Pascoe and Ellie are off on their honeymoon and Dalziel is on holiday. Dalziel's luck being what it is, one day into his vacation a flooded-out road claims his car and he finds himself "rescued"* by a floating funeral procession.
It doesn't take long for the grieving family to be treated to one of my favorite Dalziel-moods: RAGE:
Tillotson drove the punt forward into a half-submerged hedge, the bows rose in the air, Tillotson screamed and went over the side, Uniff and Dalziel fell together in a tangled heap from which Dalziel recovered just in time to see his suitcase slowly toppling into the water.
Furious, he rose and put his huge hand into the face of Tillotson who was trying to clamber back on board.
"My case!" he yelled. "Get my bloody case!"
Recognizing that this was an essential condition of re-admittance, Tillotson pursued the case which had floated only a few feet but was sinking fast. Dalziel took it out of his hands and tried to drain it as, unassisted, the blond youth dragged himself on board, his exertions freeing the punt from the hedge. Uniff all the while took pictures, including one of the pole which for once had not become embedded in the mud but was floating away at a distance of some twenty feet.
Dalziel banged his case down with a force that nearly brought on a new disaster.
He is taken home by the (strangely light-hearted) mourners and bullies his way into staying at the house until his car is repaired. It doesn't take long for him to become interested in the circumstances of the recent death.
You can't beat Reginald Hill. That's all that really needs to be said.
*If you're familiar with Dalziel, you'll understand why the quotation marks are there. If not, you're missing out in a big, big way.