A Clubbable Woman, Paperback Book

A Clubbable Woman Paperback

Part of the Dalziel & Pascoe series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


`So far out in front that he need not bother looking over his shoulder' Sunday TelegraphDetective Superintendent Andy Dalziel investigates murder close to home in this first crime novel featuring the much-loved detective team of Dalziel and Pascoe.Home from the Rugby club after taking a nasty knock in a match, Sam Connon finds his wife more uncommunicative than usual.

After passing out on his bed for a few hours, he comes downstairs to discover communication has been cut off forever - by a hole in the middle of her forehead.Andy Dalziel, a long-standing member of the club, wants to run the murder investigation along his own lines.

But DS Peter Pascoe's loyalties lie elsewhere and he has quite different ideas about how the case should proceed.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780007313020

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This is the first time I’ve picked up one of Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe books because there’s simply too many writers of good crime fiction out there to cover them all, and I tend to arrow for the newer ones; if I haven’t started a series at the beginning, I won’t relish tackling the dated feel, the scenarios that have been rehashed in crime telly episodes every week. I don’t know why I continue to carry this prejudice, because it’s been blown out of the water several times, most recently by <i>A Clubbable Woman</i>, the debut of Reginald Hill’s disparate duo, written in 1970 and marvellously readable today (or, more accurately, most evenings this week).One of the wives of the players at Dalziel’s rugby club has been murdered. Despite knowing the crowd and finding an abundance of motives, he and Pascoe seem to be getting nowhere except on one another’s nerves.I’ve heard from people who’ve recommended the series that these books stray a little from the norm of detective fiction (sometimes they don’t get the guy, or even notice the odd crime, or there’s something added to the novel’s structure)… this one follows the basic rules, though, with an interesting if not staggering twist towards the end; but what impressed me most was that, for a first-in-the-series book, the relationship between the Detective Superintendant and his Sergeant is wholly formed and antsy, and the unfolding of the plot feels unforced, organic… I also enjoyed the rabidly misogynistic and lustful atmosphere of the rugby club, untempered by the political correctness of later decades; yes, maybe it’s a bit dated, but it’s also utterly true-to-life for the time and location. Even the better-educated Pascoe, believed by both of them to be a different creature from Dalziel, finds himself far with more on his mind than the case.I’ll probably have to read one or two more of Hill’s books before deciding whether he’s a ‘full collection’ author for me, but this was a very enjoyable beginning.

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