Edward's Reviews > A Clubbable Woman

A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill
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's review
Nov 16, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read in December, 2009

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 the large, round, rough-edged, experienced detective while Pascoe is his thinner, university-educated, idealistic partner. Strangely though, I found the daughter and her boyfriend the most interesting pair in the story.

The story has a good mix of suspects, an unknown and mysterious murder weapon, and characters you can care about. Written in 1970, the sensibilities of the time prevail, and that appealed to me too.

My favorite bit of dialog: Referring to a party invitation, “It pleases these old cows to have a virile young man about the place.”

-1 star for some difficult English dialect and under-developed main characters.
+5 stars for everything else including the title with 2 meanings. A homonym-able title?

I did a bit of research on rugby to get into the atmosphere of the book, but it isn’t required to understand the story.

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