And suddenly Lewis felt very happy that he was back in harness with this arrogant, ungracious, vulnerable, lovable man with whom he had worked so closely for so many years Some people took little or no mental exercise except that of jumping to conclusions while Morse was a man who took excessive mental exercise and who still jumped to dubious conclusions Death is Now My Neighbor is the penultimate book in the Inspector Morse series and the one where Morse s first name is finally revealed to the reader Other than that, I don t have much to add It is a classic Morse Lewis mystery where their synergy ultimately solves the mystery and gives the book its unique flavor Morse is still a hard drinking, classical music loving, porn sniffing perv, however. This is 12 in the long running series featuring Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis and Dexter s writing just keeps getting better and better and the plots keep getting and convoluted But that is the beauty of a Morse book..just when you think that the answer to the murder s might be staring you in the face, it evaporates and the author leads you in a different direction which sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with the ever changing circumstances.The plot of this story centers around the Masters of Lonsdale College at Oxford and the hidden and somewhat smarmy activities that are being conducted in this temple of learning We have a couple of murders, some blackmail, and mistaken identities This book gives us a little of Morse s personal life as his bad habits are beginning to affect his health and Lewis is trying to keep him on the straight and narrow We also find out for the first time what Morse s first name is.the name that he has tried to keep secret through the first eleven books And it is rather endearing as to how that is revealed.It s another winner from Colin Dexter Why Would A Sniper Shoot Suburban Physiotherapist Rachel James As She Sips Her Morning Coffee Inspector Morse S Hunt For Answers Kicks Off With A Tabloid Journalist, Winds Through The Strip Clubs Of Soho, Then Returns To Oxford, Where Two Senior Dons And Their Wives Battle For A Plum Promotion Then, On The Personal Front, Inspector Morse Receives Intimations Of His Own MortalityAnd While Morse Muses On Life, He Reveals His First Name At Last Read by Terrence HardimanTotal Runtime 8 hours 53 minsDescription As he drove his chief down to Kidlington, Lewis returned the conversation to where it had begun You haven t told me what you think about this fellow Owens the dead woman s next door neighbour Death is always the next door neighbour, said Morse sombrely The murder of a young woman A cryptic seventeenth century love poem And a photograph of a mystery grey haired man It s than enough to set Chief Inspector E Morse on the trail of a killer And it s a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contest between Julian Storrs and Dr Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is hotting up But then, Morse faces a greater, far personal crisis We open this penultimate story to the sound of breaking glass as an early morning bullet through a window claims the life of a woman.A convoluted story that rather stretched the realms of possibility, yet I enjoyed the gruff pedantic bantering as usual This is the one where Morse discovers he has diabetes, and Lewis, finally, finds out Morse s first name On to the last4 Last Bus to Woodstock Inspector Morse, 1 3 Last Seen Wearing Inspector Morse, 2 3 The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn Inspector Morse, 3 3 Service of All the Dead Inspector Morse, 4 3 The Dead of Jericho Inspector Morse, 5 4 The Riddle of the Third Mile Inspector Morse, 6 3 The Secret of Annexe 3 Inspector Morse 7 3 The Wench Is Dead Inspector Morse, 8 3 The Jewel That Was Ours Inspector Morse, 9 3 The Way Through The Woods Inspector Morse, 10 4 The Daughters of Cain Inspector Morse, 11 3 Death Is Now My Neighbor Inspector Morse, 12 CR The Remorseful Day Inspector Morse, 13 3 Morse s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories This was my fisrt Inspector Morse novel to read, the only one I ve been able to find State side, and I absolutely loved it This is book 12 of 13 so some of the sub plots I was not privy to But It was an amazingly well written and planned mystery Kudos to Mr Dexter I am actively hunting all of the series now. 3.5 stars Morse is starting to see his own mortality in this book when he is diagnosed with diabetes He is hospitalized in a health crisis and starts to reevaluate his life Not too much, of course, as the first thing he does when he is released from the hospital is to get an alcoholic drink and have a cigarette The mystery surrounds a murder of a young professional shot in her house through the kitchen window Surrounding the murder is the selection of a Master at Oxford by one of two local professors How does it fit into the murder Everyone knows her Then her next door neighbor, a newspaper reporter, is shot and killed too This is one series, I feel, that is better on TV than it is in the books In the books I am mystified by Morse s power over women but in John Thaw s capable hands, it makes perfect sense I do like exploring the Morse Lewis relationship which you can see is growing in every book In a touching moment, Morse reveals his first name to Lewis which was a powerful moment There is only one book in the series I started this in my Cozy Mystery Group quite awhile ago and it will feel good to complete that goal. The end is in sight Morse s health takes a real turn for the worse with the discovery that he has diabetes this isn t a man to be told what to eat and drink although he does seem to give up smoking Once again he gets lucky with the ladies and once again he finds himself deep in a murder investigation.A woman shot in her own kitchen is the start of a story that involves blackmail and infidelity Before the story is over 2 bodies are added to the count 2 men who want to become master of the Oxford university that they work at, both with their own secrets.It s a bittersweet book, because you again see the way that Morse and Lewis work together, relying on each other The realisation that Lewis is Morse s on real friend, that he cares about what happens to Morse even trying to tell him to stop drinking His reward Finally learning Morse s Christian name You feel the end coming, as Morse again faces his mortality, his possibly retirement because you truly feel that without his work Morse couldn t live Wouldn t want to live He needs the puzzle much the same as Sherlock Holmes. Very cleverly written Well plotted and entertaining This might be an odd book in the series to begin with, but I know the TV programmes very well You can hear John Thaw Kevin Whately in the dialogue Oddly, since I ve watched the series often, I didn t remember who the murderer was and Dexter kept me guessing until at least very nearly the end Excellent stuff I shall be reading of them Death is Now my Neighbour is the 12th novel in Colin Dexter sInspector Morseseries another enjoyable and very well written read, in the series focusing on the crimes solved by Chief Inspector Morse, and Detective Sergeant Lewis It is not vital to read the books in order each one can stand on its own but a regular reader will tend to become involved with Morse s own personal story Both the slow reveal of facts about him, plus many emotional nuances, may be lost if this penultimate novel in the series is the first to be read.Yet these are not long sagas in the current trend, with the personal lives of the heroes and villains almost overshadowing the plot The chapters are extraordinarily short, and headed by cleverly appropriate, yet diverse quotations, as is Colin Dexter s wont He once joked in a interview that he liked to keep his chapters short, so that the reader feels they are making good progress He liked to include conversation too, because of all the consequent space on the page This way of writing he partly attributed to being a slow reader himself, and partly because his brother told him he particularly liked to read the Morse novels, because there was just enough in a chapter to read before he fell asleep at night Joking aside, Colin Dexter s books could be termed as cerebral whodunits The twists and turns of the plot are always paramount, convoluted and complex As each novel in the series was published, Dexter cleverly kept his readers guessing about Morse In some ways eliciting any personal information about the main character was like getting blood from a stone, and readers would pounce on the merest snippet It is difficult in retrospect to realise just what a big deal it was that the reading audience still did not know his first or Christian name, especially in the light of the new series of prequels, by other writers, whose one word series title gives the game away.For the publication of Death is now my Neighbour, however, Dexter made the gift of a publicity hook for his publishers, with the fact he was going to reveal Morse s Christian name for the first time This caused a media frenzy, even being announced on ITV sNews at TenThe book shot to the top of the bestseller list, selling over 120,000 in the first four weeks in the UK alone Reading it at this distance, the final two words,Endeavour Morse , still manage to bring a lump to the throat This is perhaps because of the history and presence of the main character All the additional TV episodes by other writers, have contributed to consolidating the public s perception of the personality of Morse He is now almost a cult figure In the later books we can see that although TV writers have been scrupulously careful to write in character , with no inconsistencies, some have inevitably emerged But even Colin Dexter himself has been prey to this influence Morse no longer curses and swears as much as he did in the early novels, his attitude towards women has undergone a slight update, and his physical type relates now to John Thaw s than it does to the early descriptions It s likely that Colin Dexter visualised John Thaw s portrayal when he wrote,hair that had thinly drifted these last few years from ironish grey to purish whiteDeath is Now my Neighbour is satisfyingly complex Two main story threads are interwoven An additional layer is provided that of Morse s own personal story His increasing health problems mean that there is an impending sense of doom hanging over this novel In much of the novel, Morse typically proceeds by thinking and mulling things over, being too impatient to deal with actual clues And the reader knows that when Morse finally fits all the pieces of the jigsaw together, and knows who is lying and who is not, the case will be solved He frequently goes off at a tangent, often to Lewis s exasperation and the reader s amusement There is a very amusing episode, for instance, involving a tie rack at Marks and Spencer s Sometimes Lewis admires his boss s inspired guesswork but in this novel he frequently states a wish to get back toproper police workUnusually, Morse piously agrees with him before doing the exact opposite himselfYou make it up as you go along, sir, Morse s face betrayed some irritation Of courseI bloody do That s what I m here for andit s all so so airy fairy, isn t it And you saidwe were going to get some facts straight first Exactly Lewis gave up the struggle There is a crime near the beginning of this novel A young physiotherapist living at 17 Bloxham Drive, Rachel James, has been shot and killed at almost point blank range, through the closed blind of her kitchen window Morse and Lewis deduce that all that could have been seen would be her head and upper body silhouetted in the window, as she was in the process of getting breakfast before going to work Her murderer must have been standing in her back yard Unfortunately, none of the other residents in the road can recall seeing anything suspicious that morning Even her immediate neighbour at number 15, Geoffrey Owens, says he saw and heard nothing Since he is a newspaper reporter, this would have been a welcome scoop for him.Alongside this crime is interwoven a story about the application of two academics for the position of Master of Lonsdale College, to replace the 69 year old Sir Clixby Bream Owing to a loophole in the constitution, Sir Clixby, a most unpleasant individual, has been in position for far longer than was ever expected The rivalry between Julian Storrs and Dr Dennis Cornford for the position of Master, is very acrimonious As the novel proceeds, secrets about both of them, and their wives, are unearthed Would either of them resort to dirty tricks to keep these covered up and ensure their appointment Would the odious Sir Clixby Bream do likewise, to keep his favoured position And are these two separate stories, or will they be shown to be connected Previous novels have usually shown the latter, but it is difficult at first to imagine how these Town and Gown characters can ever have had anything to do with one another However the links become apparent, when it is revealed that view spoiler one of the two candidates has been having an affair with the murdered Rachel James In addition, it starts to look as if the intended victim was actually Rachel s next door neighbour the journalist, instead Owens himself is also subsequently shot dead at close range, and it becomes evident that he had been blackmailing one of the academics There is a satisfying explanation of how such a mistaken identity could come about, involving house numbers, and the similarity of the two characters in profile, as both of them wore a ponytail hide spoiler This hard cover book is signed by Colin Dexter.
- 336 pages
- Death is Now My Neighbour
- Colin Dexter
- 01 February 2019 Colin Dexter