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The Roar of the Butterflies [Hardcover]

Reginald Hill
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Jun 2008

A special gift for Reginald Hill fans on Father’s Day – the return of Joe Sixsmith in a beautifully packaged, witty new crime novel

A sweltering summer spells bad news for the private detective business. Thieves and philanderers take the month off and the only swingers in town are the ones to be found on the 19th hole of the Royal Hoo Golf Course. The civilized reputation of the ‘Hoo’ is in trouble, however.

Shocking allegations of cheating have been directed at one of its leading members, Chris Porphyry. When Chris turns to Joe Sixsmith, PI, he's more than willing to help – well, he hasn't got any other clients – only Joe hadn't counted on being French-kissed then dangled out of a window on the same day. Before long, though, Joe’s on the trail of a conspiracy that starts with missing balls, and ends with murder…

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition, First Printing edition (2 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007252730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007252732
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 795,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Reginald Hill is a native of Cumbria and former resident of Yorkshire, the setting for his novels featuring Superintendent Dalziel and DCI Pascoe. Their appearances have won him numerous awards including a CWA Gold Dagger and Lifetime Achievement award. They have also been adapted into a hugely popular BBC TV series.

Product Description


Praise for ‘The Roar of the Butterflies’:

‘Told with humour and a light touch… ideal summer reading’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Delightful light reading… highly entertaining’ Literary Review

Acclaim for the Joe Sixsmith series:

'Entertaining, sly, jokey…cynical, well written, and teems with sparkly dialogue – all the virtues we expect from Hill' The Times

'A thoroughly engaging investigator' TLS

'This is high-speed pantomine… with plenty of sly dialogue to spice the action' Mail on Sunday

'The Sixsmith series has a buoyancy and delectability of its own’ Independent

Acclaim for Reginald Hill:

'Hill is wonderful' The Times

'As usual, Hill is unputdownable' Daily Express

'His energy, wit and erudition are astonishing… he can still see off most of his rivals' Daily Telegraph

'Hill at his best is a masterly storyteller' Spectator


`Hill is unputdownable' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect summer read (and great for winter too!) 6 July 2008
Most readers know Reginald Hill for his Dalziel and Pascoe books, and very good they are too. The Joe Sexsmith series showcases the lighter side of this wonderful crime writer. In this book Sexsmith, a somewhat tubby middle-aged black PI, is asked to help a popular local golf-club member fight the allegation that he cheated during an important match. Sounds like a minor problem to Joe, but while investigating the incident he turns up something much nastier. I'm not a golfer myself and though the game of golf is front and centre in the plot I had no trouble following along as any arcane terms were subtly explained. Joe's lissome nurse girlfriend, his cat Whitey, and a forceful, jealous boxer are just a few of the beautifully described and very funny characters in this book, while the plot is so gripping that I literally could not put it down. This is a wonderful read for a summer's afternoon - but beware. Supper could be late!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Summer in Luton 26 July 2008
By NickR
How nice to see Joe Sixsmith back again. If you're a Reginald Hill fan, but haven't yet read any of the Sixsmith books, you're in for a (pleasant) surprise. There's none of the dark undertone of the Dalziel and Pascoe books, but a clear impression that the prolific Mr Hill enjoys dashing off these lighter-weight romps in his spare moments. Good stuff.

If I have one grumble, it's about the physical object (this is the HarperCollins UK hardback edition). The printed cover is, well, OK, I suppose, but will soon get dented and marked. It's the illustrations inside which really let the book down. They contribute nothing to the telling of the tale; the illustrator doesn't even get a credit (which suggests some embarrassment on the part of the publisher); and for anyone who has already formed their own visual image of Joe, they are actually counterproductive. Having just finished Hill's excellent collection of short stories, There are no Ghosts in the Soviet Union, I found myself missing that book's less ambitious look and feel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brief But Fun Visit 7 Aug 2008
Nice to see the return of Joe Sixsmith, Reginald Hill's other series hero. He's a likeable character, solving crimes in a bumbling, almost accidental, manner. He reminds me a bit of Miss Marple in the way he's discounted by those around him and he's able to pick up clues that maybe wouldn't be left if the perpertrators thought a 'real' detective was on to them.

This is a very short book, more of a long short story than a full novel but it makes an entertaining read. With the last few Dalziel and Pascoe books being somewhat less interesting than previous installments, it's nice to see the return of Joe in a well plotted romp. I hope Mr Hill brings him back again soon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars roar of the butterflies 21 Aug 2008
A welcome return for Joe Sixsmith and as usual the story is fast paced and made me laugh in several places. Joe is a bumbling detective, he finds facts almost by mistake and generally excels at being in the worng place - but at the right time!

The story revolves around a local golf club and thankfully Joe is no golfer so any references to golfing are made simple through his lack of understanding. The original case does not seem too exciting and Joe despairs of being able to do anything. This is where Reginald Hill proves that he can write a good mystery, as Joe ploughs around trying to find something that will help he uncovers layer after layer of new mysteries and ends up solving a murder and defusing a business takeover.

My favourite part is where Joe is attacked in his flat - just read the book to find out why this is funny. I would thoroughly recommend this story, well up with the rest of the series if you have read them, and it will make you want to read the rest if you haven't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Below par ! 14 Aug 2009
By fivestarfrankie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The last four books I've read and reviewed have each (including Mr Hill's latest Midnight Fugue)received five stars from me. I've read and enjoyed all the previous Sixsmith novels so what went wrong with this one ?

I don't really know. It could be the poor illustrations including portraying a Morris Oxford as a Minor, having Joe's football team called Luton City rather than Town or simply a plot line that just wasn't believable.At the end of the day it felt like an indifferent script for Midsomer Murders. Nonetheless I will faithfully buy the next Reginald Hill book assuming this to be a temporary slip.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silly Pictures 28 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Plot, style, humour - all as excellent as ever. Mr Hill never ever lets you down.
Yes the Kindle edition has some strange typo effects - I can live with them.
BUT who's idea was it to add the embarrassingly, clumsy, silly pictures?
Why? why? why? Annoying as hell.
Please don't ever do it again.
Reginald Hill books DO NOT NEED pictures !!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a feel good novel 6 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I, I am ashamed to say, have only just started to read Reginald Hill even though I have enjoyed Dalziel and Pascoe on TV for ages. Anyway I bought this book as my first Hill novel and was delighted. It is a feel good book with lots of humour. Joe Sixsmith is a wonderful creation and I will be trying to get all the other books about this character. I have since purchased the latest Dalziel and Pascoe novel and likewise, I loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoy good as the rest if not better 21 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
just amazing fun to read and enjoy the characters.. who are not characterised!! it is so out of the run of the mill 'detective' book it has you hooked and chuckling on each page
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Nice read
Published 1 month ago by STEPHENVLROSS
3.0 out of 5 stars whimpered
I really enjoy this author, however, I found this book didnot provide the level of enjoyment I have previously experienced from other stories by this writer, or maybe its simply... Read more
Published 6 months ago by kerry bessell
3.0 out of 5 stars Joe Sixsmith
Not one of Reginald Hill's best. Heavy reading at times. However it is one of his best endings. Overall worth reading.
Published 11 months ago by rovert
4.0 out of 5 stars Upbeat Private Eye
This is one of a series of books featuring Joe Sixsmith. It's the first I've read and it didn't seem to matter that I'd not read any earlier books in the series. Read more
Published 15 months ago by joyfrankie
5.0 out of 5 stars The Roar of the butterflies
What can I say but another winner from Reginald Hill. I love the Joe Sixsmith series as much as the Dalziel and pascoe books. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Janie
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me.
Couldn't get into this no matter how hard I tried. I did try more than twice! I struggle to know what else to say about this book!
Published 18 months ago by Cathy Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars The Roar of the Butterflies
This book was quite amusing in parts as are all of Reginald Hills books. The plot was interesting and the book well written, but in my opinion it wasn't up to his usual high... Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by DennisS
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, but seriously sweet!
I am slightly surprised there aren't more 5 star reviews here because I loved this book.

True that it is short and light rather than serious and complex, but from page... Read more
Published on 20 Dec 2010 by johnverp
3.0 out of 5 stars So lightweight it almost floats away
The title of this book comes from a description of a golfer's woes by P. G. Wodehouse. This is one of the few books I know that seems lightweight when compared to any of... Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2010 by L. E. Cantrell
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I have read many of the Dalziel and Pascoe books, but this was my first Joe Sixsmith. As it is the latest one, possibly not the best to start with. Read more
Published on 12 April 2010 by Bob from Beds
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