From Publishers Weekly
In Hill's solid 23rd Dalziel and Pascoe procedural set in Yorkshire, Det. Supt. Andy Dalziel doesn't see much of his longtime colleague, DCI Peter Pascoe, because Dalziel is recovering from the serious injuries he suffered in Death Comes for the Fat Man
(2007) in the quiet resort of Sandytown. When the charred corpse of wealthy Lady Daphne Denham turns up in a revolving basket that had been used for a pig roast in Sandytown, the two policemen pursue largely independent investigations. Much of the background to Denham's demise comes from e-mails that in spots may puzzle those unfamiliar with e-mail jargon. More deaths follow before Hill offers a final twist that's unlikely to catch experienced genre readers by surprise. The crotchety Dalziel's chafing at the restrictions at the convalescent home where he's staying provides some amusing distraction from the somewhat leisurely crime solving. Newcomers might better start with earlier books in the series. (Nov.)
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The 23rd installment in the Dalziel-Pascoe series is classic Reginald Hill with its clever, suspenseful plot, droll social commentary, and graceful prose. Hill brings the standard epistolary novel squarely into the 21st century as he intersperses a conventional third-person narrative with e-mails and stream-of-consciousness observations from a digital voice recorder. Though Entertainment Weekly
found this structure confusing at first and the New York Times Book Review
considered these devices somewhat clumsy, others, such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune
, remarked that the techniques work "brilliantly." Hill's characters—part Jane Austen and part Agatha Christie—and frequent literary allusions exasperated some critics but charmed others. All agreed that Hill fans will be delighted, though other readers may want to start at the beginning of the series.
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