19 February 2008

Favourite Authors- #4 Simon Brett

Simon Brett emerged as a published author in 1975 with dipsomaniac, often unemployed actor Charles Paris in the first of what was to be a 17 book series, CAST IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE. He was already known as a writer with the BBC. Charles Paris was an interesting character, at one time married to a disapproving girls school headmistress.
I read a number of those, pretty well light and enjoyable reads. 17 titles appeared 1975-1997.

While he was still writing the Charles Paris series, Brett branched out with a new protagonist in the Mrs Pargeter series. A NICE CLASS OF CORPSE was published in 1985 and there followed another 5 books, finishing with MRS PARGETER'S POINT OF HONOUR. Melita Pargeter is a rich and vivacious widow, but I must confess she never struck a chord with me.

Between 1985 and 2006 Simon wrote 11 stand-alone novels, 5 plays, 4 collections, and published 6 Charles Paris omnibuses.

But where he has hit the chord with me is the Fethering series.
Public servant Carole Seddon takes early retirement and goes to live in the small seaside town where one could expect life to be quiet. And it is for a while, until she teams up with neighbour "Jude" and they become involved in all sorts of investigations, sometimes at great personal danger.

These are true cozies, 8 already available and a new one due out in March.
I love the alliterative titles too. I've put my ratings next to the ones that are recorded in my database but I have read them all except the last.

1. The Body on the Beach (2000)
2. Death On the Downs (2001)
3. The Torso In The Town (2002)
4. Murder in the Museum (2003), 4.5
5. The Hanging in the Hotel (2004), 5.0
6. The Witness at the Wedding (2005), 4.7
7. The Stabbing in the Stables (2006), 4.3
8. Death Under the Dryer (2007), 4.3
9. Blood At the Bookies (2008)

If you ever find an audio book with Simon Brett reading one of these, listen to it. He is an excellent reader.

Check out all the titles at Fantastic Fiction.


alice said...

Hi Kerrie
love stopping by. Love the reviews. I have such a long list of 'must reads'. Argh!
Oh - and I have tagged you for a meme. It's a book thing, up your alley, I hope.

Kerrie said...

How do I find out about the meme Alice?
Glad to be adding your TBR problems! :-)

Anonymous said...

I have fallen in love with the Paris mysteries as I've heard them on the radio. Bill Nighy is incredible in the lead role; he's brought louche but lovable Charles to life.

jlshall said...

I like the Charles Paris series, too, tho' I've only read a few. They used to be a little hard to find here in the US, but in recent years they've become much more available, fortunately. I've also read one of the Fethering books - Body on the Beach, I think - but it didn't grab me the way the Paris books have.

I've really enjoyed reading your blog - I found it by way of the Weekly Geeks site. Nice to find other crime enthusiasts on the 'net!


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