
  • Star Trap
  • An Amateur Corpse (Charles Paris, #4)
  • The Dead Side of the Mike (Charles Paris, #6)
  • Situation Tragedy
  • Murder Unprompted
  • Murder in the Title: A Crime Novel
  • Not Dead, Only Resting: A Charles Paris Mystery
  • Dead Giveaway (Charles Paris, #11)

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