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A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,044 Ratings  ·  131 Reviews
Home from Rugby Club after taking a nasty knock in a match, Connon finds his wife even more uncommunicative than ususal. After passing out on his bed for five hours, he comes downstairs to discover communication has been cut off forever - by a hole in the middle of her forehead. Down at the club, passions run high, on and off the field. This is a home game for Detective Su ...more
Mass Market, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by HarperCollins (first published 1970)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 29, 2007 Kay rated it did not like it
OMG this was awful... I was positively spellbound by its awfulness. It was dreadful on so many levels -- the prose, the plot, the very assumptions that oozed out of the woodwork. Normally I don't finish books that I truly dislike, but this was an exception as I found its awfulness positively riveting.
Jan 26, 2016 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, re-read, 2016
A promising debut whose promise was fulfilled...

Sam Connon had been a rising star destined one day to play rugby for England, when his career was thrown off track by an injury. Still fit to play, though not at the top levels, he was a stalwart of the local rugby team in Mid Yorkshire, and still turns out occasionally for the fourth team – the old-timers whose glory days are behind them. On this afternoon, he has had a kick in the head during a scrum, which has left him feeling woozy and sick. So
Feb 02, 2011 Carlin rated it did not like it
I read the first third of this book and gave up. It is too much of its time for me. The sexism is casual and the women not very likable. It was such a slog to get past the detective's unpleasant personality I never got to the point of caring about the crime.
May 30, 2008 rabbitprincess rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dalziel and Pascoe completists
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: the Secondhand Bookstore Gods
A good enough entry to the Dalziel and Pascoe series. It is the first one, so readers more familiar with Hill's later work may be surprised by how his narrative voice feels. I don't remember Pascoe having quite so many internal monologues in later works, but it's interesting to see them in a more rambly form.

The case itself had decent twists and turns, but the atmosphere of the book was definitely saturated in rugby; the family at the heart of the case are involved with a rugby club. Not being a
Nov 01, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dr. Craig Spencer

Eh. The first one in the series is usually fairly bad. Hopefully they get better.

A slutty middle-aged woman of Yorkshire is found murdered and her husband, a rugby player, comes under suspicion. As does everyone at the Rugby Club. Hill's writing is not bad, but there's lots of vintage 1970 casual misogyny (starting with the double entendre title).
A CLUBBABLE WOMAN (Pol. Proc.-Dalziel/Pascoe-England-Cont) – G+
Hill, Reginald – 1st in series
Felony & Mayhem, 1970, US Paperback – ISBN: 9781933397931

First Sentence: “He’s all right.”

Sergeant Peter Pascoe has a degree in social sciences and read criminology. His new boss is Superintendent Andrew Dalziel (Dee-ell) is big, sloppy, a copious drinker and has his own way of solving crimes. I their first case together, they investigate the murder of Mary Connon.

Mary Connon was a shrewish housewif
Karen C
Feb 02, 2014 Karen C rated it did not like it
I did not like this book at all. The author was recommended to me by someone who knows I love British mysteries and series characters. However, this one was not good. Boring, too many references that, I assume, must pertain to the UK or even that time period when the book was written. Most of my reading is by foreign authors (British, Scottish, Norwegian, Swiss) and occasionally there may be a reference that I might not understand. But this one had too many of them. Plus I didn't care for any of ...more
A man arrives home late at night with a headache and finds his wife dead. And the suspense begins... A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill does not waste time in getting to the point of the matter. It brings forth its characters quickly, does not dwell too much outside of the murder case's requirement, and moves at a bright pace though in a soothing manner without any excessive drama. Is that a good thing or not? Well, the boundaries of the book do limit the reader's involvement in the plot. There ...more
David Gooch
Feb 23, 2016 David Gooch rated it really liked it
Well I have to say that this was a pleasant read and considering this was Hill's first Dalziel & Pascoe novel it is pretty good.
Ok it doesn't have hundreds of twists and turns but the writing presents some colourful characters and Hill brings them alive well. His two detectives certainly start in this book with a bit of a love/hate relationship. Dalziel has acerbic wit which is delivered quite well by the author and try as I might I couldn't help but picture Warren Clarke in the TV role as I
Will North
Sep 03, 2014 Will North rated it really liked it
Stubborn, bloody-minded detectives are a regular feature of British detective mysteries (just think of Inspector Morse!). But Reginald Hill’s inspector Andrew Dalziel (pronounced “Dee-al”) takes the cake.

Old school, coarse, even vulgar when necessary to make a point, “Fat Andy” is a thorn in everyone’s side…which is exactly what he wants to be. He’s tenacious as a terrier, rude, and perpetually underestimated by the more cultivated suspects he’s investigating. Being so is his modus operandi. It
Oct 24, 2015 Liadagh rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime
Dated. Badly written, far too slow. Too much unnecessary build up. It just wasn't a pleasurable read. I enjoyed the TV show which is why I read this book. If you like retro reads you might like it, otherwise I suggest giving it a pass.
Jan 24, 2016 Mike rated it it was ok
Shelves: detective
Sometimes you just want some pulp fiction, a "whodunnit", an easy to read detective novel. That's my excuse for spending time reading this book. I've given it 2 stars, but it could easily be one star. Really it's rubbish, but I have to admit I kept reading it to see "whodunnit?".

I've only occasionally caught bits of TV episodes of "Dalziel and Pascoe", who are the detectives in this novel. I've heard positive reviews of it, and of the books. This book was the first in the D&P series.

It was w
Jules Jones
The first of the Dalziel and Pascoe novels is not as complex or thoughtful as some of the later books in the series, but it's still an entertaining mystery that lays the foundations of the relationship between two very different men who together form a formidable detective team. Even this first book displays Hill's witty style and elegant prose, if not to the same high level as later books.[return][return]The book is based around the goings-on at a rugby club that may or may not be connected wit ...more
Jun 09, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
It looks like I have found another entertaining mystery series!
Alison C
May 18, 2015 Alison C rated it liked it
A woman is found murdered in her own sitting room at the beginning of Reginald Hill's A Clubbable Woman , the first in his long-running Dalziel and Pascoe series. Naturally the husband is the first suspect, but the policemen soon learn that the woman had a rather racy history, parallel to that of a younger woman about whom similar rumours circulate. Especially in the Clubhouse of the local Rugby Association, where relationships seem as fluid, and dangerous, as the moves on the field.... I mos ...more
Mar 01, 2016 cloudyskye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad at all for a first work. Interesting side characters, if a little too many for me to remember (I was interrupted a few times), and I'm looking forward to reading more about Dalziel and Pascoe, our coppers. I also enjoyed a little time travel into early 70s Britain, which was really well described.
And more nostalgia: gay meaning merry. Pascoe, quite one for the ladies, describes himself as "bachelor gay". ;)
Jan 15, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok
Heard good things about this series and of course had to start with book number one. I presume it improves greatly. This novel is extremely dated, misogynistic and generally irritating. The two main characters are thoroughly unlikable. If found it difficult to care who done it by half way through. Will attempt further books at some stage but not today.
Jun 15, 2015 Fanficfan44 rated it liked it
A Clubbable Woman is the first book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series by Reginald Hill. I hadn’t read anything else in this series so I was interested to read this. Also, this series has apparently been made into a TV series which sounds intriguing. A Clubbable Woman introduces us to the detectives, Dalziel, older, rather stodgy, less politically correct, but experienced and knowledgeable and then Pascoe, younger, apparently a higher class and better educated as far as formal schooling, intellige ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 of the Superintendent Andrew Dalziel and Inspector Peter Pascoe series. In this debut novel of the long running series, Pascoe is still a sergeant. Although I tend to find British police procedurals podding by U.S. standards, the interaction between the two leads brings this series up a notch.

Superintendent Andrew Dalziel and Sergeant Peter Pascoe investigate the murder of Mary Connon. Her husband is the faded star of the local rugby club and much of the novel rotates around the politics and
Aug 23, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it
After enjoying a later Dalziel and Pascoe novel, I decided to start at the beginning. I liked this one even better than the later one. Written with a good ear for dialogue, it includes characters who are not simply stereotypes: all of them (including the murderer) have something to admire. I thought from the outset that there were only two real possibilities for the murderer. One of them got eliminated from the running fairly early; then the other had an iron-clad alibi. But then because of some ...more
Re-read after about 10 years.
The first of the Dalziel and Pascoe detective novels. Very clever and entertaining, although this first one mightn't be his best.
Having once been a contender, these days Connie struggles to line out for the rugby fourths. After an onfield collision, he returns home to find his wife particularly uncommunicative in the lounge. He retires to sleep it off; but, when he wakes he discovers that his wife isn't just unresponsive, she's dead.
The investigators are Dalziel - a

I originally read this back in 2000 and I only gave it 2.5 stars then. When the abridged audio CD came my way I thought I'd give it a go, not realising my repeat. It was not a problem, however, as there is not much about this novel that is memorable.

The murder victim is the wife of one of the local rugby team's main players and the whole team is suspect in some way or another.
The senior detective investigating the crime is Dalziel, a sloppy hulk of a man who is at home amongst the beer
Jan 07, 2014 Maddy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
PROTAGONISTS: Detective Inspectors Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe
SETTING: 1970s Yorkshire, UK
SERIES: #1 of 24
RATING: 3.25

Fans of Dalziel and Pascoe will be ecstatic to learn that Felony & Mayhem is reissuing all of the books in this series. A CLUBBABLE WOMAN, the first book in the series which was originally published in 1970, has been out of print for more than 15 years. The reissue will make this series much more accessible for those who haven't been able to find the early works and provide
Mar 08, 2013 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I love this series as it developed, and Reginald Hill is my favorite author in this genre because he is so literate and funny, creates complex characters and plots, and keeps me glued to the page. So...I wanted to read the earliest books; the first books that were written some 40+ years ago.

A Clubbable Woman is the first in the Dalziel & Pascoe series and the characters are pretty rudimentary. Dalziel is simply crude in this first novel in the series (published in 1970), and Pascoe is almo
Jul 22, 2010 Carol rated it liked it
This series of British police procedurals (currently with over 20 novels in the series) has been repeatedly recommended to me. Being an anal-retentive, I had to wait until I got hold of the very first in the series to try it out. Set in Yorkshire, the main characters are Inspector Dalziel and his sergeant Pascoe. The two are a sort of "Odd Couple" of detecting: Dalziel is big, sloppy, vulgar, working-class and old school, while Pascoe is young, dapper, college-educated and decidedly in the moder ...more
Jim Whitefield
Jul 06, 2012 Jim Whitefield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Daziel and Pascoe series (probably best known as a TV series) which Hill wrote around 1970. It was highly recommended by a Goodreads friend - otherwise I would not have thought of reading it. I got it for one penny from an Amazon seller - you can get some good books very inexpensively these days. I found it a really relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable book to read - it wasn't quite what I expected - even though I have seen some TV episodes. It seemed to casually devel ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The setting of A Clubbable Woman is an amateur rugby club in a small town in ‘60s England with players, ex-players, their girlfriends, and wives socializing over drinks at the clubhouse.

A former star player’s wife is found murdered and we are introduced to his college age daughter and her articulate boyfriend, his nosy neighbors, and the club’s secret intimacies.

We also meet Dalziel and Pascoe, local detective and sergeant who are described as physically resembling Laurel and Hardy. Dalziel is
Mar 01, 2011 Brendan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, 2011
LibraryThing thought I would enjoy this novel. Meh. It's okay, but there are some problems with it, for sure. The eponymous lady is the murder victim that appears at the beginning of the book (end of the first chapter, I believe). Pascoe and Dalziel, a Laurel-and-Hardy elite-and-brash duo, investigate to see which one of the many rugby-club good ol' boys likely clubbed the manipulative temptress. Some thoughts:

* LibraryThing thought I would like this novel, and I can see why, but it's so rooted
Mildred Merz
Jul 04, 2014 Mildred Merz rated it liked it
Much less violent and sensational than the Scandinavian crime novels I usually read--no drugs, no police corruption, just a murder. Perhaps it is the date it was written (1970) and the setting (town of 85,000 in Yorkshire). The two detectives are rather typical of crime novels, the older, rough, and experienced one and the younger, well-educated one. This is the first in a series of 24 which I'm told get better.
Jun 16, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in a couple of days. I love Dalziel and Pascoe on telly but I was amazed at Reginald Hill's writing when I first started reading him a few years ago. When I saw this on the Friends of Arbury Library stall, I could do two good things at once. Read the first ever Dalziel and Pascoe story and support my local library. Due to the TV show I hadn't realised that this was written in 1970, and it isn't as polished as later books that I've read. Some of this may be to do with me not quite und ...more
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Reginald Charles Hill is a contemporary English crime writer, and the winner in 1995 of the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

After National Service (1955-57) and studying English at St Catherine's College, Oxford University (1957-60) he worked as a teacher for many years, rising to Senior Lecturer at Doncaster College of Education. In 1980 he retired from
More about Reginald Hill...

Other Books in the Series

Dalziel & Pascoe (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel & Pascoe, #2)
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • An April Shroud (Dalziel & Pascoe, #4)
  • A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel & Pascoe, #5)
  • A Killing Kindness (Dalziel & Pascoe, #6)
  • Deadheads (Dalziel & Pascoe, #7)
  • Exit Lines (Dalziel & Pascoe, #8)
  • Child's Play (Dalziel & Pascoe, #9)
  • Under World (Dalziel & Pascoe, #10)
  • Bones and Silence (Dalziel & Pascoe, #11)

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