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The Roar of the Butterflies by Reginald Hill
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The Roar of the Butterflies (2008)

by Reginald Hill

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The best of the Joe Sixsmith books so far and definitely the most amusing. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
The Roar of the Butterflies, by Reginald Hill, is I believe the fifth in his series featuring private detective Joe Sixsmith, but it is the first one of the series that I have read. During an extremely hot Luton summer, Joe is asked by a young, rich golf club member to clear his name - he is suspected of having cheated at golf, a sin that would result in his being expelled from the club despite the fact that, it having been built by his grandfather, the young man has the majority of shares in the club and owns the land on which the golf course was built. As Joe is a balding, portly, middle-aged, middle-class Black man, he expects that other club members won't be fooled by the young man's ruse that he is considering sponsoring Joe for the club, but surprisingly everybody he meets there is quite affable. Some of them, however, have more to hide than others, and there are questions about what might become of the land should the young man be moved out of the way.... Since I haven't read the other books in this series, I don't know if I'm missing a lot or a little in terms of the relationships that Joe has with various clearly ongoing characters. As it is, I quite enjoyed the novel; I liked Joe and his friends, and while I guessed the motive of the accusation fairly early on, I didn't guess the perpetrators until nearly the end. If I run across more Joe Sixsmith titles, I will pick them up; so, a mild recommendation from me. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Mar 28, 2015 |
I enjoyed this once I got into it. It was quite different than I expected, fun though. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Hill shamelessly having a bit of fun making a grab for some of the money that's been flowing into the pockets of writers at the lighter end of the detective market, like Jasper Fforde and Alexander McCall Smith. The choice of Luton must surely be a dig at Fforde's use of Reading.
He's been churning out high-quality detective stories for over forty years, so I imagine this is the sort of thing he can do in his sleep by now. Not much in the way of profound character analysis or detailed modelling of the social and political background, just a good honest blunderer, a few tycoons and some beautiful women. The golf club setting is explicitly tagged for us as an homage to P.G. Wodehouse, and there are quite a few Wodehouse references buried here and there in the text.
The sort of book to read with pleasure on a sunny afternoon on the balcony, but probably not a re-reader. ( )
  thorold | Jul 15, 2011 |
What we have here is a mixed blessing. On the plus side there is the lead character of Joe Sixsmith,who is a rather different sort of Private Eye than the norm and quite an appealing individual. He lives and works in the less than exotic location of Luton,UK.which again is a plus as you will see if you read this.
On the other side of the coin is the fact that the book centers on the game of Golf,a sport that,I suspect is less than interesting to most of us.
The title is a rather good one and comes courtesy of the late and great P.G.Wodehouse. ( )
  devenish | May 3, 2010 |
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For WRECKING CREWS the world over. (You know who you are!)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061451983, Mass Market Paperback)

Laid-off lathe operator-turned-private investigator Joe Sixsmith is suddenly very popular, and not just with the ladies. Though he doesn't know a putter from a nine iron, he's being implored to come to the rescue of one Christian Porphyry, the scion of the upper-crust family that owns the most exclusive country club in Luton. Porphyry faces expulsion for the heinous crime of cheating at golf.

Inexplicably, political boss/crime czar "King Rat" Ratcliffe is also interested in employing Joe, offering him some very attractive surveillance work in sunny Spain. But Sixsmith's more intrigued by the first case, especially when a possible witness to the alleged indiscretion mysteriously vanishes.

It's not unusual for Joe to feel out of his depth, but this time he feels out of his class too. Suddenly he faces a potentially fatal pummeling from a variety of sources—and is in grave peril of discovering just how dangerous a contact sport golf can be.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Laid-off lathe operator-turned-private investigator Joe Sixsmith is suddenly very popular, and not just with the ladies. Though he doesn't know a putter from a nine iron, he's being implored to come to the rescue of one Christian Porphyry, the scion of the upper-crust family that owns the most exclusive country club in Luton. It's not unusual for Joe to feel out of his depth, but this time he feels out of his class too. Suddenly he faces a potentially fatal pummeling from a variety of sources--and is in grave peril of discovering just how dangerous a contact sport golf can be.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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