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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 28 September 2014
Four stars mean that "I like it" and five mean that "I love it". Actually, I love it. Colin Dexter writes with the the superb English that one finds in the Sherlock Holmes and the Father Brown stories. I find myself going back to those occasionally, and re-reading simply to enjoy the wonderful language: good grammar, variety, and (something which Clive James pointed out in one of his celebrated reviews) sufficient description to enable the reader to exercise imagination and fill in the gaps; the gaps are necessary. This is the secret of involving the reader in the story. I shall be returning to Dexter's stories for the same reason.

And now to a fault with the story "Last Bus to Woodstock" in this edition of the book. What follows might be considered a spoiler, so be warned. It is a spoiler about something which has been spoiled(!), and I hope that the editor will correct it in future editions.

In chapter 15 of "Last Bus", Morse notices that the phrase "Yet it is not improbable" occurs in two documents that he has read. This is important to the plot. But, in the kindle edition, this litotic phrase has been rendered as "yet it is probable" in both those documents. This makes a nonsense of Morse's observation and denies the reader the chance of observing the repetition. it has been thus rendered, I would think, by a word processor offering a simpler syntax and by an editor accepting it. This is not something to be done lightly when producing editions of detective stories written by an author who is so interested in words as is Colin Dexter.

Editors, please take note.
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on 22 November 2015
Have never bothered reading any Morse books before as I have seen all the t v programmes. What a mistake! The books are so much more rewarding, the characters are created so well that I felt I really knew both Morse and Lewis. Colin Dexter can write a simple description of someone arriving late at a theatre performance and yet make it totally absorbing. When Morse questions someone it's not just "he said"and "I said" it reveals what Morse is actually thinking regarding the answer (which obviously cannot be shown in the tv shows.) Really loved first 3 books and plan to read all of them. What a very clever man is Colin Dexter.
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on 6 September 2015
We all know Morse from TV and the late wonderful John Thaw but when one reads instead of watching, the full brunt of Colin Dexter's intelligence and superb sense of humour come right to the fore. Reading the stories gives a perfect picture of the flawed genius that Morse most certainly is. A superb read. However, written by any less competent writer than Dexter, I might have become somewhat impatient at the end of book 2 to know who dunnit. As it was, I just basked in the excellent writing.
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on 15 July 2015
I love a good murder/mystery story and have read a lot of crime books, but I had reached the point where they were all starting to blend into one - I couldn't remember the name or author of many of them and I just couldn't read about any more serial killers. So these inspector Morse books were a refreshing change. No serial killers, no elaborate gruesome murders. They are (very) old fashioned novels with believable storylines and characters. The first book was my favourite of the 3.
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on 17 August 2013
I had never read any Colin Dexter but seen the odd Morse on tv ,decided to try this starter book and I am so glad I did.Complex mysteries that end with an unexpected twist.Well written and easy to read and difficult to put down once started.I've become a fan.
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on 2 January 2015
This collection is a great way into Inspector Morse books. It takes you back to the start and turns the Morse/Lewis relationship around. In the books Lewis appears older than his tv version and Morse appears younger. The stories are just as interesting although slightly different from the versions used on tv where dramatic licence dictates necessary alterations.
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on 22 November 2015
First Morse novels I have read although I used to watch the to show. Morse and Lewis are quite different characters in the books but easy to like. The storylines were unpredictable and interesting.p and the books are well written.
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on 3 April 2015
This compilation gives an excellent introduction to the author's very original story telling style. Well written and entertaining sagas that perforate some of the institutional Oxford academies beloved of those who respect our country's higher seats of learning!
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2014
I was disappointed by these and surprised at the looseness of the plots. John Thaw made a brilliant characterisation of Morse and made him likable, a true test of his skill. In the books, Morse doesn't come over well at all. He's downright disagreeable and misogynistic and his detective skills are all over the place. Full marks to whoever read the books and thought they'd make a good series, I just wouldn't have been able to see it myself.
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on 15 January 2014
This is the first of the Morse stories that I have read, although watched a lot on TV. The writing is excellent compared with some other detective page turners. Perhaps John Thaw played Morse as a slightly more likeable character than Colin Dexter has written him, but it is a great read.
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