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Clubbable Woman (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1970
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"Hill is an instinctive and complete novelist...blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
When Connon gets back from the rugby club, his wife is even more uncommunicative than usual. Connon goes upstairs to sleep for five hours. Then he discovers his wife has been beaten to death. Reginald Hill has won both the Golden Dagger Award and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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All of this is great fun to watch expand through the novels but if the mysteries in each book were not interesting, the series would not work. Some in the series are stronger than others, but all of them are, at worst, interesting and at best throughly engrossing. It is always murder, sometimes by murders caught in the circumstances of their lives, sometimes by madmen, and occasionally by the good gone wrong.
There are some notes that jar. Ellie Pascoe is the weakest of the characters, seen as a feminist first and often strident, which does not quite seem to fit with her husband and often seems one dimensional. Every now and again, one of the books will wander a bit, making the reader wonder what Hill really wants to talk about. But the writing is strong, literate, often witty and spare enough to allow the reader to build an affectionate picture of the characters and countryside without being cloying. The suspects become more complex as the books progress and some of the best are the most recent. My only regret is that I did not start the series at the beginning and that I have read them all, and miss the pleasure of having a Dalziel and Pascoe story to look forward to. I've stolen the list, in order, from Wikiopedia:
1. A Clubbable Woman (1970)
2. An Advancement of Learning (1971)
3. Ruling Passion (1973)
4. An April Shroud (1975)
5. A Pinch of Snuff (1978)
6. A Killing Kindness (1980)
7. Deadheads (1983)
8. Exit Lines (1984)
9. Child's Play (1987)
10. Under World (1988)
11. Bones and Silence (1990)
12. One Small Step (novella) (1990)
13. Recalled to Life (1992)
14. Pictures of Perfection (1994)
15. The Wood Beyond (1995)
16. Asking for the Moon [SS] (1996)
o "The Last National Service Man"
o "Pascoe's Ghost"
o "Dalziel's Ghost"
o "One Small Step"
17. On Beulah Height (1998)
18. Arms and the Women (1999)
19. Dialogues of the Dead (2002)
20. Death's Jest-Book (2003)
21. Good Morning Midnight (2004)
22. The Death of Dalziel (UK Title)/Death Comes for the Fat Man (US Title) (2007)
23. A Cure for All Diseases (2008)
The book is based around the goings-on at a rugby club that may or may not be connected with the murder of the wife of one of the players, but no knowledge of the game is required to enjoy the book -- it's a study of the social interactions in such a venue rather than the sport itself. The main problem readers are likely to face is that the book was first published in 1970, and as such is recent enough not to be immediately obviously a period work, while still being old enough for the culture and mores to feel somewhat odd to the modern reader. It's important to be aware of the period when reading the book, as many of the potential motivations for the characters revolve around sexual jealousy and flouting of mores. Hill draws a detailed picture of life in a relatively small Yorkshire town in the 1970s, with its web of social obligations and friendships that can be exploited by both the police and those they're pursuing.
Not my favourite of the series, and the characters aren't yet fully developed, but well worth reading both in its own right and as an introduction to the series.
I was jealous to read that other reviewers have had access to a television version of Hill's mysteries. I hope they are well done, and would love to see them, but at the same time I am leary lest Dalziel not be the person my mind has drawn him as. Pascoe's shoes would probably be easier to fill.
This book IS slightly dated. It is only through having grown up in the sixties, that I recognize much of the language and the mores of the time period. Perhaps the reoccurance of the fashions (there is a contradiction in terms) of the 1970's will make some of the book more understandable to other readers. Of course, Hill would choose to write about something he knows. Rugby may be foreign to American readers, but I enjoyed reading about it, even though it's rules are not quite clear. However, the enthusiasm of men for their sport and the comraderies among these men is certainly not something new.
A fun read...