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Publisher's Summary

All four series of the murder mystery game played by people whose business is murder.

Chaired by Simon Brett (author of the hugely popular Charles Paris series), this intriguing, interactive panel show challenges professional crime novelists to put their experience and expertise to the test as they try to unravel various mind-bending mysteries.

Each episode features a death and a denouement - with various red herrings and misdirections along the way. As the murder scenario is described and the clues laid out, our writer-detectives take turns cross-examining the suspects. After receiving the latest police updates, it's time to decide whodunit - but will the panellists pick the right perpetrator, or have they been cunningly led astray? We find out in the Foul Play 'Foul Playlet', in which the truth is revealed.... 

All the victims, suspects, witnesses and police officers are played by actors Lee Simpson and Maria McErlane (who part-improvise their roles based on the information they've been given), while the guest investigators include Val McDermid, Lindsey Davis, HRF Keating, PD James, Reginald Hill, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Frances Fyfield, John Harvey, Stella Duffy, Robert Barnard and Ian Rankin. Among the baffling cases they tackle are a dead Dowager Duchess, a 1930s murder at sea, a pantomime crime, a monastery mystery and an Elizabethan court killing.

Cast and credits

Devised, written and chaired by Simon Brett

Produced by Ann Jobson and Liz Anstee

Actors: Lee Simpson and Maria McErlane

Series 1 panellists: Liza Cody, Susan Moody, John Harvey, Margaret Yorke, Lindsey Davis, Val McDermid, PD James, HRF Keating, Lady Antonia Fraser, Reginald Hill, Ruth Dudley Edwards and Simon Shaw

Series 2 panellists: Tim Heald, Jessica Mann, Frances Fyfield, Minette Walters, Sarah Dunant, Keith Miles, Paula Gosling, Peter N Walker, Robert Barnard, Caroline Graham, Gavin Lyall and Anthony Price

Series 3 panellists: Lady Antonia Fraser, Anthony Price, PD James, HRF Keating, Susan Moody, Simon Shaw, Liza Cody, Reginald Hill, John Harvey, Val McDermid, Frances Fyfield and Peter N Walker

Series 4 panellists: Ruth Dudley Edwards, Robert Richardson, Jean McConnell, Keith Miles, Jessica Mann, James Melville, Tim Heald, Margaret Yorke, Robert Barnard, Lindsey Davis, Ian Rankin and Stella Duffy

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 7 November-12 December 1996 (Series 1), 27 February-3 April 1997 (Series 2), 18 December 1997-22 January 1998 (Series 3), 11 September -16 October 1998 (Series 4)

©2020 Simon Brett (P)2020 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.

What listeners say about Foul Play: The Complete Series 1-4

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off color

some great voice acting. Simon Brett is wonderful as the writer. the plot of some of the vignettes relied too heavily on sexual scenarios, I thought. cheap laughs. some great moments and I love the idea 💡. I've always thought that money was a much more convincing motive for murder.

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  • PPod
  • 02-15-21

Great fun

wish there were more. Great little 30 minute radio shows were crime fiction writers try and solve a murder. Fun easy listen

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  • Katherine
  • 12-31-21

Great radio series

lovely concept and acting really good to hear failed to guess guilty party most of the time

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  • Mrs. Sarah Sutherland
  • 07-22-21

Great listen

funny and easy to listen to, if you love crime have a listen. well written and keeps you guessing

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  • Mrs. Rm Walters
  • 01-24-21

Brilliant

I have followed this series for years on the radio, kept looking to see if it was available as an audio book, so was really pleased when it was finally released. The funny thing is that I am sure there were some episodes I had not heard before, impossible I know, as it comes round on the radio at regular intervals.

Love all the episodes, but my favourite has to be Dead Broads Don't Talk. Val really plays up to the various characters Lee and Maria play. Brilliant. Shame the BBC saw fit not to do more than the four series, especially as I am a great fan of Simon Brett. At least I now have those safe and sound on my laptop.

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  • Malie Lalor
  • 01-18-21

Delightful, witty little murder mysteries

What a delight this was! Four snappy series of a comedy panel show from the mid-90s, featuring witty, tongue-in-cheek murder mystery scenarios, with Simon Brett as the entertaining chairman, leading and misleading a variety of well-known murder mystery writers through clues and red herrings to unmask the murderers. Radio comedy at its absolute best, with plenty of improv from the superb cast (all the suspects, witnesses, police officers, murderers and murderees expertly voiced by Maria McErlane and Lee Simpson!). Very impressed with how funny all the crime writers were, with the episodes featuring PD James my absolute favourites.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-21

Fun

It's a fun, light-hearted murder mystery with well paced half hour episodes. I simply cannot recommend it enough.

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  • ALICIA VEGA PLATA
  • 01-24-21

fantastic

It was really nice to be able to listen to a brilliant programme again! great