In May, I’ll be attending the Malice Domestic Convention in Bethesda, Maryland. This year, Malice remembers Reginald Hill who died on 12 January, 2012. Special guest Martin Edwards has been invited to accept the commemorative award.
Reginald Hill was such a good writer that unless one has read everything he has written, one hasn’t read enough. I haven’t read enough, so on a recent visit to my local library picked up a story anthology. The book takes its title from the longest story, There Are No Ghosts in the Soviet Union. It begins in Novodevichy Cemetery where a black marketeer is behaving suspiciously. Following an emergency call, action quickly moves to the nearby Gorodok Building. Ghost story, love story, murder mystery, it’s all of these and a comic tour-de-force.
Poor Emma reintroduces us to Jane Austen’s Emma, now Emma Knightley, aged almost forty-one. She and George Knightley still live with Emma’s ailing father, Mr Woodhouse, at Hartfield, a decision which has turned out not to have been the wisest life choice.
In Auteur Theory, ‘the bearded writer’ of the Dalziel and Pascoe novels fumes on the edge of the action as he watches director, script writer and actors turn his precious novel into something unrecognizable.
The jacket blurb calls these ‘half a dozen tantalizing tales of the unexpected,’ and so they are. Sheer brilliance!
Here is Mike Ripley’s obituary for Reginald Hill.