A Comedian Dies is the 5th book in the Charles Paris series. I’ve read reviews of books in this series where the reviewers have commented that there is no one to like in the story. This is the first one I’ve read where that is almost true.
Charles and Francis are taking a vacation together to see if they can fix their marriage. While attending a variety show in the seaside town where they are staying, the lead comedian is electrocuted. Violent death never seems to be far from Charles! Naturally, he refuses to believe that the death is an accident and begins to investigate it.
In the show is an old comedian who is well past his hayday and looking to get back on top. His partner in his old comedy routine has been dead for a long time and through the course of events Charles is asked to reproduce that part which gives him an opportunity to stay involved with all the suspects.
No one involved in the story is likeable except Charles. They all seem to be show business stereotypes that would be unpleasant to be around. As always, Simon Brett nails his characters and they are imminently believable. There is a lot of discussion about what is funny, what comedy is and how comedians work. I found this to be quite enlightening. Simon Brett knows his show business!