A Charles Paris mystery - An actor gets a role in a television crime show playing the part of a missing person. The show has all the hallmarks of a hit, a vulnerable fearful wife, a sexy female detective, and dismembered limbs turning up each week before air time.
Nice little British mystery with all the usual twists and turns
From Publishers Weekly
In less skillful hands the premise for Brett's Charles Paris series might, by now (the 15th entry), be wearing dangerously thin. Each time out, Charles has posed as an unsuccessful actor, yet he seems always to have a paying gig of sorts. No matter. Brett is a master of the English cozy, comfortable, witty and sympathetic to his hero's plight. To pay the rent and keep himself in Bell's Whisky, Charles plays a missing man on a popular telly show where real crimes are re-created to entertain and to aid ongoing investigations. The author spends less time with obvious suspects than with the egos assembled behind the cameras, and in uniform: a dictatorial producer, the scared minions in his employ, and a pretty and ambitious policewoman whose former lover, a private investigator, left Scotland Yard under a cloud of suspicion. As always, Charles is endlessly inquisitive, especially when the arms of the real missing man are found in a fresh grave, and the likely widow, a willowy and temptingly photogenic woman named Chloe, seems to bask in her newfound celebrity. Once again Charles, last encountered in Corporate Bodies , is better at sleuthing than emoting, much to readers' continuing benefit.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Charles Paris is droll, self-deprecating, semialcoholic, and an astoundingly mediocre actor ("Also appearing was Charles Paris . . ."). Fortunately, his quintessentially British stiff upper lip and his ever-handy bottle of Bell's whiskey help him get through the bad times. But Charles' agent has just called with some exciting news: Charles' uncanny resemblance to Brighton property developer Martin Earnshaw, who has mysteriously disappeared after leaving home to visit the local pub, has landed Charles a job reconstructing Earnshaw's "last moments" on the television program Public Enemies. As usual, Charles can't stop getting involved in a bit of amateur detecting, especially after the grisly discovery of a pair of unattached arms identified by Earnshaw's beautiful wife as having been attached at one time to her husband. Brett has the lugubriously witty Paris and his entertaining escapades down to a fine science, and while his stories won't be mistaken for fast-paced action thrillers, they are nevertheless clever, witty, amusing, and pleasantly diverting. An alternate selection of the Mystery Guild. Emily Melton
You can't go wrong with a Charles Paris mystery. Well-written and amusing. Wonderful insights of show business goings on.