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The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse)
The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine book and sadly the last, 10 Oct 2009
This is another fine novel from Colin Dexter and sadly the last in the Inspector Morse series.

The murder of Yvonne Harrison had left Thames Valley CID baffled. A year after the dreadful crime they are no nearer to making an arrest. But one man has yet to tackle the case - and it is just the sort of puzzle at which Chief Inspector Morse excels. This is quoted from the back of the book.

So it is the classic `since we couldn't work it out, why don't we have Morse have a go' theme which has appeared a number of times in the Chief Inspector Morse series. Only this time Morse chooses not to become involved because he knows who did it but for some reason refuses to tell the rest of us. Instead he is putting his things in order because he suspects that his end is near. But he does become involved eventually because he is forced to change his mind.

A lot of the actual detective work is done by Sergeant Lewis with Morse remaining largely in the background. He does figure out who did it, otherwise he wouldn't be Morse, but the direction of his investigation and the way how he arrives at his conclusions I found a bit bizarre.

It is a pity that this is the last book in the series. It has been such a fine journey that one would like it to continue into the distant future. But all that drinking eventually had to catch with Morse. Nevertheless, I think I shall re-read these novels quite often.


Death is Now My Neighbour (Inspector Morse)
Death is Now My Neighbour (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.81

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accidents do happen occasionally, 20 Sep 2009
This is another fine Inspector Morse mystery. At the centre of the plot sits Sir Clicksby Breen who will shortly retire as Master of Lonsdale College. His potential replacement are two in-house candidates, who appear to be equally well suited to succeed Sir Clicksby, but whose wives both have some rather black spots in their past, which should best stay there.

Morse enters the scene with the murder of Rachel James. What makes it somewhat more difficult this time is that there is next to no reason why the young lady should have been killed and it is only with the second murder of Geoffrey Owens that the whole mystery becomes a good deal clearer. The conclusion I shall let you read yourself but it struck me somewhat unfortunate for the victims, hence the title of my review.

What I love about Colin Dexter is how well he develops his characters. What makes this novel perhaps a touch more difficult than other Morse novels is that all the characters are involved and/or connected with each other, which gives the reader a hell of a job to follow all the possible combinations on what may have happened. From my point of view, this makes the story more exciting.

Morse is still his good old self. Rude and always out of pocket when it comes to paying for the pint. You will notice that his health has again deteriorated. He is now drinking not because it helps him to think but to counter-balance the insulin injections he needs. But these novels would not be half the fun without him.

The other thing I like about this book and every single book since `The Dead Of Jericho' are the proverbs Colin Dexter opens his chapters with. Excellent show.


The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse)
The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The classic murder mystery once again, 12 Sep 2009
Or at least that is the way it looks. Colin Dexter starts off with his usual prologue where one can pick up odd bits of information, which at the time of reading them don't mean an awful lot but which appear to become useful as one reads the main body of the book. Although, if you have read other Inspector Morse mysteries, you will know that that is not always the case.

The main story starts off with Morse taking over the investigation into the murder of Felix McClure, a Oxford professor. Both Morse and Lewis, or perhaps more the former than the latter, quickly decide on the identity of the murderer. Even though they manage to interview the chap before they get a chance to arrest him for murder, he himself is being murdered.

Enter the daughters of Cain. These are a wife, a step-daughter and a teacher and each one of them has a good (if not a very good) reason to get rid of the chap in question. In the end, Morse decides that the wife did it. On this occasion I find Morse's evidence not terribly conclusive because there is plenty of evidence pointing at the other two `daughters' or at a joint effort.

What I found odd is how eagerly the step-daughter pursues Morse and how excited Morse is about her advances. I find this odd because the book gives the impression that Morse is now just an aging alcoholic and I also find it odd because Morse should know better than becoming involved with a murder suspect.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2010 6:18 PM BST


The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse)
The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rather difficult Inspector Morse mystery, 28 Aug 2009
For Oxford, the arrival of 27 American tourists is nothing out of the ordinary ... until one of their number is found dead in Room 310 of the Randolph Hotel. It looks like a sudden - and tragic - accident. Only Chief Inspector Morse appears not to overlook the simultaneous theft of a jewel-encrusted antique from the victim's handbag. Then, two days later, a naked and battered corpse is dragged from the River Cherwell. A coincidence? Maybe. But this time Morse is determined to prove the link ... .

That's the book in a nutshell and I am not giving anything away here because this is what it says on the back of the book. You can read it before you read the book.

Even though one can rather quickly establish an idea why the old lady is dead and who stole the antique and who might have done her in, all this does not seem to be important to Chief Inspector Morse. He completely ignores the old lady and her jewel and concentrates solely on the other corpse. In the end, he solves that murder and it does make sense in a way. He also solves the death of the old lady and the possible whereabouts of the antique, but these really do appear as an unimportant side-affair.

What I didn't particularly like about the book is that because of so many people involved - some of whom entertain rather interesting relationships amongst themselves - there are too many potential plots, which made it rather difficult for me to figure out what is happening. And because of that I found it almost impossible to follow Inspector Morse's train of thought. If it wasn't for his great reckoning at the end of the book, I would be left in the middle of nowhere.

On a positive note, the title of the book is excellent. The reader may have an idea what is meant by `The Jewel' but towards the end of the book it becomes quite clear that there is more than one possibility.

If you are new to Colin Dexter I would recommend one of his earlier books to begin with instead because this one might put you off Colin Dexter altogether. And that would be a shame.


The Wench is Dead (Inspector Morse)
The Wench is Dead (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story within a story, 16 Aug 2009
Drinking vast amounts of beer and scotch has finally caught up with Chief Inspector Morse and he ends up in hospital. The chap's medical condition must be really bad because he is described as a person in his mid-fifties who according to one of the doctors might make it to 60 if he stays off the booze. Perhaps we are fortunate that this is not the last Inspector Morse novel.

Whilst in hospital Morse is given a book by the daughter (I think) of one of his fellow `inmates' and this book describes a murder which took place in 1859. Inspector Morse wouldn't be Inspector Morse if he didn't start to investigate immediately. Sergeant Lewis and Christine Greenaway, the daughter of the book's author, do the running for him. And Yes he does come up with a theory which disputes the book's findings and some of this appears to be supported by what he doesn't find in Ireland.

Strictly speaking this is not an Inspector Morse mystery. The chap is in hospital and needs to occupy his mind with something. The interactions between Morse and the female hospital staff do not add quality to the book.

I think the murder of Joanna Franks would have been a much better story in its own right.


The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse)
The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extra-marital affair with a twist, 16 Aug 2009
This is probably the funniest Inspector Morse mystery I have read so far.

What do you do if you are caught with your pants or your knickers down in an extra-marital affair?

Well, you have really two options. You can either kill your partner or you can kill your lover. This is roughly the story of this book in a nutshell. The actual murder takes place in the annexe of an Oxford Hotel but the option chosen is only revealed towards the end of the book. Although the people involved in the plot stay at the hotel under assumed names, Chief Inspector Morse works out the real name of the person at the centre of the plot and even though he explains his line of argument to Sergeant Lewis I found that argument a bit hard to follow. But the identification of that person does help him a lot towards solving this mystery.

A third option would of course have been for the person at the centre of the plot to get rid of both partner and lover and the book gives the impression that that is an option which may have been seriously entertained but whether this is indeed the case is again not revealed until the very end of this book.

Similarly to his other Inspector Morse novels I found this book a real page turner. I would assume that the purpose of these novels is not to write them in such a way that they can easily be adapted to television but rather to serve as enjoyment to the reader and I think Colin Dexter has again done an excellent job.


The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse)
The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse)
by Colin Dexter
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit bizarre but still a great story, 10 Aug 2009
This is another fine Inspector Morse mystery!

It starts off with a rather gruesome looking body fished out of the Oxford Canal. As the story strings along, you the reader become convinced that you know who the body is, or better was. But matters are not quite as easy as you think. There are plenty of clues all over the place and it takes a Chief Inspector Morse and a Sergeant Lewis - whose importance is growing - to separate the rubbish from the quality and come up with a credible `who is the corpse and how did it come about to be in this state and what is he doing in the Oxford Canal anyway'.

What I found a bit bizarre (or maybe unusual is a better word) is that there is a chap who has harboured a spot of hatred against one of the main characters in this book because of something that happened in Egypt in WWII and because of this hatred he sets up a scheme to trap the chap in question to take his revenge on him. Yet when they meet face to face that chap not only manages to talk the other guy out of taking his revenge but instead to use the same set-up to trap someone else.

I just find it unusual that someone harbours a specific hatred against someone else and builds it up for 40 years and then after having been given evidence by the object of his hatred that he was all wrong simply abandons his hatred without a second thought. To me that's a bit of a weak point in this book. You will have to read the book though to find out whether you agree or disagree with me.

But apart from the above point, this is a real page turner. I can only highly recommend it.


Riding Shotgun: 35 Years on the Road with Rory Gallagher and "Nine Below Zero"
Riding Shotgun: 35 Years on the Road with Rory Gallagher and "Nine Below Zero"
by Gerry McAvoy
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 24 Jun 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The life of Rory Gallagher as seen through the eyes of Gerry McAvoy who spent the best part of twenty years sharing a life with Rory Gallagher. I think this is good stuff. Given that Gerry McAvoy has been involved with all of Rory Gallagher's solo albums and spent a lot of time with the guy on the road and a lot of time on lots of other occasions this is probably the closest we will ever be able to get to Rory's life.
But this is not just a `how I spent my life with Rory Gallagher book'. Gerry McAvoy recounts his life from birth in Belfast right up to his present involvement with Nine Below Zero although I think he could have spent more time on Nine Below Zero than he did since this is also an important part of his life
All told, I found it a real page turner and literally read it in one go. Besides, I love Gerry McAvoy's sense of humour. What makes this book so much fun to read are the many anecdotes the author(s) have included in this narrative. At the end of the book there is a rather extensive bibliography covering the who's who in the entertainment world.


Tripods - The Complete Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
Tripods - The Complete Series 1 & 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Shackley
Price: 11.16

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous and annoying, 23 Jun 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I watched some of this series on BBC in the 1980s. In the 1990s, I saw some episodes of the series on German, Swiss and Hong Kong television but I have never seen the entire series (one and two that is).
I have now watched both series on this DVD-set and I must say what a great story.

Earth is occupied by the Tripods with humanity existing in middle-age-type farming communities. Nobody rebels against this because humanity is mind-controlled via a cap which becomes compulsory from the age of 16. Will and his cousin Henry are not so keen on being capped and run away to the White Mountains to join the free people. On the way, they are joined by a French chap called Beanpole. The first series deals with the three friends making their way to the White Mountains to join the uncapped (and free) people.

In Series Two, Will via a process which is not dissimilar from the Olympic Games is picked to enter the Tripod City. Serving his Tripod master in his free time he discovers a lot about the Tripod's plans for Earth. Will manages to kill his Master - although in a court of law he could probably claim self-defence - and with the help of another infiltrator manages to leave the Tripod City. He then meets Beanpole and they make their way back to the White Mountains, where they find that the Tripods have destroyed the free men's camp. This is where Series Two ends.

As I said earlier, it is a marvellous story and I really enjoyed watching it. What I find annoying is that Series Two ends in the middle of nowhere. In the last sequence, Will says: "has it all been for nothing" and I wondered if that is indeed the case. With the `beancounters' in the BBC refusing to produce the third series the whole project has been decapitated. The Producer quoted in the `The Cult of the Tripods - a BBC Four Documentary' - one of the extras on this DVD - gives you a good idea what he thought about what happened to Series Three. Whether a movie will be made in 2012 as is indicated on IMdB we will have to wait and see.

So here it is. Series One and Two is a solid 5 stars (and the BBC is a solid zero).
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2013 5:02 PM BST


Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
by Niall Ferguson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rather interesting story, 31 May 2009
Niall Ferguson does a rather good job of telling how Britain's Empire came about and how it unraveled during the 20th century.Having read the book, I didn't find the British Empire such a bad thing. A German or Japanese Empire would have been (and was) considerably worse.
In his introduction, the author mentions some fantastic amounts of money which have been quoted as reparations to be paid by the colonizers. But I guess what this overlooks is that without a British Empire globalization as we know it today and the wealth which came with it would not have happened. Neither the British way of doing business, her preference for free trade, her laws and customs and her language would have spread this way if there had not been a British Empire. That those colonized did not always agree to having their states being taken over by a `foreigner' should not come as a surprise but I don't think this book glosses over the negative aspects of colonialism. All told this is good reading.


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