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Charles Paris: Murder in the Title

A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation
Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Charles Paris is his own worst enemy, a louche lush who can resist anything except temptation - especially in the form of women and alcohol. He’s been out of work so long now he feels he may never get a job and he’s driving Frances, his semi-ex-wife, mad.

So when he’s offered a small role in a play, she nearly pushes him out of the door. But it seems that ‘The Message is Murder’ is such a terrible production that someone wants to kill off the cast. First there is a series of nasty accidents, then someone attempts to stab Charles.

Can he find the murderer before they strike again? 

Bill Nighy stars as Charles Paris in this entertaining dramatisation by Jeremy Front.

 Written by Jeremy Front, based on the novel by Simon Brett. 

©2012 AudioGO Ltd (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • guy
  • 25-12-2015

Entertaining

Great way to spend a couple of hours - fun dialogue and a nice story that tells an engaging mystery with humour.

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  • Cheryl Waters
  • 04-02-2012

Another BBC Value Performance

Where does Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

BBC Radio Drama rates usual kudoes!

What did you like best about this story?

Soundtrack mimics Golden Oldies of Charles Paris's past, reminding us of his age. Dialogue is sparkling.

Have you listened to any of Bill Nighy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

All Bill Nighy's performances as Charles Paris are delightful, well worth the modest cost...

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I did so twice...

Any additional comments?

Only the Colonial Radio Theater performances come close to matching the BBC Radio Crime dramas. Both troupes are well worth snapping up every offering.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • 20-04-2012

Charles Paris Rules!

These radio plays are good mysteries but Bill Nighy as Charles Paris makes them great. He is witty, unbearable, sexy, hilarious, and mostly drunk. Suzanne Glover as his long suffering wife Frances is absolutely perfect. It's easy to see why they achieved 35 years of "divorce avoidance." They have great vocal chemistry. The rock and roll sound tracks are a big plus. More, please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-01-2016

Fantastic entertainment for travel or a rainy day

I never tire of the Charles Paris . The mix of louche behavior, contemporary music and exquisite performances makes me feel as though I am in the room watching the comedy undold. Perfect for when you want a great story, well told.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-07-2012

Quick entertainment

Is there anything you would change about this book?

As it was made for radio I thought they did a fair job of bringing the characters to life in the short time available; it took a bit of imagination to fill in the blanks but that's what radio is about and why we have the gift of imagination.

Did Bill Nighy do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, I quickly came to know who the characters were and how their idiosyncrasies made up their personalities

Could you see Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes) being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I don't know....too much realism has hit our screens; I'm not sure this would make it past the first season.

Any additional comments?

This radio drama is a great listen when doing those humdrum chores around the house.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Pippa
  • 06-02-2016

Lightweight but great fun

Where does Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

About halfway

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I love the interaction with Frances his wife

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No -

Any additional comments?

I think it is Bill Nighy that makes this series - he just makes me laugh

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Avril
  • 17-10-2015

Great performance unnecessarily interrupted

Love Simon Brett and his Charles Parris character, but, oh why did the recordist not edit out every single cast list and introduction from the original BBC serial. These breaks in the story were really irritating.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • S. M. A. John
  • 03-05-2018

Another excellent adaptation!

A superb adaptation from the production team led by Jeremy Front. Nighy & Burden create a wonderful atmosphere of marital tensions as the backdrop against another thespian themed murder mystery.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Maid Marian
  • 25-10-2016

Wry and languid - just right!

The wry Brett observation, delivered in Bill Nighy's languid tones, finds a near-perfect balance. The plot is just about sufficiently interesting to provide an entertaining background to a motorway or rail journey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • harry
  • 02-04-2015

very entertaining

Bill nighy lend himself naturally to these lighthearted detective stories, excellent series, first came across them on BBC4 EXTRA, collecting them all

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • T P Townsend
  • 12-12-2014

A Joy to Listen to

If you have not yet discovered the Charles Paris stories on the BBC then you are in for a treat. They are based upon the novels of Simon Brett but brilliant adapted by Jeremy Front.

Charles Paris is a struggling actor, alcoholic and misogynist. He lives sometimes with his long suffering wife although they are Semi-Detached. Bill Nighy plays the part to perfection and is perfect for the role. The rest of the cast are superb though, particularly Morris Glover who plays his agent.

The thing that makes these dramas work so well is the music that is added. Every song is a classic and usually has some relevance to the story.

The story revolves around Charles' appearance in provincial repertory theatre and as usual there is a murder and being the scenes dodgy dealings. Charles becomes sleuth and soon finds himself up to his eyes in it.

I listen to this again and again and it still makes me laugh out loud.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jashy
  • 26-08-2014

Great as always.

Would you listen to Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes) again? Why?

Definitely. The BBC dramatisation though brings the story forward to today, and with wonderful down to earth dialogue - you're in the heart of the crime, the play, the tangled personal relationships and their history before you know it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh, smirk.

Any additional comments?

Bill Nighy is fabulous as the dissolute actor detective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Constable Elbow
  • 01-07-2014

My guilty secret...

Terrible enough to admit listening to this series on Radio 4 or 4 Extra but imagine the ignominy of downloading them! I can't help it though - if I'm ever a bit gloomy (one does have these moments), a dose of Charles Paris with a strong cup of tea is the very thing to set me right. Bill Nighy is just so wonderful in this role and the supporting cast give their all so that the ludicrous plots slip by almost unnoticed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sue
  • 15-02-2014

Loved it!

Where does Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Love hearing radio plays so this is a delight.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Charles Paris: Murder in the Title (BBC Radio Crimes)?

The humour linked with a good story.

What about Bill Nighy’s performance did you like?

The dry, laid back performance.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This makes you laugh out loud.

Any additional comments?

Went online and purchased two more Charles Paris dramatised books with Bill Nighy when I finished listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 17-03-2019

French windows and polyester costumes.

Simon Brett's amusing tales of the (usually out of work) actor, Charles Paris, and the often murderous discoveries which seem to dog his dramatic opportunities have long been favourites of this reader, but even more pleasurable are the adaptations by Jeremy Front for broadcast as drama by B.B.C. Radio 4. With a full cast and Bill Nighy magnificent in the title role as the aging, over drinking lothario with heart, in this story Charles Paris secures a minor role with a provincial rep.company in a failing small town theatre. Unsurprisingly, a couple of accidents make him suspect that something is not right.
The plot line might be fairly conventional but the production is excellent, great acting interspersed with snippets of late 60s, early 70s pop music from, amongst others, Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground, The Doors, and Cream, and classics such as Je t'aime and We've Gotta Get Out of this Place. Nice little touches, too, with the cell phone ringtones: Paris' agent's being the Death March.

Not high drama but a superb piece of fun. Just hearing Bill Nighy's warmly delicious tones as dog house husband and thwarted thespian is, alone, enough to bring forth a smile.
Always recommended.