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Death's Jest-Book (Dalziel & Pascoe, #20)
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Death's Jest-Book (Dalziel & Pascoe #20)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,125 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Latest in ever-popular and consistently acclaimed Dalziel & Pascoe series: ‘Reginald Hill stands head and shoulders above any other writer of homebred crime fiction’ Tom Hiney, Observer

Ex-convict and aspiring academic, Franny Roote, has started writing enigmatic letters to DCI Peter Pascoe who immediately smells a rat. DS Edgar Wield, intervening in a suspected kidnapp
Published May 7th 2002 by HarperCollinsPublishers
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Oct 24, 2016 Tony rated it liked it
DEATH’S JEST BOOK. (2003). Reginald Hill. ***.
This novel can be viewed as a sequel to an earlier novel by Hill in which his main character first appeared, or it can be read as a stand-alone: either way works. The problem is that either way you approach it you are still faced with a book of inordinate length. By the time you get about half-way through (about 300 pages), you are sure that the second part will be titled The New Testament. There is no way that any suspense can be maintained over thi
Dec 25, 2016 Larraine rated it it was amazing
I always marvel at the complexity of the Dalziel and Pascoe series by Reginald Hill. The books take you to places in the past and present that you don't expect at all. This is one of his better ones. It starts out during Christmas which was kind of fun, however that's only part of the story. This is a continuation of the people in Dialogues of the Dead that included a rookie police officer, Bowler, who inevitably acquires the nickname of "Hat." In that book, he rescued the beautiful Rye Pomona a ...more
Jan 12, 2011 Doug added it
This book is labeled a mystery but for the first 475 pages there is no crime and then when a crime happens it is no mystery. There are some themes carried over from his previous book and what is interesting is how Mr. Hill uses those themes in this book to tell a story about each of the characters, their development and interaction with each other. So we have a mystery book with no mystery but yet you keep reading to find out what happens.
Mr. Hill has a sharp sense of humor and he can easily mak
Chris Wright
Dec 15, 2012 Chris Wright rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is superb. Gripping, convincing characters, humour. It had me constantly thinking about the plot, characters and locations when I had to put it down to react to the real world. It made me feel that it had some deep meaning and that I would be enriched by finishing it. It also made me go and read the original by Thomas Beddoes.

I think this is what reviewers mean when they say a book is "immersive". Death's Jest-Book Death's Jest-Book (Dalziel & Pascoe, #20) by Reginald Hill
Sep 30, 2013 Antonis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-possession
Ένα πολύ καλό αστυνομικό, με πλοκή που τιμά την ετυμολογία της λέξης. Ξεκινάει εκπληκτικά, κατορθώνει να δέσει έγκλημα και λογοτεχνία, έχει χαρακτήρες με τρομερό βάθος και ένα ιδιαίτερο χιούμορ, ενώ μέχρι το τέλος δεν είσαι σίγουρος για το τι έχει συμβεί. Από τη μέση και μετά απογειώνεται και δεν μπορούσα να το αφήσω. Φαντάζομαι ότι η απόλαυση για όσους έχουν διαβάσει κι άλλα βιβλία του Ηill με τους ίδιους ήρωες θα είναι διπλή -τουλάχιστον.
Sep 14, 2007 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reginald Hill and his excellent creations Peter Pascoe, a literate Yorkshire police detective, and his boss "The Fat Man" Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel, are two of the most engaging and entertaining policemen working these days. Throw in an ambience of non-London England in current time and you have a true winner in the mystery genre.
Jan 08, 2012 Rebecca rated it liked it
a little hard to get into when lacking knowledge of the rest of the series, but worth the effort.

Not a book i would recommend to my mother or others preferring a "clean" read.
Lisa Stammers
Oct 17, 2016 Lisa Stammers rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2014 Dark-Draco rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This is only the second novel I have read by this author and I enjoyed this a lot more than the first. There is just so much going on, strange letters from a released convict, a Roman horde to be shipped out of the country, a young drunk up on charges, a disturbed young woman and more! There were so many red herrings, that I was constantly see-sawing from complete convidence that I had worked it all out, to utter confusion as another character was introduced. And with so much of the action being ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Jun 16, 2011 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperback
God, Reginald Hill knows how to keep readers happy decade after decade! Something different every time, I can't find enough superlatives.

As my commenters have noted before me this is very much a follow on from Dialogues of the Dead and not a book to be read by itself. If you came to this as your first Hill you'd be wondering quite what the author was thinking of. For the most part there's little in the way of a new mystery here, it's very much about continuing the huge stories that began in the
Hannah Givens
Oct 18, 2013 Hannah Givens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. On the one hand it's a pretty standard mystery paperback, but on the other hand there are a lot of strange things about it. There's no real crime until most of the way through the book, but it does deal with a crime from the previous book (I think), so maybe that counts. I love the way the author slowly layers POVs and themes, spinning an ever-more-complicated yarn. Each new POV juts out into a deep new facet of the whole thing. I also love the way the detectives are sort ...more
Maggie Kiely
Feb 21, 2015 Maggie Kiely rated it did not like it
I hot this as an Audiobook. This is my first book by this author and I persevered for several hours trying to get to grip with the story and I cannot
I have to concede defeat I would not pick up another book by this author I would not in any way recommend it
This is my first time listening to this narrator and I found him clear and could say that he gave an excellent narrative I would happily listen to him again
I bought this some time ago from Audible so I cannot get a refund I am very disappoi
Dec 28, 2011 charlie rated it really liked it
Reginald Hill - master writer / plotamatician. Another perfectly written and constructed entrant into the Dalziel/Pascoe series. Every book has multiple layers - just like the lead characters - Hill's the master of blending full-on smarty-pants academic literary threads with the crassness of a good police procedural (Dan Brown is a kindergartner compared to Hill). One note of caution - this one is really a sequel to Dialogues Of The Dead - so will have a much bigger impact if you read them in or ...more
I just grabbed this book from my home library were my paretns keep their books and it looked interesting to me because ever since 6th grade i really liked mystery books and i also like mystery tv shows that have to do with crime and stuff because it will teach me more about it, and i want to know about this because i want to be a lawyer when i grow up and i would like to start reading and knowing about it since know. And also by reading the back and reading it it sounds really intersting and sca ...more
Feb 03, 2016 George rated it really liked it
Another of the Yorkshire police Dalziel & Pascoe mystery series. Ex-convict and aspiring academic, Franny Roote, has started writing enigmatic letters to DCI Peter Pascoe who immediately smells a rat. The mystery contains several intertwined plot lines featuring the different members of the police department. To me the real star of this series Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel who is a force unto himself!
Colin Mitchell
This is a continuation of the Wordman case which had appeared in the previous book and follows the lives of Rye Pomona the librarian and DC "Hat" Bowler add into the mix DCI Pascoe's fixation with Francis Roote who is now pursuing an academic career but is he quite who he seems? The theme is Beddoes Death's Jest Book and this is the running theme through the novel. Various interwoven threads make it a good read although a long book 669 pages in the paperback edition.
Kirsten *Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again!"
Wow! Just wow! Another great Dalziel & Pascoe mystery. Though, I feel this volume exceeds the mystery genre. Several parallel storylines wind through this story and eventually end up intertwining at the end of the story.

Engaging, thrilling, and just plain fun! Pascoe, Dalziel, Ellie, Wieldy, and the new addition "Hat" Bowler are like a family who I love to visit again and again.
Graham Botha
Jan 24, 2013 Graham Botha rated it it was ok
The story is disjointed and the list of characters confusing. Periodically the story grabs the reader with a little spurt of excitement or tension, but frequently these bouts fizzle or are left unresolved
Mar 08, 2010 Viktoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, crime
it seems that reginald hill starts three different stories but at the end all of them resolve wonderfully in one. and what a thrilling end it is! as always: wonderful characters! dalziel, pascoe, wield and all the others are great developed. it just wants to make you read more about them.
Apr 03, 2008 Gavin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
A kind of sequel to Dialogues of the Dead, which it would be useful to have read before this. It works well as a stand alone in the series, but works better as a complement to the earlier novel referred.
Aug 12, 2009 Eileen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Eileen by:
I've been re-reading a few books that I either remember fondly or don't remember much at all. This is a difficult read because of multiple complex story lines, but in the end I think I'm going to revise my rating. Hill is amazing at character development and the subtlety of evil in ordinary people.
Death's Jest-book was very long in the tooth, and a little difficult to read because of all of the Brit slang, some of which made no sense to me. I did wade through it, and found sections that were very engrossing.
Aug 02, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Pascoe Dalziel fans
Good riddance, Franny Roote! I was entirely sick of him by the end of this. Diappointed more wasn't made out of the Rye/Hat situation, that could have been really good. Liked the last one so much better!
Jan 06, 2016 Roshan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit tedious to read. But in the end it leaves you feeling that the slow pace and heavy writing was worth it, if only for the poignancy of the ending. Lovely book!!
Mar 23, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, intricately plotted with fascinating characters. It's beautifully written and I loved it!!
Oct 26, 2013 Joyce rated it liked it
I had a hard time sinking my teeth into it but it was a good read. Not my favorite from this author.
Rog Harrison
Dec 05, 2008 Rog Harrison rated it liked it
This is the second time I have read this. Whilst it was a compulsive page turner the ending is not satisfying. It is very much a sequel to the equally unsatisfying "Dialogues of the dead".
Melinda Worfolk
Feb 25, 2013 Melinda Worfolk rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, 2007
4.5 stars.

A good sequel to Dialogues of the Dead. Definitely read this one after you've read the other--they need to be read in order.
May 24, 2014 Marni rated it it was amazing
Dialogues of the Dead and Death's Jest-Book go together and are easily two of the best books in this series.
Mar 02, 2008 Thomas rated it really liked it
cheeky british crime noir... a fun read...
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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)
  • A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe, #1)
  • 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)

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