Reginald Hill Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Reginald Hill introduced Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe in A Clubbable Woman (1970), and followed this work with An Advancement of Learning (1971). Such titles indicated early on the wordplay and double entendres that would become staples of the series: The victim in the first novel is not just “clubby” but bludgeoned to death, and the second novel’s title as well as its chapter epigrams come from the writings of Sir Francis Bacon. Hill has been praised for his precise characterization, from the ample use of Yorkshire dialect and manners to the deployment of various points of view in the narration, voice-over techniques, interior monologues, and fragments of letters and diaries. In the later novels, Hill has been given to ingenious plots that function on several levels other than the investigation of the central crime. He has said he does not consider his books police procedurals per se but simply good stories.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Cohu, Will. “A Writer’s Life: Reginald Hill.” The Daily Telegraph, June 23, 2005, p. O12. Hill describes how he got started in writing and how he does his writing. Contains some biographical information.

Herbert, Rosemary. The Fatal Art of Entertainment: Interviews with Mystery Writers. New York: G. K. Hall, 1994. Hill talks about his preference for character over plot and describes his childhood shyness.

Hill, Reginald. “The Plot’s the Thing.” Writer 108, no. 11 (November, 1995): 11. Hill discusses the importance of plot, saying its touchstones are pace, point of view, and continuity. Sheds light on his works. This issue of Writer also contains an interview with Hill that looks at writing mysteries.

Kirkus Reviews. Review of Death Comes for the Fat Man, by Reginald Hill. 75, no. 2 (January 15, 2007): 53. Favorable review of a Dalziel and Pascoe novel in which Fat Andy Dalziel lies in a coma for much of the work.

Priestman, Martin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. This general work features chapters on private investigators, thrillers, and postwar British crime fiction. Add perspective to Hill’s work.

Richards, Huw. “College Drop-out Loves Life of Crime.” Times Educational Supplement, September 20, 2001, p. 34. Discusses how Hill gave up teaching to become a full-time writer and examines the Dalziel and Pascoe television series.

Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. New York, Routledge, 2005. Contains chapters on police procedurals, thrillers, and detectives.

The Yorkshire Post. “A Fresh Chapter Opens in a Life of Crime.” March 22, 2007, p. 1. Contains a discussion of Hill’s series and the popular British television series that it spawned as well as details of Hill’s personal life.