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An April Shroud by Reginald Hill
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An April Shroud (1975)

by Reginald Hill

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I was definitely "meh" about this book. Has all the ists - racist, sexist classist and the mystery just didn't hold my attention. ( )
  infjsarah | May 18, 2019 |
As "An April Shroud" begins, Detective Sergeant Peter Pascoe is celebrating his wedding to Ellie, and Detective Superintendent Andrew Dalziel decides to take himself off on a holiday, hoping that it will dispel the depression he has been experiencing. When his car is bogged down on a flooded road, he seeks help at a nearby house, which turns out to be full of very strange people indeed, all of whom are involved in a restaurant project that is attracting all the wrong attention: the attention of thieves, embezzlers and maybe a murderer, too…. I recently was feeling rather down on Reginald Hill’s books because of the inherent sexism of the times in which they were written, so I put off reading this fourth novel in the Dalziel and Pascoe series, but I found that I thoroughly enjoyed this outing, after all. It’s very funny, and there is a lot of pointed commentary on the British class system, which was a lot of fun. But wow, did people back then drink like fish! Recommended. ( )
  thefirstalicat | May 18, 2016 |
This book turned out to be somewhat timely from a meteorological standpoint, being set in a very waterlogged, flood-ridden part of Lincolnshire. Pascoe has gone on honeymoon and Dalziel is at a loose end. After getting his car stuck on a flooded road, Dalziel witnesses an unusual funeral procession moving by boat instead of by car, meets the family and ends up rather more closely enfolded into the group than he was expecting. In this way he ends up starting to investigate the death of the person who had been honoured with the funeral procession.

This is the fourth book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series and is a more sedate entry than some I recall. Hill takes his time setting up the family dynamic and allowing the members to become accustomed to and confide in Dalziel. I liked watching Dalziel work, but it was also good to see Pascoe again when he finally got back from honeymoon (and their reunion is quite memorable). I would recommend this one only if you've read another book in the series first. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 12, 2014 |
Ironically, the TV series featuring Dalziel and Pascoe retitled this book “Autumn Shroud.” I hate it when they do that. I’m a huge fan of the Dalziel and Pascoe novels.

Following Pascoe’s wedding to Ellie, Andy is off on a two-week holiday but he has no idea what to do with himself other than drive around and when his car breaks down he finds himself intrigued by a family burying a father and husband in a singularly emotionless fashion. In his inimitable way, he insinuates himself into their house, not to mention the widow, and discovers a nice little mystery on which to work his magic. Pascoe hardly makes an appearance in this novel, so Andy’s personal foibles and detective talents are showcased.

In one scene, so unlike the protagonist hero-worship of most novels, Dalziel and Bonnie go to bed together and it’s really quite a funny scene, with Bonnie almost making fun of him. Then again, as he notes, his idea of foreplay, when he was married, was a six-pack.

First rate Hill novel. Very ably read by Colin Buchanan who plays Pascoe in the TV series. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Finally seeing some of Dalziel's personal side unfortunately with very little Pascoe in the mix. I found the numerous characters a bit confusing but I was reading multiple books at the same time so I can't put it all on the book. Overall I'm enjoying the series and look forward to further developments. ( )
  Marshrat | Aug 28, 2011 |
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...the melancholy fit shall fall/ Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud/ That fosters the droop-headed flowers all/ And hides the green hill in an April shroud --John Keats

De'il and Dalziel begin with ane letter/ The de'ils nae guid and Dalziel's nae better. --Old Galloway Saying
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586072616, Paperback)

Superintendent Dalziel falls for the recently bereaved Mrs Fielding's ample charms, and has to be rescued from a litter of fresh corpses by Inspector Pascoe. After seeing Inspector Pascoe off on his honeymoon with a few ill-chosen words, Superintendent Andy Dalziel soon runs into trouble and water on his own solitary holiday. Rescued by a bunch of somewhat cheerful mourners, he accompanies them back to their rundown mansion to dry off. The owner of Lake House, Bonnie Fielding, seems less troubled by her husband's tragic death than by the problem of saving the family fortunes. Prompted not only by a professional curiosity but also by a more personal interest in Mrs Fielding's ample charms, Dalziel stays on. By the time Pascoe reappears, there have been several more deaths and it looks as if the normally hard-headed Dalziel might have compromised himself beyond redemption!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In this novel the best detective duo in British crime writing are investigating murder amongst the upper classes and there is also the unlikely prospect of Dalziel being in love.

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