Monday, 14 July 2008

Reginald Hill - "The Roar of the Butterflies"

Normally I cannot stand Gumshoe type novels but Joe Sixsmith is a bit different to the American variety. He works in Luton. He's middling aged, middling waisted, and middling bald. The Roar of the Butterflies (2008) is the fifth book in the Joe Sixsmith series. The action is constant and the humour reminiscent of P G Wodehouse (helped by the golfing theme). Having said all that I'm not sure I'd read a second Reginald Hill. One was enough, fun though it was.
"Luton in the grip of a sweltering summer is a pretty sedentary place - which is bad for the private detective business. Thieves, fraudsters and philanderers take the month off and the only swingers in town are the ones to be found on the 19th hole of the Royal Hoo Golf Course. The civilized reputation of the “Hoo” is in trouble, however. Shocking allegations of cheating have been directed at one of its leading members, Chris Porphyry. When Chris turns to Joe Sixsmith, PI, he's more than willing to help. . .well, he hasn't got any other clients…only Joe hadn't counted on being charmed, kissed and then dangled out of a window all in the same day!"

"...he recalled Aunt Mirabelle saying something like, lawyers do favours like cats take mice for a walk."
"Joe had put Spain to the back of his mind, which was an area of the Sixsmith intellect so crowded that a Health and Safety Inspector would have condemned it out of hand. All kinds of stuff got dumped there and much of it was never reclaimed."
"There's one or two (of them) who'd forge their own wills," said Bert.

REGINALD HILL (born 1936) was brought up in Cumbria, and has returned there after many years in Yorkshire. With his first crime novel, A Clubbable Woman, he was hailed as 'the crime novel's best hope' and twenty years on he has more than fulfilled that promise. His pseudonyms include Dick Morland, Patrick Ruell, and Charles Underhill


  1. 'Having said all that I'm not sure I'd read a second Reginald Hill.'
    Oh, but have you read the Dalziel & Pascoe books?? I'm loving them -dare I say it- more than any detective series I've read, other than dear Peter Wimsey of course. If I didn't want to keep mine, I'd send you the first three. Of course, you might not like them, but I think you would.

  2. Knowing how much I've enjoyed most books you've recommended,. Nan, I shall add the Clubbable Woman to my library requests list!


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