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An April Shroud

(Dalziel & Pascoe #4)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,321 ratings  ·  85 reviews
An April Shroud is an offbeat adventure that finds Dalziel on holiday, in love--and up to his ears in murder (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
Paperback, 254 pages
Published April 7th 1987 by Signet (first published 1975)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  1,321 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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Start your review of An April Shroud (Dalziel & Pascoe, #4)
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, crime
In which Dalziel becomes human...

Following newly-minted-Inspector Peter Pascoe’s wedding to Elly Soper, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel sets off on a little holiday. His plan is to drive around the countryside hoping to find enough of interest to keep him occupied, but in reality he’s feeling a little lost and even lonely. Peter’s wedding has brought home to him his own lack of family, and he’s reached as high as he’s likely to go in his career. But his plans are put on hold when April sho
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best opening scene ever.
So-so. Perhaps I've had too many Brit detective pairings or perhaps it's just this volume, but I couldn't quite warm to it. After dominating the last one, newly married Pascoe is now missing for most of the story. So it's just Dalziel scratching away at one body part or another (his own) and dealing with about a dozen new characters whom I had a hard time telling apart and whose names and back stories I didn't really care about.
The next one will decide whether I'll continue with this series.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was the fourth in what became an amazing series of books about Detective Inspector Peter Pascoe and his outrageous superintendent, Andrew Dalziel (known behind his back as Fat Andy). They are surely one of the most brilliant pairs of sleuths ever devised, and I never get tired of reading about them.

This one takes us all the way back to the wedding of Peter and Ellie, whose honeymoon coincides with an enforced holiday by Fat Andy. In no short order, he gets embroiled in a mystery--a good th
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 hous
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it
After Pascoe and Ellie getting center stage in Ruling Passion, it's only fair that Dalziel gets a book to himself, although I was a bit dubious about a solo Dalziel novel. It actually works much better than I would have expected, with Dalziel going on holiday in horrible weather, getting stranded in a big house in the country with a family called the Fieldings, and quickly discovering that there's a mystery to be solved. Multiple mysteries, in fact.

Though Dalziel works remarkably well as a solo
Apr 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
What a clever man Mr Hill was; he is the master of the introduction and will always surprise you at the end.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I read this book a long time ago but really couldn’t remember the plot. This time I listened on audiobook and it was such a treat. I’d forgotten how rich the language used bury Reginald Hill can be. The audio version was read by Colin Buchanan who played Peter Pasco (one of the main characters) in the TV series Dalziel & Pasco based on .hill’s novels.
An April Shroud is early in the series of books (4) and Superintendent Andy Dalziel is taking his first holiday for many years while Pasco is on hi
J. Merwin
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dalzeil at his most bumptious, on his own and surrounded by water and eccentric characters in a perfect parody of the 'English country house mystery. So fun...
but I've come to realize one thing about Mr. Hill...he felt free to pop back and forth in the chronology of his world so I have given up any attempt at reading the books in order! Really doesn't matter. Unlike Louise Penny's crime novels where the plot is heavily influenced by the novel that came before and while building on the past gives
First Sentence: No one knew how it came about the Dalziel was making a speech.

With Pascoe off on his honeymoon, Dalziel (Dee-Ell) is taking a holiday of his own. Things quickly go awry when his car is swamped in a flooding road. He is rescued by a group of rather happy mourners and taken to a decrepit mansion to dry off. More seems wrong than just the state of the abode; there’s a preserved rat in the freezer and the very appealing mistress of the manner twice widowed in suspicious circumstances
I've enjoyed a few of the TV episodes of Dalziel & Pascoe and thought I should try one of the books. An April Shroud was an entertaining English country house murder mystery. Dalziel finds himself on a forced vacation and stranded by flooded roads he is taken in by the unorthodox Fielding family. Murder, insurance scams, and shady business deals plus a little romance keeps you guessing til the very end. ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
I read this years ago as a short story, and it was far more successful as a short story. There's so much padding that the work drags and so many extraneous, eccentric characters that it's hard not only to keep track and keep them straight, but to really care about any of them. The humor is heavy-handed and far too obvious and predictable. I only managed to finish it by skipping to the last chapter; I didn't feel that I'd missed anything. It's evident that Hill was still learning his craft with t ...more
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
One of the reasons I love this series so much is for sentences like these: "He had always been a liver in the present, never one of those who tried to take a golden moment and beat it out thinly to cover more ground. But just as his mind in the past months had gradually started to plague him with visions of vacant futurity, so in these last few days, unbidden and almost undetected, an insidious optimism had begun to rise in his subconscious like curls of mist on the lake."
Not my favorite book in the Dalziel and Pascoe mystery series, but it was okay. Pascoe was noticeably missing during most of the book, but again, he WAS on his honeymoon! Still, Dalziel was entertaining. The other characters were an interesting lot!
as a detective novel you are very much the observer at the overweight Andy Dalziel's bluff and sexist romp through this story. insurance claims, a restaurant which may or may not have had stuff stolen from it, a floating coffin and a duck gun feature, but it does leave one somewhat cold.
Leslie Angel
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
i dunno, maybe it's me, but I was bored with this one. Pasco gets married and isn't in it until the end. I felt the prose was flat, unusual for Hill.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on an audio book, and the first comment must be how well Colin Buchanan reads the story. I've heard him doing Dalziel and Pascoe books before, and he has a wonderful gift for creating the various voices.
I'm not sure that this is one of Hill's best D&Ps. For a start, Pascoe only appears at the beginning and the end, like a pair of bookends. The story starts off well enough with detail upon detail piling up to convey the characters, the flooded landscape and more. But Hill almo
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reginald Hill, a reliable delight.

When I'm in the mood for a mystery, and not ready to re-read Rendell and Sayers again, I treat myself to Hill's delicious prose and that overdone meat patty, Inspector Dalziel. Dalziel is raw, blunt, suspicious, non-introspective, and overbearing. This guy is not a sensitive poet, or thoughtful, or an aristocrat who collects books and solves mysteries in his spare time. This is a mean, greedy working stiff. In real life, this is the guy you hope is not actually
Rob Smith, Jr.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: have, read-2019
An odd trail for the author to take one his main characters, Dalziel. Author Hill does it only partly successfully. but compromises a lot of the character to do it.

Sadly the plot is pretty flimsy. The typical murder a Hill reader might expect is not clear until deep into the book. At that point it was obvious to me what was going on, but Hill strung it out to the a rather ridiculous ending that really didn't make sense.

Hill had the entire structure of a very interesting story of a family. He sho
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dalziel Finds Love

This book is primarily a Dalziel mystery. Pascoe gets married in Chapter 1 and doesn't reappear until the last chapter. Dalziel is on vacation when he gets stranded in a flash flood that damages his car. A large family whose father is being buried that day takes him in till the waters recede and the car can be fixed. Things get interesting at this point when Dalziel falls for the man's widow. But he can't help questioning whether her husband's death was really an accident. Mean
Jeff Lewis
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reginald Hill decided to take a slight left turn in An April Shroud and used the wedding of Peter Pascoe and Ellie Soper to give Andy Dalziel full rein. For those familiar with tv series the book was actually set in the early 1970s with references to radicals and hot pants. Dalziel's car breaks down near a country house and is invited to stay while his car is in for repair. Once there, Dalziel meets a eclectic group of characters and walks in to a lot of shady goings on involving arson and murde ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having entered the world of Dalziel & Pascoe through the long-running television series, which I binge watched start to finish, I was familiar with the characters, but not with Reginald Hill's writing.
In this Number 4 of the series, Any finds himself up to his large thighs in high waters, literally. I enjoyed the play between him and the other fascinating characters in the large house he retreated to. I remained surprised at the ending. And very glad Pascoe finally wed his head-strong woman. Se
Mark Baines
Entertaining. A classic whodunit, in the gentle style of this author. Plenty of PC plodding about, fleshy classically British and believable characters, the story has a few twists and turns before eventually (although not tortuously), arriving at a reasonable conclusion. The casting of the primary characters has already been placed in the mind by the tv series, (and done well); I wish I'd read the books first (and in order) to follow their development and perhaps even better enjoy the plot chara ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the first ever Dalziel and Pascoe book I have read - not sure why as I enjoyed this one.
It was a quick read / listen.
Dalziel is on holiday and finds himself stranded in a country house on the day of the owners funeral. He gets involved in the family and has a tryst with the lady of the house. The son runs away, a body is found in the water, something is not quite right.
I liked how he assessed the situation and got things sorted.

Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pascoe and Dalziel come into their own in the fourth entry of the series. Pascoe is off on his honeymoon and Dalziel his first holiday in years. His holiday is soon soaked through with murder and mystery as he encounters love and liars, poets and posers. The writing is solid, the mystery engaging, and we begin to see more of the humanity of Andy Dalziel.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is is the first Dalziel and Pascoe book I have read/listened to and it was a real treat to have it read by Warren Clarke, the actor in the TV series - made it come to life and was completely convincing, any other voice would have seemed to be an imposter.
A good mystery that turns into murder that DL happened upon when supposedly on holidays.
David Highton
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a rare holiday, Dalziel takes shelter from the flooded roads in a large country house in Lincolnshire which turns out to contain an interesting group of occupants who have just attended the funeral of the owner of the house. The mystery deepens as the family struggle to keep their new business venture ready for opening day. Pascoe returns from honeymoon for the final scenes.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
starting the series with #4, as most reviewers said narrator of first 3 ruined it for them. Colin Buchanan was great - great at accents, great at women. So much humor in the books, and loads of literary references.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Didn't like the detective, read it mostly to see if the series was worth reading. Don't think I'll read any more of them-- it's almost like "Hey, written in the early 1970s in a style attempting to be modern and brash." Meh.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This really should have been titled 'Andy on Holiday'.
I've read here and there in the series and this is the best I've read so far.
Dalziel is given much more depth and a fuller character, with some surprises.
The plot is twisty and you never quite trust anyone.
A really 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

Other books in the series

Dalziel & Pascoe (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe, #1)
  • An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel & Pascoe, #2)
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • 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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