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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morse is the greatest detective
This is a fine crime novel from Colin Dexter. A woman romantically involved with Morse is found hanged in her home in Jericho, Oxford. Morse is determined to crack the case and Dexter weaves a typically convoluted plot. This novel is early Morse, but is still worth reading. The relationship between Morse and Lewis is getting there but is not as well established as in the...
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Mr. Craig Henderson

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Morse showing promise!
This is one of Dexter's first Morse novels and the characters are as strong as you would expect, but as yet the characters were very much his and hadn't, morphed into the characters we know from the television adaptations. Lewis was the older of the two, a granddad at this point! Though his character is otherwise much the same, an egg and chip loving Geordie with an...
Published on 31 Jan 2002


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Morse showing promise!, 31 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Dead of Jericho (Paperback)
This is one of Dexter's first Morse novels and the characters are as strong as you would expect, but as yet the characters were very much his and hadn't, morphed into the characters we know from the television adaptations. Lewis was the older of the two, a granddad at this point! Though his character is otherwise much the same, an egg and chip loving Geordie with an innocent honesty. Morse actually drove a Ford Lancia, not having graduated to the Jaguar. Morse was still surly and generally unpleasant but the relationship between the two is quite different to the one that you are used to seeing on television. They are closer in private for example, as Morse can be found asleep on Lewis's sofa after Mrs. Lewis's egg and chips. But they are more distant in the working life with Lewis playing very much the straight an ill informed and ill imagined Dr. Watson. Though it is a simple who dunnit where you don't actually care by the end of it who actually did do it, it is still well crafted and presented. These books can sometimes jar with what you know as Morse and Lewis so it isn't always easy to see them as stand alone works of fiction, but Morse always worth a visit in its original form, especially in one of these earlier versions, even if it is only to sit back and list all the ways its different to the version you know!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for fans and the Morse-averse, 15 Feb 2012
The Dead of Jericho is the first Morse novel I have read, and here's why: Unlike seemingly everyone else, I hated the TV series. Could not stand it. Same with Lewis. I can't abide with all that touristy, Oxfordy, Latin-tagged, academics-killing-visiting-violinists-in-St-Gervase's-under-cloisters stuff. Give me the gritty realism of Midsomer Murders any day.

I've avoided the Colin Dexter books as a result, despite their reputation. So I was surprised to find myself enjoying The Dead of Jericho. It does get off to a tweedy start with a line of Latin in the opening paragraph, but I kept my nerve and ploughed on.

Morse, drunk at a party, flirts with Anne Scott, an attractive younger woman who takes a liking to him and gives him her address. He doesn't follow her up on her offer at the time, but six months later he changes his mind and pops round to her house in the Jericho area of Oxford. The house is quiet but the door is open and he goes in to call out for her. Still no answer, but Morse's instincts tell him that somebody is hiding from him upstairs and he beats a diffident retreat. Later that day, Anne is reported dead. What at first seems like a straightforward suicide soon proves to be the first knot in the very tangled web which Morse has to unpick. He works unofficially at first, not wishing to reveal that he had visited Anne on the same day, but soon comes clean and is handed the case.

Morse is an interesting protagonist. Perhaps I never watched the TV version enough to gauge his character, but I would have summed him up as: crosswords, real ale, opera, grumpy. All of which is true, as his colleague Bell summarises:

`Cleverest bugger I've ever met... he usually seems to be able to see things, I don't know, half a dozen moves ahead of the rest of us... Spends most of his free time in the pubs - or listening to his beloved Wagner.'

(I think `his beloved Wagner' sounds less like a policeman than anything I've ever read.) However, Morse is more than the sum of these parts. He is refreshingly human:

`What an idiot - what a stupid idiot - he was! It was that first, cowardly evasion of the truth that had caused it all - all becuase he didn't want it to be known he had been floating around in Jericho looking for some necessary sex one afternoon.'

Sergeant Lewis doesn't really get to show his face until part three, but when he does, it's clear that the John Thaw/Kevin Whateley on-screen dynamic was pretty accurate. Lewis is in many ways the perfect `Watson'. Whilst my reading of this paragraph is that it is satirical...

`Morse knew in that moment exactly why he always wanted Lewis around. The man was so wholesome, somehow; honest, unpretentious, humble, almost, in his experience of philosophy and life. A lovable man; a good man. And Morse continued in a gentler, less arrogant tone.'

...the Watson role is 100% clear in this:

`He would indeed have been able to work it all out for himself had not Morse anticipated his activated musings.'

To sum up: I'd recommend The Dead of Jericho to Morse fans and the Morse-averse alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morse is the greatest detective, 20 Nov 2010
By 
Mr. Craig Henderson (North East, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a fine crime novel from Colin Dexter. A woman romantically involved with Morse is found hanged in her home in Jericho, Oxford. Morse is determined to crack the case and Dexter weaves a typically convoluted plot. This novel is early Morse, but is still worth reading. The relationship between Morse and Lewis is getting there but is not as well established as in the later novels. None the less this is a very good novel with plenty of twists and turns. DCI Morse is a great character and Lewis, as ever, his dependable Watson. I enjoyed this book and I have re-read it recently. Dexter is able to give the reader enough clues about the killer's identity without giving too much of the game away. This novel was also brilliantly dramatized as the first ever Inspector Morse episode on television in 1987.
Very enjoyable whodunit.
5 stars
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3.0 out of 5 stars pretty darn good, 10 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This intriguing mystery is another great page turner from Colin Dexter. Set in the Oxford suburb of Jericho, Morse arrives to find an old flame, Anne, dead, apparently from suicide. Yet all is not as it seems, and soon Morse is cutting through the seedy underbelly of the Oxford bridge society and the publishing world to discover the truth behind this personal tragedy. Erudite as always, Morse is assisted by Wagner, copious pints of bitter, the classics, and the faithful Sargeant Lewis. A great way to avoid commuter hell, or post lecture burnout. Like a Christie, but contemporary, and set among real, relateable prople.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Morse at his best., 21 May 2014
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This review is from: The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse) (Kindle Edition)
Great story from cover to cover..Morse at his best. Twists and turns on every puzzling page...Could read over and over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse) (Kindle Edition)
Love Inspector Morse books - Mr Dexter pens an excellent read! Thank you Mr Dexter for taking the time to produce such an excellent novel!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best in an excellent series - I have them all!, 7 Oct 2013
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I just love this book, the way Morse and Lewis have found a mutually satisfying relationship, the way Morse gets his (not always so bright) ideas, and the way Colin Dexter has with words!
I recommend it (the English version!) to everyone who is interested in really great literature, and who is capable of reading in English (I'm Swedish and so are my friends and relatives).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and Complex, 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse) (Kindle Edition)
Great read- typical Morse, full of complex plot that leaves the solution unknown until the end. Great use of the unique relationship between the irrascible Morese and the taciturn Lewis.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Force on the Case !, 16 Nov 2011
Colin Dexter was born in 1930 and, over the course of his writing career, has won CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. "The Dead of Jericho" was first published in 1981 and is the fifth book to feature the famous Inspector Morse.

"The Dead of Jericho" opens with Morse at a party. Not only is the thirsty lothario making the most of the hospitality, he's also trying it on with a significantly younger lady called Anne Scott. Presumably stuck for company, Anne quite happily chats to him for the rest of the evening and even suggests he calls to see her at some point. Unfortunately, Morse's evening is cut short with a phone call from Lewis and - suspecting a husband stashed away somewhere - takes six months to actually make it to Anne's house. Although someone appears to be in the house, nobody answers when he calls round...so he takes the hint and leaves. He's back that evening though, when news breaks that Anne has apparently killed herself - the news leaves Morse feeling a little suspicious and badly regretting a missed opportunity. His presence is only marginally official, given that DI Bell is in charge of the investigation. Of course, that isn't likely to stop Morse unofficially sticking his nose in.

I had hoped "Service of All the Dead"- the fourth Morse book - had seen the series finally hit its stride. Unfortunately not. While much is made of Morse's genius and his refined tastes, he seems to spend most of his time leering over the ladies and drinking prodigious amounts of beer. (It's well beyond the book's halfway point before Morse officially takes over the investigation and he barely seems capable of turning up for work sober. Five books into the series and it's become very easy to see how Armstrong and Miller came up with Jack Force). Dexter's writing is occasionally difficult to take seriously too : "He was drinking too heavily, he was smoking too addictively, fornicating far too frequently...Oh God, how he hated himself occasionally !" (Steady on, old chap. Next thing you'll be telling us that Oxford's schoolboys can call into a backstreet pub for a lunchtime pint and a spot of go-go dancing). Easily enough read overall, but it really isn't that difficult to find something a good deal better.
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