Good day to you. I'm Reginald Hill and this is my Web site. If this is where you planned to be, welcome! If you got here by serendipity, you're welcome also. I hope you'll hang around long enough to find out something about me.
I was born in the north-east of England in a town called Hartlepool whose main claim to fame is that its inhabitants are alleged to have put a shipwrecked monkey on trial during the Napoleonic wars and when it answered all their questions in what they presumed was
French, they hanged it as a spy.
The year of my birth was 1936 and not long after the event, the king abdicated. Despite the rumours, the two events were probably not related.
By the time I was three we had moved west to the county then called Cumberland, now by the dictate of bureaucracy Cumbria, which contains the Lake District, where you'll find the loveliest scenery in the country. I grew up there, went to school there, and generally came to the conclusion that the world was a happy place full of nice people.
Then I went into the army for two years' compulsory service and found different. But I survived and was rewarded thereafter with the perfect palliative, three years at Oxford University where the principle lesson I had learned from my military service-that indolence was the eighth cardinal virtue-helped me to profit fully from the experience.
Armed with a degree in English, I stepped trembling into the real world and found it occupied a space somewhere between the idiocies of the army and the absurdities of Oxford. I became a teacher in which worthy profession I continued until 1980 when I took that step against which Charles Lamb utters such stern warnings and put myself in the hands of my publishers.
I had been making up stories as long as I could remember, and writing them down as long as I could write. I had known I would one day become a writer in the full sense ever since I reached an age when looking into the future took me beyond an interest in what I was likely to be getting for tea. At the end of the sixties, I found a publisher to agree with me and in 1970 my first book, A Clubbable Woman, appeared. It was also incidentally the first book in which the two characters for whom I am perhaps best known, Andrew Dalziel (pronounced Dee-ell) and Peter Pascoe (pronounced Pascoe) made their debut.
It took me ten years to take that nervous step of giving up the day job but I have never regretted it. And now with forty books to my name I live amidst the loveliest scenery in the country (I think in the world!) with my wife Pat (whom I have known for over fifty years and been married to for almost forty) and our two Siamese cats and one Golden Labrador.
Arms and the Women is the eighteenth book in the Dalziel/Pascoe series. If you've read the rest I hope you like this one. If you haven't, I hope it sends you right back to the beginning!
Have a nice read!