I love English mysteries, and I love Jane Austen...but rarely do the twain meet. But..in this book by Reginald Hill...who BTW died a few weeks ago....called The Price Of Butcher's Meat it happened with a smash.
I used to read the early Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe novels maybe 20 years ago before Reginald Hill decided to be trendy and go heavily into profanity...and so I quit. But my husband...who has a less sensitive reading constitution pushed this book my way a week ago when I was out with a cold and out of books to read. At the foreward I was caught...and flinched my way through it.
Have you read Sanditon by Jane Austen? An unfinished novel that was finished by Marie Dobbs in 1975 which I quite enjoyed. Well, instead of Sanditon, the Hill novel takes place in Sandytown. The accident bring Tom and Mary Parker together with the Heywood family through a carriage accident becomes an ATV crashing into a ditch or, as he calls it, tank trap, set by farmer Heywood to keep folks from scaring the animals and trespassing.
Charlotte becomes Charley who tells much of the story through emails sent to he doctor sister who is on a medical mission to Africa. Most of the characters remain recognizable. Sidney Parker, however, is no longer the hero for Charley, but has a different kind of relationship with Sir Edward. And, unlike the other Sanditon, there are dead bodies littering the scene. Plop down raunchy Fat Andy Dalziel to recover from a terrorist bomb in an expensive hoistic convalescent hospital in Sandytown with all the characters and you have a wierd but enjoyable novel with large doses of Jane Austen...if you can get over the profanity and rather skewed Hill outlook on life from a rugger's viewpoint.
So...Jane would be recognizing certain things but appalled at others. But...an interesting read, especially if you have a tough stomach and are familiar with Sanditon. Did I mention that Diana Parker's friend is an animal right activist....and Lady Dapne is a nymphomaniac? You get the picture. Jane, where are you????