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The Price of Butcher's Meat (Dalziel and Pascoe) Hardcover – November 4, 2008

41 customer reviews
Book 23 of 24 in the Dalziel and Pascoe Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

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.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

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Product Details

  • Series: Dalziel and Pascoe
  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061451932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061451935
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,136,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Reginald Hill has been widely published both in England and the United States. He received Britain's most coveted mystery writers award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, as well as the Golden Dagger for his Dalziel/Pascoe series.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this terrific Dalziel/Pascoe mystery a few months ago under its original British title (see above), and it is one of my favorite books in the long-running series. Reginald Hill's mysteries are consistently witty and intelligent, but in this one he introduces a new style of storytelling for his rotund Inspector Dalziel and the charming young woman who comes to his aid--emails and tape recordings. The first-person recordings are interspersed with regular third-person narrative to give us a fascinating, multimedia tale of murder and mayhem in a seaside health clinic.

If you're familiar with Andy Dalziel, you can just imagine his mood when he is sent to the hospital in Sandytown ("Home of the Healthy Holiday!") to recuperate from the injuries he received in his last adventure. He's so bored and frustrated that he actually welcomes the murder of a prominent local woman as a chance to bust out of his enforced confinement. The mystery is excellent, and the suspects are a colorful group of oddballs. But my favorite part of this book is Andy's relationship with Charlie, the clever girl who helps him solve the case. THE PRICE OF BUTCHER'S MEAT is sheer pleasure, start to finish. Highly Recommended.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Needing to recover from "the big bang in Mill Street" that nearly killed him (see DEATH COMES FOR THE FAT MAN) and no one able or willing to take him in, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel heeds the advice of Ellie Pascoe, wife of the Chief Inspector. He obtains a room at the Avalon in Sandytown by the sea, "the Home of the Healthy Holiday".

As he records his feelings per his therapist, Dalziel quickly realizes three families own the small resort town under the auspices of the Sandytown Development Consortium. The Parkers, Denhams and Hollises have ambitious plans for Sandytown until Lady Denham dies mysteriously. Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe leads the investigation in which Dalziel wants in if nothing else at least as a consultant; on the other hand Pascoe desperately wants to keep his sick leave pal "Fat Andy" out so he can lead the show.

This is a refreshing excellent follow-up to DEATH COMES FOR THE FAT MAN. The structure is a radical departure from the long running Dalziel-Pascoe police procedurals as it is told in six interrelated but unique volumes that make the tale more than a whodunit; the story line is a deep character study allowing insight into Dalziel via his taped observations and email sent by local Charlie Whiffle. With a nod to "Janeites" and homage to Jane Austen and her unfinished novel, Reginald Hill provides a great tale.

Harriet Klausner
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Bigsby on November 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Price of Butcher's Meat is a very very good Hill tale. If you were fortunate enough to pick up A Cure for All Diseases in England a few months ago please know that it is the same story under a different USA title.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ruth on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I always look forward to Reginald Hill's novels but of recent years the books have entered into a level of intellectual tangle and game playing, that I am not sure who is out witting who. Certainly me, . .

Charlotte seems to be a reincarnation of Sam from "The Stranger House". Her telling of the story, and it is a telling versus being played out, becomes tedious, and as soon as I heard (I listened to the book - well as much as I could)and realized character Franny Roote was again to play a part, I was quite irritated and then sad. This character only makes fools of both Pascoe and Dalziel.

I will continue to reread his earlier novels - they are quite wonderful and will test the waters with new ones. I do admire this author very much.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on February 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes being too clever is good. Then, on the other hand, sometimes not. This latest Dalziel and Pascoe Mystery provides an example of both. It is too clever by half. To begin with, the Fat Man, Andy Dalziel, is now awake from the coma he suffered from a bomb blast in the previous novel in the series, and, although weakened and thinner, is still, at least, awake and witty. His girlfriend talks him into going to a convalescent facility in an interesting seaside town and while recovering, he finds himself in the middle of several murders, but having to take a backseat to his protégé, Peter Pascoe, because he is still on leave.

Lady Denham, who has outlived two husbands, taking over the wealth of the first and the title of the second, is found strangled and roasting on a barbeque. Between her rampant sex drive and penchant for subjugating potential heirs, there is no lack of suspects. Two additional deaths follow.

The problem with the novel is its construction. The first part is presented in the form of e-mails by a young psychology student. While observant and providing plenty of information, the pages tend to drone and drag on. These are complemented by Andy dictating his innermost thoughts and observations; also somewhat overdone. When the reader gets past these pages, one can hunker down to a traditional police procedural on a par with the best of the series.

As Yogi said, it ain't over `til it's over. And the reader is never sure that the end is near, even at the final chapter, which is introduced again by a tape recording. The 500-plus pages are a lot to slog though. But reaching the conclusion is well worth the effort. And it is good to have the Fat Man amongst the living again. [In the last entry, he dominated the book by sleeping completely through it.] Recommended.
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