A Deadly Habit by Simon Brett
Hardback: 184 pages (May 2018)
Publisher: Crème de la Crime
This is the 20th of the Charles Paris novels by Simon Brett and is published four years after the last one (THE CINDERELLA KILLER) – please can we get these more regularly!
Charles Paris has landed a small part in a new West End play, The Habit of Faith but his delight at a 3-month paying job is tempered by the discovery that his good fortune has been orchestrated by his much more successful contemporary Justin Grover who is now the star of a major film series. But why has Grover become involved in this relatively obscure production and why has he roped in Charles to star?
From the outset the production is fraught with difficulties -and matters become even more complicated when a body is discovered at the foot of the dressing room stairs – was it a fall or was it a push?
As one of the last people to have seen the victim alive, Charles Paris’ natural curiosity finds him drawn into the ensuing investigation where he discovers that more than one person involved in the play has a scandalous secret to hide …
As usual I read this very quickly as I do for most Simon Brett books. Both the murder aspect and the comedy aspect are well handled but the focus here is much more on Charles and his belated attempts to grow up, get sober and get back with his wife Frances. This latter aspect gives us some stronger comedic aspects on the world of theatre, the sobriety business and the extent to while Charles can delude himself.
It is not too much of a spoiler to say for those of us who like Charles there is again a hint of sunlight in his relationship with his wife Frances.
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley and bought a signed copy at CrimeFest.