Spanning the careers of two of crime fiction's most esteemed police detectives, these four short mysteries are revelatory episodes in the complex relationship between Dalziel and Pascoe. In the opening tale, the chilling start of the Dalziel and Pascoe partnership--never before revealed--is cemented by a killer and his shotgun. In another, the duo investigates the fate of a woman no one has seen for a year, except her brother, who claims he is being haunted by her ghost. Then the detectives keep vigil at an isolated farmhouse, waiting to see what is making things go bump in the night. Finally, a jump in time to the year 2012, and the partners' last case: the first man murdered on the moon. Set against Yorkshire's brooding landscape, Asking for the Moon shows the full spectrum of Dalziel's eccentric brilliance, the evolution of Pascoe's professionalism, the zenith of Reginald Hill's incomparable talent...and the very best British mystery can be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: A sterling collection, April 9, 2002 Reviewer: RachelWalker from England this is a great collection of short stories from one of britain's leading writers. It is more laden with humour than many of the novels, but that is mainly due to the capacity for some hilarious in-jokes which Hill includes. "The Last National Service Man" is a more a comedy than a crime story. There are elements of crime, but imagining Dalziel (pronounced "Dee-ell") jogging up and down on the spot in army regalia is just side-splitting! It's a taut, well written story, and does have some great suspense in it at times. The solution is also quite clever, but a bit of a cop out, i feel. "Pascoes ghost" is another good story, it is well plotted, with more than it's fair share of well drawn characters with interesting and varied motives. Here, the mystery is first class, enough, really, to support an almost full-length novel. The solution is satisfying, in typical Hill style. The climax is also very exciting. "Dalziel's Ghost" is not so much a crime story, as just a story. It's very much a ponderance upon the characters of Dalziel and Pascoe (but to a lesser extent). There is little real mystery to it at all, but it is still intensely interesting, cleverly plotted, and has another great and somewhat amusing twist at the end! "One Small Step" is perhaps the best in this collection, offering us a Hill's-eye look at what he thinks life may be like on the future, and the events which have caused the first murder on the moon. (As a crime-fiction concept, it is so original as to deserve a standing ovation.) Again, there are loads of in-jokes, but this time we are treated to a first class mystery story. This is another one which could well support a really cracking full-length novel. The solution is satisfyingly convoluted and multi-faceted, until you really realise what's going on (God forbid taht anyone should underestimate Dalziel! Pascoe should have known better!) Excellent. All in all, if you like good short stories, give this a go. If you are a Dalziel and Pascoe fan, give this a go. (especially as it catalogues their first meeting.) If you like a good yarn, of any kind, give this a go. If you like good writing with great characters, give this a go.