I rate Reginald Hill as one of the best modern crime writers ever but this sadly is not one of his more inspired creations. I didn't finish reading it as the characters were all equally unattractive and failed to engage my interest. It doesn't do his talent justice at all.
This light romp, featuring a permanently randy private school teacher with the common sense of a ten-year old, is definitely a kind of day-off-at-the-beach for the incomparable and much missed writer, Reg Hill. It is written as a farce, with broadly comic characters and no harm done to anyone in the end.
The plot is a cross between Wodehouse and the Marx Brothers, with characters appearing and disappearing behind swinging doors. The protagonist, Joe Askern, is forever fixated on women's breasts and could be distracted from his own mother's funeral by a second's glance at a deep cleavage. One encounter with a inspiration of lust leads to his involvement with a band of local criminals bent on looting a stately home that Joe is familiar with. Unable to escape the crime caper, he winds up in the middle of an aristocratic sex orgy surrounded by lions and cops. This eventually leads to a marriage proposal!
This is about five times frothier than any Hill book that I've ever encountered, but it is a quick, fun read.
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I first read this book many years ago - and found it funny to the last page. I rebought this book recently - and unlike some old favourites - it hasn't 'dated' or lost any of whatever it ws made me laught the first time. If you are a school teacher - I think you'll particularly enjoy it - although schools seem to have changed a bit. Reginald Hill has a way of making you laugh out loud with his humour, and it's the only thing I found difficult with this book was trying not to see Andy Dalziel as the Inspector. Even although it was written before he and Pascoe were created (I think). It's difficult to get hold of now - and you nmay have to try a library.