DEAD ROOM FARCE by Simon Brett

DEAD ROOM FARCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rolling-stone actor/detective Charles Paris has fallen away from the relative good fortune he enjoyed in Sicken and So Die (1997): Separated again from his eternally undivorced wife, he’s reduced to touring in a frisky sex farce whose thoroughly professional author is in no hurry to get the lines right. The star, Bernard Walton, is a frigid egoist who gives his supporting cast no help and precious little eye contact; he’s joined by bluff sponger Ransome George, Pippa Trewin, an ingÇnue over her head, and sexy stooge Cookie Stone. Not a warm heart among the lot, unless you count Cookie’s dispatch in taking Charles to bed—and even that little exercise, in the peerlessly inexpert manner of Charles’s amours, turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth. One fine day the company travels to a studio, on the outskirts of Bath, to record a radio ad for the play for ex-BBC producer Mark Lear, and soon after they leave, Lisa Wilson, who’s more than just a partner to Mark, finds his dead body locked in an airless recording room. Accident, suicide, or murder? Mark’s unlovely ex, smacking her lips over an insurance payoff for her children, wants Charles to prove that Mark couldn’t have killed himself, but the gentle reader is most likely to remain indifferent. Much civilized mirth over Charles’s equally incontinent drinking, wenching, and acting, though the mystery itself produces scarcely a peep. Strictly for fans who wouldn’t miss a single one of Charles’s hapless performances.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-19251-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1998




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