Book #1 of a long series featuring Dalziel and Pascoe of Her Majesty’s Constabulary. I believe there are 23 in the series, with Midnight Fugue being his last in 2009. He died in 2012. He wrote five or six every decade. In addition, he wrote 5 Joe Sixsmith books and 23 stand-alone novels, the last one in 2010.
This story begins on the rugby pitch, moves to the rugby club bar, and then to the home of the rugby star’s home where he finds his murdered wife. As it happens, Dalziel is a member of the rugby club, though ‘Bruiser’ has not played in years. His young Detective Sergeant is a footballer but does not hold it against those who prefer the brutality of rugby.
In this first novel, we get to know the rude and crude Dalziel, aka, the Fat Man, and Pascoe’s dislike of his boss’s ways. In spite of it all, they work well as a team, as long as Pascoe is willing to let the boss get the credit.
As the title might suggest, the story centers around the dead wife; in fact, the title has a double meaning. All of the rugby players know how much she enjoyed herself when she was in the club, and many of them harbored a secret desire to be alone with her. In the second sense, she was clubbed to death.