So far I've listed
- #6 Michael Robotham
- #5 Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine
- #4 Simon Brett
- #3 Donna Leon
- #2 Karin Fossum
- #1 Peter Lovesey
However from my database, some mini reviews to titivate your tasetebuds and send you scurrying off to the library or bookshop. These ones I have read and recorded since the end of 2004.
AN ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING
Lecturers having it away with students, midnight romps among the sand dunes, these fit in pretty well with Superintendent Andy Dalziel's views of the benefits of Higher Education. But the discovery of a body buried beneath a statue in the grounds of Holm Coultram College surprises even his cynical mind.
Fortunately he has an expert to hand, that prize product of Higher Education., Peter Pascoe. Together they settle in on campus and the learning process begins. The only trouble is that just as they think they have solved one problem, a second body turns up to set them another.… and another ....
Pascoe is both helped and hindered by finding an old flame on the staff, while the students class Dalziel as a fascist pig and thick with it, which is a very serious mistake....
My rating: 4.5
THE WOOD BEYOND
Police Inspector Peter Pascoe has stumbled upon the remains of an ancestor unjustly executed in wartime. As he delves into the mystery of his disgraced great-grandfather's death, his partner, Detective Superintendent Andrew Dalziel, is preoccupied with a shapely animal rights activist. Eight female protesters have discovered human bones on the grounds of a drug company's research headquarters, and the investigation has a shocking connection to Pascoe's own family case.
My rating: 5.0
ON BEULAH HEIGHT
Andy Dalziel's worst case was when 3 little girls went missing at Dendale, a small community where a dam was being built. They were never found and Benny Lightfoot, the man suspected of their disappearance, disappeared without trace too. The valley was flooded and the crime was never solved. Most of the families moved into a neighbouring valley, and now, 15 years on, another little girl has gone missing. But little Betsy Lightfoot had survived 15 years ago, and now she has come back to the area. She was 7 years old when Dendale was drowned. And it seems too that Benny is back.
My rating: 4.7
THE STRANGER HOUSE
Things move slowly in the tiny village of Illthwaite, but that's about to change with the arrival of two strangers. Sam Flood is a young Australian post-grad en route to Cambridge. Miguel Madero is a Spanish historian in flight from a priests' seminary. They have nothing in common and no connection, except that they both want to dig up bits of the past that some people would rather keep buried. Very different book by Reginald Hill.
A bit Gothic/mystery/romance, and rather in the style of books I used to read back in the 1970s, but I enjoyed it. I can see though, why readers who wanted more Dalziel and Pascoe were a bit upset when this came out. I'm even wondering now whether Hill has had parts of this in cold storage for years and just fleshed out the Australian character (who can be a bit annoying) after his Australian tour of 2004
My rating: 4.6
THE DEATH OF DALZIEL
When Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel sticks his nose in where it is not wanted yet again, and is consequently blown up by a Semtex bomb exploding in a video store, the unthinkable is on the cards: the death of fat Andy. Then it seems there is little justice in the world. Sheltered by Dalziel's bulk, and only slightly injured in the bomb blast, Peter Pascoe is fairly quickly seconded to CAT, the anti-terrorist unit. As fat Andy fights against the odds and remains in a coma, blame falls on the Knights Templar, a right wing group pledged to dealing with Moslem sympathisers through summary execution and even suicide bombing. Pascoe suspects there may be a mole in CAT who is leaking information to the Knights Templar, and that his secondment is in fact busy work to keep an eye on him. There are some beautiful cameo performances in this book: Cap Marvell, Dalziel's partner; Hector, the policeman who originally noticed something odd in the video store; Rosie, Pater Pascoe's daughter who has absolute faith that Uncle Andy will wake up when he is good and ready; Ellie Pascoe, so supportive of Peter; and finally Wieldy, ever faithful, always coming up with the goods. This is one book that you don't want to finish..
My rating: 5.0