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Durbridge, Francis - 'Paul Temple and the Madison Mystery'
Audio CD: 4 hours (July 2008) Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd ISBN: 1405678127

The original 1949 recording of PAUL TEMPLE AND THE MADISON MYSTERY has been lost but the BBC has recreated it in 2008 using "original scripts, vintage sound effects and much of the original incidental music" and it stars Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson as Paul Temple and his wife Steve.

Temple is a crime writer who often helps out Scotland Yard when they're struggling with a case. He and Steve are returning to London on a transatlantic liner when they meet American business man Sam Portland. Portland has a tale to tell: he was found abandoned and was taken in by a policeman and he has no idea who he really is and is named after the street he was found on. His only clue to his identity is a key chain with an old penny on it. He is travelling to London as a famous British private detective called Madison has information on who his real family is. Before he reaches London however, he suffers a heart attack. Though there is no suspicion of foul play, Temple is intrigued about Madison as he and Scotland Yard know no-one of that name and so he and Steve become embroiled in the 'Madison affair'.

As they try to track down Madison they become involved with Portland's family and employees and begin to unearth smugglers and counterfeiters and they are never very far from stumbling over a dead body...

PAUL TEMPLE AND THE MADISON MYSTERY is an absolute treat to listen to. It's an eight part series, spread over four cds and is unputdownable. I loved listening to it and felt I was there in the Temples' flat or the nightclub they visit or the country house they stay in or the plane Steve goes on and so on. It's very well acted and there is plenty of action with at least one dead body per episode plus bombs and knives and kidnappings. Plenty of scotch is drunk and Temple's phrase 'By Timothy' has now entered my vocabulary. The Temples make quite a team and though Paul tries to protect his wife, she gives as good as she gets.

PAUL TEMPLE AND THE SULLIVAN MYSTERY is also available as a full-cast dramatisation with the same actors in the lead roles and I'm looking forward to listening to it enormously.

Karen Meek, England
September 2008

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

More crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 20/09/2008 16:39