Reginald Hill: a personal memory

By Iwan Morelius

I would like to add some words and this photograph to honour the memory of my friend the late Reginald Hill.

In the early 1970s I was one of a couple of lucky people / mystery fans / authors who for the first time met Reginald Hill, just as he had made his debut as a mystery writer.

We met up in lovely Harrogate where a Crime Writers’ Association meeting was being held. I dare to say that that first meeting was a success. We all found each other at once and from that date we had a lifelong connection. We met in England in different places at CWA meetings, in New York at Mystery Writers of America meetings and we met in Stockholm at the Swedish Academy of Detection’s World Congress.

Personally, I have known Reg as a warm and very, very nice person as well as one of the best mystery writers I´ve ever read. His great, and I mean great, humour was excellent and so were his plots. When he and his lovely wife entered a room everyone was happy. Reg’s smile came from his heart and we really miss him.

Scarborough 1988

This picture, from the private collection of Iwan Morelius, was taken at a CWA conference in Scarborough in 1988, shows Reg with some of his best English friends:

Back row: Duncan Kyle, Reg Hill, Julian Symons, June Thomson, Peter Lovesey, Michael Hartland.

Front row: Margareta Morelius, Joan Bagley (widow of Desmond Bagley), Colin Dexter.

Iwan Morelius was born in Stockholm in 1931 and served in the Swedish army from 1950 to 1981. In 1968 he founded the long-running DAST Magazine dedicated to his life-long passion for crime fiction. He became an enthusiastic expert on the international crime-writing scene and although retired and living in Spain, with his wife Margareta, still writes a monthly column in Swedish online.  The edition reporting the death of Reginald Hill can be seen here.

With thanks to Iwan Morelius for the comments and the picture; and to Mike Ripley for ‘go-between’ assistance.