Hill's novels employ various structural devices, such as presenting parts of the story in non-chronological order, or alternating with sections from a novel supposedly written by Peter's wife, Ellie Pascoe (n e Soper). Clues may also be provided in such a way that readers sail past them, only realising at the end how their own assumptions have been exposed. He also frequently selects one writer or one oeuvre to use as a central organizing element of a given novel, such as one novel being a pastiche of Jane Austen's works, or another featuring elements of classical Greek myth. In a different kind of tease, the novella One Small Step (dedicated to "you, dear readers, without whom the writing would be in vain, and to you, still dearer purchasers, without whom the eating would be infrequent",) is set in the future, and deals with the EuroFed Police Commissioner Pascoe and retired Dalziel investigating the first murder on the moon. In another departure from the norm, the duo do not always "get their man", with at least one novel ending with the villain getting away and another strongly implying that while Dalziel and Pascoe are unable to convict anyone, a series of unrelated accidents actually included at least one unprovable instance of murder.