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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2008
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
on 7 August 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
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
VINE VOICEon 14 August 2009
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
on 28 November 2012
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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on 20 December 2010
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 one I was taken in and didn't know what to expect except that the book had a Hill badge on it (normally a mark of quality, in my view).

Joe Sixsmith, a PI, is called in to investigate a case of cheating at a swish golf club. As a non-golfer, I did get nervous at this point, but Hill writes so well that there wasn't an intimidating moment in the whole novel for me. The colour and humour Hill was able to inject into the story were, for me, sensational. I read much of the book on a plane so did need to exercise control while working through some of the hilarious scenarios!

The book does fade in that the humour dries out in the last third of the story and perhaps the ending could have been fuller.

That said, this was a great read and if readers don't go in with expectations of a complex tale, most will come away very satisfied.
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on 6 October 2009
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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on 28 July 2013
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. Joe Sixsmith is a cheery, good-natured private eye, who flounders towards solving the crime, and the book is a fun, light-hearted read.
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on 14 May 2013
What can I say but another winner from Reginald Hill. I love the Joe Sixsmith series as much as the Dalziel and pascoe books. Not many authors around these days that can write as prolifically as Hill in different styles but consistently good.
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