Simon Brett

Simon Brett

Simon Brett (born 28 October 1945 in Worcester Park, Surrey, England) is a prolific writer of whodunnits. Brett worked for BBC Radio and London Weekend Television before devoting most of his time to writing from the late 1970s. He is married with three children and lives in Arundel, Sussex, England. He is the current president of the Detection Club.

Radio and television career

While with the BBC, Brett produced the first ever episode of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", as well as many episodes of cult comedy series "The Burkiss Way", comedy series "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" and comedy panel game "Just a Minute". In the mid-1990s, Brett wrote and hosted "Foul Play", a radio panel game in which well-known writers of detective fiction were challenged to solve a dramatised mystery. Moving into television, Brett was responsible for producing "End of Part One" and the television revival of "The Glums" for LWT.

More recently, he has become an accomplished sitcom writer, most notably with BBC Radio 4's "After Henry" and "No Commitments" and "Smelling of Roses". "After Henry" was later produced on television for ITV. He has written a number of episodes of the BBC radio detective drama "Baldi" (2000)

Mystery writing career

Brett has written three series of detective novels (listed below). Most of these novels are in the "Golden Age" tradition of detective fiction, entertaining the reader through humor, eccentric characters, and intricate plot twists. He has also written several mystery plays and some non-series novels, of which "A Shock to the System" (1984) is probably best known due to the filmed version starring Michael Caine as the business executive who takes revenge after being passed over for promotion.

Charles Paris

Charles Paris is an unhappily separated (but not divorced, more than 30 years on), moderately successful actor with a slight drinking problem who gets entangled in all sorts of crimes, and finds himself in the role of unwilling amateur detective. There are seventeen novels featuring this character:

*"Cast, In Order of Disappearance" (1975)
*"So Much Blood" (1976)
*"Star Trap" (1977)
*"An Amateur Corpse" (1978)
*"A Comedian Dies" (1979)
*"The Dead Side of the Mike" (1980)
*"Situation Tragedy" (1981)
*"Murder Unprompted" (1982)
*"Murder in the Title" (1983)
*"Not Dead, Only Resting" (1984)
*"Dead Giveaway" (1985)
*"What Bloody Man Is That?" (1987)
*"A Series of Murders" (1989)
*"Corporate Bodies" (1991)
*"A Reconstructed Corpse" (1993)
*"Sicken and So Die" (1995)
*"Dead Room Farce" (1998)

"Cast, In Order of Disappearance" and "So Much Blood" were both adapted for Radio 2 with Francis Matthews in the lead role in the 1980s.

"Sicken and So Die" has been adapted for radio by Jeremy Front, starring Bill Nighy as Charles Paris. It was [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/charlesparis/ |broadcast] as a four part series on BBC Radio 4 in 2006. A number of years ago, "So Much Blood" was also serialized; it was replayed in 2006 on BBC Radio 7. In addition, A Series of Murders was adapted for the Saturday Play slot in the early 2000s, along with another adaptation of So Much Blood, recorded on location at its Edinburgh Fringe setting.

Mrs Pargeter

Mrs Pargeter is a widow with a shadowy past who, with a little help from her dead husband's friends, is able to solve uncanny mysteries. The Mrs Pargeter novels include:

*"A Nice Class of Corpse" (1986)
*"Mrs, Presumed Dead" (1988)
*"Mrs Pargeter's Package" (1990)
*"Mrs Pargeter's Pound of Flesh" (1992)
*"Mrs Pargeter's Plot" (1996)
*"Mrs Pargeter's Point of Honour" (1999)

Fethering

Fethering is a fictitious village on England's south coast (next to Tarring). It is the place of residence of amateur sleuths Carole Seddon, a retired civil servant and her neighbour, Jude Nichols, whose origins are obscure. Nine Fethering mysteries have been published so far, with the latest, "Blood at the Bookies", being published in March 2008. The tenth book in the series is due in 2009:

*"The Body on the Beach" (2000)
*"Death on the Downs" (2001)
*"The Torso in the Town" (2002)
*"Murder in the Museum" (2003)
*"The Hanging in the Hotel" (2004)
*"The Witness at the Wedding" (2005)
*"The Stabbing in the Stables" (2006)
*"Death Under the Dryer" (2007)
*"Blood at the Bookies" (2008)
*"Poisoning at the Pub" (2009)

Plays

*"Murder in Play" (1994)
*"Mr Quigley's Revenge" (1995)
*"Silhouette" (1998)
*"The Tale of Little Red Riding Hood" (1998)
*"Sleeping Beauty" (1999)
*"Putting the Kettle on" (2002)
*"A Bad Dream" (2005)

External links

* [http://wiredforbooks.org/simonbrett/ 1986, 1989 interviews with Simon Brett] by Don Swaim at Wired for Books
* [http://www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk/sf/Pages/acted/fae_b.html Samuel French London, publishers of plays]


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