Paul Temple and the Kelby Affair

Author: Francis Durbridge
Read by: Anthony Head
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8460 7007 5
ISBN-10: 1 84607 007 4
Available 05 February 2007

Returning from an author tour of America, Paul is met at the dockside by his publisher Scott Reed, who wants him to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Alfred Kelby. Reed has entrusted Kelby with a sensational diary written by Margaret Spender, the mistress of Lord Delamore, containing several clues pointing to the murder of Delamore. When Kelby is strangled, and the diary stolen, it seems that the two events are connected. But could there be another motive for Kelby's murder? Paul is determined to find out...

From 1938 to 1969 crime novelist and detective, Paul Temple and his Fleet Street journalist wife, Steve solved case after case in one of BBC radio's most popular serials. They inhabit a sophisticated, well-dressed world of chilled cocktails and fast cars, where the women are chic and the men still wear cravats; and, where Sir Graham Forbes of Scotland Yard always needs Paul's help with a tricky case...

The radio serials proved so popular that Francis Durbridge was inspired to write a succession of novels featuring the smooth sleuth. This story, read by Buffy and Little Britain star Anthony Head, sees Paul and Steve investigating a baffling abduction that soon turns into a murder case.

Paul Temple and the Kelby Affair was first published in 1970 and to be quite honest this series does show its age somewhat. Living in a world that few will recognise, Paul and his wife track down their prey using their own logic reasoning.

Head's reading can't be faulted, but I personally felt that this this story was a little too dated. If you are a fan of Durbridge's work then you'll love this collection, otherwise you might like to rent this from your local library first.

Pete Boomer

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