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Death Is Now My Neighbor: An Inspector Morse Novel [Paperback]

Colin Dexter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1997
In Death Is Now My Neighbor, Colin Dexter confirms his status as one of the finest living crime writers with a baffling mystery that is also a study of the academic and sexual jealousy behind the facade of an Oxford college.

The peaceful quadrangle of Lonsdale College seems remote from the shocks of the outside world. But things at Lonsdale are not as tranquil as they appear. The Master of the college is retiring, and two senior dons are vying discreetly but furiously to succeed him. There are only two people to whom the coveted appointment means more -- their wives.

Chief Inspector Morse, investigating the murder of a young woman in North Oxford, follows a trail that leads first to a tabloid journalist, then to the strip clubs of Soho. It soon winds back, however, to the university. For Morse and his partner, Sergeant Lewis, the question becomes: Is the Mastership of Lonsdale worth killing for?

Dexter beguiles us with sly wit as he continues to develop his portrayal of Morse -- aging, ailing, but as brilliant and exasperating as ever -- and of his loyal and long-suffering colleague, Lewis. Death Is Now My Neighbor is a rich, complex, and always surprising entertainment.


Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: G K Hall & Co; Lrg edition (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783880642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783880648
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When Sir Clicksby Breen, at age 69, decides to retire as Master of Lonsdale College, Oxford, two in-house candidates become the frontrunners to succeed him. In both cases, their wives are at least as interested in acquiring the title of "Lady," which comes with the appointment, as their husbands are in becoming Master, and in both cases the wives have something in their backgrounds to hide.
In this somewhat fragmented mystery in which the action evolves on parallel tracks, Inspector Morse is called to investigate the murder of a young woman, Rachel James, in what appears to have been a case of mistaken identity. She is the next door neighbor of Geoffrey Owens, a reporter who dabbles in blackmail, and many people have reason to want him dead, including both of the Oxford dons and/or their wives.
Filled with red herrings and digressions, the mystery follows the life of the dons, the Master, their wives, reporter/blackmailer Geoffrey Owens, a neighbor who may be providing Owens with an alibi, and even the madam of a house of ill repute. The finicky and grammatically precise Inspector Morse, accompanied by his more relaxed and less educated assistant, Sgt. Lewis, play off each other to provide some moments of good humor, and the reader comes to know Morse in new ways--in his increasing fondness for drink and in his new diagnosis of diabetes. He also becomes attracted to a new woman.
Though the mystery is entertaining, it is less polished than some others in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars death is my neighbour 23 April 2009
Format:Audio Cassette
Another intriguing Morse story, full of the usual twists and turns and Morse getting it wrong more than once but, as ever, ending up at the right conclusion. Kevin Whateley is marvellous at reading these stories - we get the ever faithful Lewis, whose tones we are so familiar with and he really does convey Morse's grumpiness, his frustration and his delight when he finally figures it all out. It could almost be the much missed John Thaw.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain teaser 7 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Death is now my neighbour is a complicated detective story that will challenge its readers to their limits. The solution is glimpsed frequently before a new clue or piece of evidence shatters the puzzle again. I promise that you will love this book with its complicated detective plot mixed with brilliant characters and humour.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Inspector Morse book yet! 29 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm surprised all reviewers haven't given this book 5 stars. To my mind, it is the deepest Morse book. It is only secondarily a murder mystery. Primarily, it is an exploration of human weakness and frailty.Both Morse and (to a lesser extent) Lewis have developed quite a bit as personalities. I'm very much looking forward to their next case.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "There were passages of conversation which [s/he] shouldn't have heard, or having heard, should have forgotten." 23 Mar 2006
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When Sir Clicksby Breen, at age 69, decides to retire as Master of Lonsdale College, Oxford, two in-house candidates become the frontrunners to succeed him. In both cases, their wives are at least as interested in acquiring the title of "Lady," which comes with the appointment, as their husbands are in becoming Master, and in both cases the wives have something in their backgrounds to hide.

In this somewhat fragmented mystery in which the action evolves on parallel tracks, Inspector Morse is called to investigate the murder of a young woman, Rachel James, in what appears to have been a case of mistaken identity. She is the next door neighbor of Geoffrey Owens, a reporter who dabbles in blackmail, and many people have reason to want him dead, including both of the Oxford dons and/or their wives.

Filled with red herrings and digressions, the mystery follows the life of the dons, the Master, their wives, reporter/blackmailer Geoffrey Owens, a neighbor who may be providing Owens with an alibi, and even the madam of a house of ill repute. The finicky and grammatically precise Inspector Morse, accompanied by his more relaxed and less educated assistant, Sgt. Lewis, play off each other to provide some moments of good humor, and the reader comes to know Morse in new ways--in his increasing fondness for drink and in his new diagnosis of diabetes. He also becomes attracted to a new woman.

Though the mystery is entertaining, it is less polished than some others in this series. With a large cast of characters to develop, Dexter sometimes allows the overlaps and complexities of the characters' relationships to obscure the issue of who murdered Rachel James in her home and why, and when a second murder occurs later in the novel, the case becomes particularly complex, since the murdered person has been one of the suspects in Rachel's murder. The ending, which ties up all the loose ends, comes abruptly, and the motivation of the murderer is not as strong as it is in some of Morse's other cases. An excellent mystery, but not one of Morse's best. n Mary Whipple
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the characters 1 May 2001
By Stefanie N - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With a frighteningly penetrating, ever-active mind, Chief Inspector Morse always attributes more brilliance and originality to the criminal than is warranted. To me, author Colin Dexter's magic act lies in the way he conceals the relative ordinariness of the crimes(and criminals) as we become entranced by Morse's poetic interpretations of them. In this installment of the series we are made privy to the angling of University dons as they vie to become Master of Lonsdale College. There is somewhat less vividness in the portrayal of the academics than I would have hoped--the two competing wives, each with certain similarities to Lady Macbeth, are more compelling. The relationship between Morse and Lewis is quite warm when compared to earlier books in the series, with Morse expressing his appreciation to Lewis in moving terms. The ultimate resolution of the murder relies exceedingly on figuring the amount of time needed to commute between point A and B, which I found tedious. What binds the whole are the personalities of Morse and Lewis. Beyond that we see Morse contemplating life and death with pragmatism and romance, which is what ultimately makes this a haunting book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent is all i have to say 14 April 2001
By Asaf Gerassi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a suberbly written book. Praises to Colin Dexter. The infamous morse and lewis (Morse and Lewis) are portrayed in an excellent and complex characters that you actually start to fell and care about what happens to them. the story is about a murder which happens in Bloxham Drive and morse and lewis investigate it . it leads up to a story of blackmailing and a local election at Lonsdale College for the new master. The book is well written with short paragraphs that made it easier to read and understand and the beautiful plot twists that i enjoyed thouroghly. I would like to ounce again praise Colin for a job well done and this is the first inspector morse book ive read and im hoping to read others in the futre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morse and Lewis resolve more than a crime 25 Aug 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If Inspector Morse and his faithful Lewis are involved, crimes and criminals are usually ferreted out and solved between pub stops. In this latest work, Morse must come to grips with a life-threatening illness and his own aging. All in all, that subplot was more interesting than the slowly revealed, twisting, rather soap-operatic crime plot concerning the Oxford dons. Morse fans will only be scratching the surface if they can't detect the subtle change in his personality brought about by his illness. The fact that he finally reveals his given name is a clue!
Colin Dexter is a masterful storyteller; Morse encounters and faces the same everyday problems those of us with less brilliant minds must also face. He ages; he becomes ill; he survives; he solves and triumphs. Although this is not Morse's best case, it shows Dexter's ability to create an original story each time, and it leaves us hoping to meet Morse and Lewis again, as always...
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