[Reading] ➸ Star Trap ➮ Simon Brett – Ormskirkremovals.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 196 pages
  • Star Trap
  • Simon Brett
  • English
  • 20 January 2019
  • 0595003516

10 thoughts on “Star Trap

  1. says:

    Somewhere around the time I turned ten years old, my father decided to make a dream of his come true and he joined a local theater company This was in a small town in a small state and so I always assumed it was for sociability and for a love of theater that prompted this in him Surely he had no dreams of being recognized or becoming a star so late in life thirty five , and surely he recognized shortly after being in a few productions that he was never going to be a headliner When he moved a Somewhere around the time I turned ten years old, my father decided to make a dream of his come true and he joined a local theater company This was in a small town in a small state and so I always assumed it was for sociability and for a love of theater that prompted this in him Surely he had no dreams of being recognized or becoming a star so late in life thirty five , and surely he recognized shortly after being in a few productions that he was never going to be a headliner When he moved across the country, it wasn t long before he insinuated himself into another company to fill the same type of roles His dramatic specialty, from the number of shows I witnessed, consists of meaningful raises of his eyebrows and extra careful annunciation of his lines Bit players have such few opportunities to shine.One of the bonuses of being related to someone in the theater, if you can call it a bonus, is the plentiful opportunities to go to theater parties For the uninitiated, imagine a group of about twenty people, all simultaneously and in increasing levels of volume and drunkenness competitively auditioning for the role of Life of the Party The half life of entertainment for this kind of thing is incredibly short and by evening s end, you will wonder why there aren tcelebrity murders After one theater party, you really will have had your fill for the decade I ve had my share in my college life and as a post graduate.By sheer coincidence, the two books I listened to at the end of the week, both rather short, happened to involve murder and the stage Get caught at too many theater parties and you will find yourself linking these concepts indelibly Both could be considered cozy mysteries featuring somewhat bloodless crimes and amateur detectives, though the older, an adaptation of Agatha Christie s play Spider s Web, comes from the mystery master, who oftentimes features crimes that are rather grisly The second, Simon Brett s Star Trap, has a seedy atmosphere and the kind of behavior that would shock my grandmother and perhaps many a cozy mystery reader heavy drinking by the protagonist, casually loveless and almost hostile sex, existential crises brought on by age and failure, and poverty unflinchingly portrayed.And that last element, the rather grimy lowlife atmosphere, has a mundane reality that grimmer,noir mysteries lack While hardboiled detectives never lack for their bottle in the desk drawer, their poverty, if part of the story, is simply a minor element Charles Paris, the low to middling actor detective in Star Trap, has the kind of shortage of funds that cause him to reflect on simple things, like the difference between drinking when you re poor and when you re working steady His dreary flat has no romantic glamour His romances likewise are lacking in dramatic flair.The crimes of the book are also of asimple nature Whilegritty detective stories feature daggers in the back and fatal struggles with a dropped pistol, Star Trap, which tells how Charles Paris tries to discover who, by knocking cast and crew about, is sabotaging the show he is in, features minor violence Muggings that might not be muggings, a bit of paraffin wax slipped into someone s gin to give them a touch of food poisoning, someone who may or may not have tripped down a flight of stairs.I ve always felt resistance to series of novels in which normal, regular, everyday people spend their days and nights stumbling over bodies It s the kind of thing that would take a psychic toll, yet Jessica in Murder, She Wrote never seems to lose her joie de vivre and sprightliness While I understand the rubbernecking titillation fans of this series are expressing just the hint of a thrill, a tidy, bloodless body , their very hygienity is perhapsappalling These folks want murder, but just for entertainment purposes, the bad guy clutching his stomach and toppling from rooftop, pure and safe for prime time.Star Trap doesn t pander to this vile sentimentality, and in fact, the actual crime element of the story is an incredibly small portion While the crimes are clean enough for television, there is a seedy furtiveness that dramatic mysteries always overleap What most of the book focuses on is the backstage dramas between the prima donna lead and every single other member of the show, the almost superstitious remedies for sore throats and coughs, and the little vanities actors are prone to Brett elegantly skewers this bit of self dramatization with the delightful phrase generally putting on expressions of private suffering which they had learnt when rehearsing Chekhov The other element that is much to be admired in Brett s novel is just how underplayed the climaxes and moments of drama are, how authentic they feel When in anger Charles decides to buck his orders to protect the star of the show over everyone else, rather than the timpani moment of some books, this scene is done with silent teeth gritting vengeance, the way you would do in isolation When a cast member is hit by a car, his injuries are minor, a Mini clipping him and breaking his kneecap The revelations that come to Charles are shown not as sudden and elusive epiphanies, but the result of working hard when the mood strikes him , and come after he makes many attempts to avoid his unpleasant conclusions That he is so frequently wrong makes him evensympathetic to readers.What ends up being the most striking about this is that the book demonstrates a keen psychological insight into the characters Where most mysteries provide us with long suffering existentialist automatons for heroes, one dimensional dramatic props, Charles Paris strides the literary stage with all his good and embarrassing bits fully on display, fully synthesized and realized His flaws are not romantic, nor are they romanticized as heroic weaknesses That s rather appealing to find a writer willing to portray his hero so unflatteringly


  2. says:

    I read the first in this series, Cast, in Order of Disappearance, some time ago I thought it was pretty good but it didn t inspire me to go right after the next in the series Finally I got around to reading the second, So Much Blood, and thought it was better Charles Paris, the cad with a conscience, seemedlikable in that one and I m always a sucker for a book set in Edinburgh even if one premise the plot hinged on did not make sense to me So I picked up this one, the third in the seri I read the first in this series, Cast, in Order of Disappearance, some time ago I thought it was pretty good but it didn t inspire me to go right after the next in the series Finally I got around to reading the second, So Much Blood, and thought it was better Charles Paris, the cad with a conscience, seemedlikable in that one and I m always a sucker for a book set in Edinburgh even if one premise the plot hinged on did not make sense to me So I picked up this one, the third in the series and was pleasantly surprised to find it the best so far Charles is fleshed outand I enjoyed the humor in this one The plot is good,believable than the last one I would give it four and a half stars if Goodreads did halves


  3. says:

    This was my favorite Charles Paris book of the first 3 that I ve read Compared to the other two, it wasn t so much about the place Cast, in Order of Disappearance So Much Blood or a specific time in history So Much Blood butabout a single production and the egomaniac Christopher Milton who is running the show Charles is sent to London by Gerald Venables to investigate a new production called Lumpkin , which is basically a vehicle for Milton, who is a famous TV star Venables thinks This was my favorite Charles Paris book of the first 3 that I ve read Compared to the other two, it wasn t so much about the place Cast, in Order of Disappearance So Much Blood or a specific time in history So Much Blood butabout a single production and the egomaniac Christopher Milton who is running the show Charles is sent to London by Gerald Venables to investigate a new production called Lumpkin , which is basically a vehicle for Milton, who is a famous TV star Venables thinks that something fishy is happening since two accidents happened exactly a week apart to members of the show an actor accidentally fell down a flight of stairs and the pianist was shot at on the way to work.Once he s at the show, Charles at first thinks nothing is really afoot other than the director is just a puppet and Christopher Milton is running the show He thinks it s Gerald s imagination and that he s lucky to have a fulltime paid gig, but then an actress s drink gets Mickey Finn d and view spoiler another actor commits suicide hide spoiler This is all amidst the constant changing of the script and musical score to further accentuate Milton s talent which Charles has to admit he has view spoiler As soon as Spike made an appearance, perhaps because at one point Charles ponders that he can t imagine Spike being anything but a stage manager which seems too obvious an observation, I wondered if he might be the culprit And when Charles discovers that Christopher came up in an acting club with two other talents who seem to have disappeared, I wondered if Spike was one of them because Spike couldn t possibly be his given name Sure enough, he wanted the show to be terrible and ruin Christopher s career because he was angry he was so successful The ending isn t satisfactory Spike ends up leaving in the middle of their debut in London and Christopher Milton puts on a winning performance hide spoiler Frances makes a brief appearance at the end and Charles isn t as much a cad as he has been before in fact I think he misses Frances and sees the futility of all his one night stands Also Julet is pregnant


  4. says:

    Star Trap is set in 1975 and represents one of the earlier episodes in the investigative career of Charles Paris, down at heel journeyman actor.Charles is recruited to appear in Lumpkin , a musical loosely based upon Oliver Goldsmith s classic play She Stoops to Conquer This production has been devised primarily as a vehicle for Christopher Milton, the enormously popular star of one of the leading television comedy series of the time Charles, however, has not won his role through the customary Star Trap is set in 1975 and represents one of the earlier episodes in the investigative career of Charles Paris, down at heel journeyman actor.Charles is recruited to appear in Lumpkin , a musical loosely based upon Oliver Goldsmith s classic play She Stoops to Conquer This production has been devised primarily as a vehicle for Christopher Milton, the enormously popular star of one of the leading television comedy series of the time Charles, however, has not won his role through the customary path of attending an audition and being deemed the most suitable actor for the part He had instead been contacted by his urbane solicitor friend, Gerald Venables, one of the angels investing in the show, who has been concerned about some odd incidents which he thinks might be part of a greater plot to sabotage the musical Knowing of Charles s success in solving a couple of previous theatrical mysteries, Venables thinks that he might prove to be a helpful asset to the company management as their man on the inside.As ever, Simon Brett demonstrates his detailed knowledge of the theatrical world, conjuring an authentic context for the escalating series of incidents that continue to bedevil the show Personalities and egos clash, and Christopher Milton appropriatesandof the body of the show to his part, leaving the rest of the cast bereft of any funny or worthwhile lines He is, however, as Charles continually has to concede often through gritted teeth following yet another example of the star s dreadful tantrums , exceptionally talented, and though he may be hogging ever larger portions of the work to himself, his decisions do seem to make theatrical sense.As usual with this beguiling series, the plot is well constructed and the relevant clues to the eventual denouement are all there , but delivered with a light touch, and Charles remains a very engaging lead character I think he is too self effacing to be called a hero


  5. says:

    How much is stardom worth Charles Paris, my favorite chronically out of work actor, is offered a job In a big budget commercially viable play With a nine month run scheduled Of course, there s a catch Gerald Venables, his friend and a backer of the play, thinks someone is trying to sabotage it and he wants Charles to investigate from the inside and protect his investment Being perpetually broke, Charles takes the job.The play is a revamped version of She Stoops to Conquer headlined by a be How much is stardom worth Charles Paris, my favorite chronically out of work actor, is offered a job In a big budget commercially viable play With a nine month run scheduled Of course, there s a catch Gerald Venables, his friend and a backer of the play, thinks someone is trying to sabotage it and he wants Charles to investigate from the inside and protect his investment Being perpetually broke, Charles takes the job.The play is a revamped version of She Stoops to Conquer headlined by a beloved comedic tv star What could go wrong Apparently, a bit of everything There are accidents from the first week of rehearsal on Charles has to investigate and decide if they really are accidents or if they really are sabotage.The main theme of this book is the price of stardom What are people willing to do to get it and how far they will go to keep it Is rising to the top worth killing for This book held my interest from start to finish Like the first 2 Charles Paris mysteries, the Theater is as important as the characters It interested me enough that I did a little research on She Stoops to Conquer which I have never read I d love to see it performed But I d really want Charles Paris in the cast


  6. says:

    Charles Paris is asked to join in a new realization of She Stoops to Conquer Apart from the myriad hacking and disfiguring changes to the old play strange things seem to be happening to anybody involved in the play who breathes a word against the star of the show Can Charles get at the truth before the attacks turn deadly Another interesting read The twist is a little predictable here, but not offensively I learned what the term Corpsing means Not from the book itself but researching Charles Paris is asked to join in a new realization of She Stoops to Conquer Apart from the myriad hacking and disfiguring changes to the old play strange things seem to be happening to anybody involved in the play who breathes a word against the star of the show Can Charles get at the truth before the attacks turn deadly Another interesting read The twist is a little predictable here, but not offensively I learned what the term Corpsing means Not from the book itself but researching it online It means to laugh involuntarily There was an old tradition in the theater to try to make someone portraying a corpse on stage laugh It can also encompass making another actor break character, usually making them laugh Peter Cook usually succeeded in making Dudley Moore corpse Tim Conway was a master of it especially with Harvey Korman as his victim Here s a great example, the Dentist Sketch Star Trap is a trap door set into a stage which is circular and has been cut into pie wedges It is usually employed to deliver actors or props up onto the stage very quickly via a lift


  7. says:

    It seems so long ago now that I first became a fan of Simon Brett I have had many happy hours reading the Mrs Pargetter series and the Charles Parish set andrecently the Fethering Mysteries I was a little surprised to find this one that I seemed to have missed or is it just the memory playing tricks again.This is very easy reading, written with a good knowledge of the theatre and a kindly feeling towards the main character that makes one wonder if there is a bit of autobiography here R It seems so long ago now that I first became a fan of Simon Brett I have had many happy hours reading the Mrs Pargetter series and the Charles Parish set andrecently the Fethering Mysteries I was a little surprised to find this one that I seemed to have missed or is it just the memory playing tricks again.This is very easy reading, written with a good knowledge of the theatre and a kindly feeling towards the main character that makes one wonder if there is a bit of autobiography here Reading it now reminds me how long ago these were written Reference is made to a visit to a friend who must have been well off because he had a colour television and then there is the 2ps in the coin slots of telephone boxes at least it wasnt 4 x 1ds and I wonder how long we will have telephone boxes themselves , none of which seemed out of place when I first read the series


  8. says:

    Star Trap, the third of the Charles Paris series, is one of the best In it the actor sleuth is hired to join the cast of the production of a new high profile musical which has seen several accidents occur in rehearsals.Brett s plot moves on at a fair pace and has several interesting twists and turns Unlike the previous installment in the series, So Much Blood, each of the twists in this story feel logical and well thought out Accordingly the answers, when they do arrive, satisfy and felt in k Star Trap, the third of the Charles Paris series, is one of the best In it the actor sleuth is hired to join the cast of the production of a new high profile musical which has seen several accidents occur in rehearsals.Brett s plot moves on at a fair pace and has several interesting twists and turns Unlike the previous installment in the series, So Much Blood, each of the twists in this story feel logical and well thought out Accordingly the answers, when they do arrive, satisfy and felt in keeping with everything that had preceded them


  9. says:

    Simon Brett is back with one of his best theater inspired detective novels in Star Trap Though the target for murder is an odious theater and television star, actor detective Charles Paris finds that the main character is behind the strange happenings backstage, including the rehearsal pianist being shot in the hand, and an actor falling and breaking his leg.


  10. says:

    Charles Paris is a wonderfully deep character and not your typical detective hero Investigating a series of accidents Charles is part of a tour of a new musical The detail of rehearsals and the relationships of the cast is very well imaged This ticks all my boxes I love the theatre and I love murder mysteries A theatrical 4 stars


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Star Trap Simon Brett Is Back With One Of His Best Theater Inspired Detective Novels In Star Trap Though The Target For Murder Is An Odious Theater And Television Star, Actor Detective Charles Paris Finds That The Main Character Is Behind The Strange Happenings Backstage, Including The Rehearsal Pianist Being Shot In The Hand, And An Actor Falling And Breaking His Leg Why Does The Star Want To Sabotage His Show The Answer Is One Much Human Than It First Appears


About the Author: Simon Brett

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Star Trap book, this is one of the most wanted Simon Brett author readers around the world.