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A Clubbable Woman (1970)

de Reginald Hill

Séries: Dalziel and Pascoe (1)

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7392130,814 (3.4)42
Adapted into a long-running hit show for the BBC, the Gold Dagger Award-winning series is now available as eBooks. Mary Connon froze out her husband, Sam, long ago. She likes the attention of other men-like the fellow members of Sam's rugby club. Naturally, when she's found dead in her sitting room with a hole in her head, Sam is a suspect. If only he hadn't suffered a dizzying scrum injury that's left everything a blur. He isn't sure that he didn't kill her. But Det. Inspector Andrew Dalziel and his partner, Peter Pascoe, are looking outside the unhappy home. Because it seems everyone within spitting distance of the suburban femme fatale-from prying neighbors to spurned lovers to jealous wives-wanted Mary dead.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 21 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The first in the series but already shows signs of good things to come. The characters are sufficiently developed to provide interest , the victim and relatives even more so than the detectives. The plot builds gradually with small twists or herrings. Will definitely find more of the series to try. ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
Before Jackson Lamb, there was Andy Dalziel
Review of the Grafton Books paperback (1987) of the Collins Crime Club hardcover original (1970)
Dalziel sank over his chair and scratched himself vigorously between the legs. Not absent-mindedly - nothing he did was mannerism - but with conscious sensuousness. Like scratching a dog to keep it happy...

Dalziel rose ponderously and belched without effort at concealment.

Pascoe scratched his nose ruminatively then stopped in horror as he realized who he was imitating.

Dalziel pushed his right index finger through the small hairs which fringed the cavity of his ear, and wriggled it sensuously about.
- excerpts from A Clubbable Woman
Mick Herron, the author of the Slough House aka Slow Horses (2010-ongoing) espionage series, has acknowledged that part of the inspiration for the slovenly and flatulent head of the Slough House department of misfit agents of the security service was from Reginald Hill's Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel (pronounced Dee-El) of the Dalziel & Pascoe police detective series (1970-2009).

Having recently complete a binge read of the Slough House novels, I also came across my archive collection of the early Dalziel & Pascoe paperbacks from the 1980s in a storage locker clean-out. Curiosity about the Jackson Lamb inspiration had some satisfactory confirmations as one can read in the sample text excerpts above.

See photograph at https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FZkxI4CXkAAu2sG?format=jpg&name=large
Book haul of the early Dalziel and Pascoe paperbacks, mostly from Grafton Books in the 1980s. Image sourced from Twitter.

The story itself was not that much of an inspiration though. It feels badly dated with the members of a community rugby club coming under suspicion for the apparent murder of the wife of one of its local heroes. There is a lot of leching for each other's wives, poison pen letters, opportunistic voyeurs and a cringe-inducing scene where the (of-age) teenage daughter of the murder victim allows herself to be fondled by an older man in order to glean some possible investigative information due to his knowledge of local gossip. The erstwhile investigators barely solve anything except that a confession is finally provoked without any especially dramatic confrontation. Not a great start to the series, but I'll probably give it a few more re-reads before I decide to abandon it.

See DVD cover at https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTc4OTYxNzA1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTg2MzYz...
Cover image of the Series 1 boxset of the "Dalziel & Pascoe" TV series. Image sourced from IMDb.

Trivia and No Link
A Clubbable Woman was adapted for the long running TV series of Dalziel and Pascoe (1996-2007) as Episode 1 of Series 1. I could not find an online trailer or posting of the episode. ( )
  alanteder | Aug 7, 2022 |
Very quaint, small regional rugby club, pubs, mid-sized town police.
This book would be improved by 33% reduction. The middle was a hard slog.
Denouement required objects and people that had not appeared prior to that time.
Neanderthal depictions of men's reactions to women, but secondary characters have loving relationships where women are valued. ( )
  feeling.is.first | Jul 1, 2020 |
I love all of Reginald Hill's books, and especially the long-running Dalziel and Pascoe series, but until very recently I'd never read this first in the series. It's thirty-seven years old, for instance, and the series had developed so far that this was bound to be a disappointment. I need not have worried. All the Hill trademarks are there: the tight-knit community with its hidden undercurrents of ill-feeling; a complex web of intrigues; more twists than a Dales byway. ( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
I love all of Reginald Hill's books, and especially the long-running Dalziel and Pascoe series, but until very recently I'd never read this first in the series. It's thirty-seven years old, for instance, and the series had developed so far that this was bound to be a disappointment. I need not have worried. All the Hill trademarks are there: the tight-knit community with its hidden undercurrents of ill-feeling; a complex web of intrigues; more twists than a Dales byway. ( )
  enitharmon | Jan 14, 2019 |
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Adapted into a long-running hit show for the BBC, the Gold Dagger Award-winning series is now available as eBooks. Mary Connon froze out her husband, Sam, long ago. She likes the attention of other men-like the fellow members of Sam's rugby club. Naturally, when she's found dead in her sitting room with a hole in her head, Sam is a suspect. If only he hadn't suffered a dizzying scrum injury that's left everything a blur. He isn't sure that he didn't kill her. But Det. Inspector Andrew Dalziel and his partner, Peter Pascoe, are looking outside the unhappy home. Because it seems everyone within spitting distance of the suburban femme fatale-from prying neighbors to spurned lovers to jealous wives-wanted Mary dead.

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