Thanks to everyone who has contributed this week to our continuing celebration of Reginald Hill’s life and work. We’re getting such a rich set of perspectives from friends, fellow authors and fans alike. Thanks also to those who’ve taken the time to comment. We truly appreciate your input.
We started off the week with a marvellous personal perspective from noted author Andrew Taylor. Taylor shared his memories of meeting Hill and getting to know his work. Later Hill became a mentor when Taylor began his own writing career and in his tribute, Taylor shared his appreciation for Hill’s kindness, humour and of course, his company. Of Hill’s work, Taylor said,
“The books spoke, and speak, for themselves. They are like the man: witty, generous and unfailingly intelligent.”
Taylor closed his article with a wonderful anecdote of his last visit with Hill.
Next we were treated to a lovely tribute to Hill and a discussion of The Woodcutter by author and reviewer Jessica Mann. Mann found herself “bowled over” by The Woodcutter and could “hear Reginald Hill’s voice” in the novel. To her, The Woodcutter
“…is still in the thriller genre, containing crimes, clever clues and eventual revelation, but it’s much more than that.”
Mann’s long friendship with Hill and her respect for him is evident in her tribute.
Book blogger and librarian Roberta Rood of Books to the Ceiling then shared her personal experiences with the Dalziel and Pascoe series. To Rood, Hill’s characters
“… do not indulge in tiresome, humorless soul searching, nor do they involve themselves in lengthy, melodramatic confrontations over who’s sleeping with/lusting after whom. In other words, they exist to entertain rather than irritate.
Rood discussed several novels in the series, suggesting that readers should be especially careful not to miss On Beulah Height, which she describes as “a brilliant novel – period.” As a long-time Hill fan, Rood offered a fascinating perspective on the Dalziel and Pascoe novels.
We got another interesting perspective on the Dalziel and Pascoe series from Kerrie Smith, who blogs at Mysteries in Paradise. She shared with us her reviews of several of the novels, most notably The Wood Beyond, The Death of Dalziel (AKA Death Comes For the Fat Man) and A Cure For All Diseases (AKA The Price of Butcher’s Meat). To all of these she gave her highest rating. She also says of Hill that
“His novels were more than police procedurals, or thrillers, or murder mysteries. They had intellectual and literary content, to the point where I thought he could really be said to be one of those cross genre writers.”
She’s got a well-taken point.
Nick Hay of Mystery Mile offered a fascinating look at Hill’s A Cure For All Diseases and Jane Austen’s Sandition. Hay discussed both novels, showing how Hill was inspired by the Austen novel and how themes of that novel, and even character types and situations, appear in A Cure For All Diseases. Hay presented an interesting and detailed discussion of both novels, making the well-taken point that Hill’s novels are in many ways as much literary as they were anything else. In fact,
“Hill had introduced an Austenian theme previously in Pictures of Perfection, but in A Cure for All Diseases he took the idea much further than either he, or any other mystery writer as far as I am aware, had done before.”
It’s interesting to note that both Kerrie Smith and Nick Hay comment on the literary aspects of Hill’s work.
Ah, but this week wasn’t just filled with interesting articles, warm tributes and thoughtful reviews. Oh, no! This week also saw the announcement of a competition. Thanks to the good people at HarperCollins, you can win one of several wonderful Reginald Hill book prizes. Want to know how? Sure you do!! Check out the details here.
We’re looking forward to another wonderful week here at Celebrating Reginald Hill. Do enjoy the ride with us!