Tag Archives: Inspector Morse

Can you solve a crime from a hospital bed? Colin Dexter – The Wench is Dead

wenchNot a good book to introduce you to your Inspector Morse reading.  Inspector Morse solves a crime from 1859 without moving from his hospital bed, so it’s not dramatically exciting. Morse reads a pamphlet about the murder of  of Joanna Franks, whose body was found in the Oxford Canal,  whilst in hospital and  he decides to try to prove that the men executed for the crime were not guilty.

This book is full of ridiculous coincidences, for example,  what is the chance of Lewis finding the shoes of the murder victim or discovering a height chart written on the  wall where Franks  lived   over a hundred years before?

This is vaguely enjoyable but my advice would be to  stick to a novel  where Morse actually gets out of bed. Once again, inexplicably every nurse in the place wants to throw herself at Morse, maybe he didn’t look like John Thaw in the novels.

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Colin Dexter – Death is now my neighbour

200px-Dexter_-_Death_is_Now_My_NeighbourAnother Morse finished in record time by the pool. This is the last Morse novel so I got worried about reading it in wrong order, but it wasn’t really a huge problem as there was no dramatic ending as is normally the case with Morse dropping dead or anything (sorry, hope I haven’t ruined this for you).  NB  Actually just had it pointed out this is the penultimate Morse novel, which would probably be a good reason for not killing him off as the last one would be pretty dull.

A young woman  is found shot dead  in her house, but was she the intended victim or was the bullet meant for her horrible journalist neighbour?   Morse discovers a  cryptic ‘seventeenth-century’  love poem and a photograph of the woman with a unknown man.  The crimes all seem to be linked to the competition to be the next Master of Lonsdale College. where the rivalry between Julian Storrs and Dr. Dennis Cornford  is hotting up.  As usual, everyone seems to be having sex with someone other than their partner, whilst Morse carries on his self-destructive drinking but still manages to keep  picking up women along the way.  We even find out his first name at the end of the novel, I suppose this would have had more impact on me if I had actually read them in the right order.  

This is like the other Morse novel I read, another good crime read, enhanced by its Oxford setting and clever quotes at the start of each chapter.

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My new crime discovery – Colin Dexter – The Dead of Jericho

1070911Pregnancy brain has meant that I can now only seem to read crime books, although I am still struggling on with Winter King, the biography of Henry VII.   I branched out and read my first Inspector Morse.  I hadn’t even seen it on TV before but now I am wondering why as I found it pretty enjoyable.  It was especially nice to have the familiar setting of Oxford in the novel.

Morse is your typical flawed policeman, middle-aged spread, slightly alcoholic, etc.  He goes to a party and meets young and beautiful Anne Scott who seems to be inexplicably throwing herself at him, but Morse manages to resist.  Six months later Anne Scott is found hanging in her kitchen in the district of Jericho.  Anne seems to have lots of skeletons in the cupboard including ex-husbands, an adopted child and a married lover.   At one point the plot threatens to become farcical when Morse tries to relate it the Sophocles tragedy of Oedipus, but generally a nice cosy crime read.  I have already headed off to the charity shop to buy another.  I might even put the DVD on my wish list.

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