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The Way Through the Woods (Inspector Morse Mysteries) Paperback – 16 Mar 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (16 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450805
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Quietly, rather movingly, Strange was making his plea: "Christ knows why, Lewis, but Morse will always put himself out for you". As he put the phone down, Lewis knew that Strange had been right... in the case of the Swedish Maiden, the pair of them were back in business' -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.

Book Description

'Morse's wickedest, twistiest case . . . prepare for last gasps of outraged admiration' Sunday Times

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had my Morse "period" some years ago but this gem slipped my net. I had quite forgotten just how scholarly Colin Dexter is. There is a strong sense of place in this novel which for me is important, the more so when I know most of them well. Beginning in Lyme Regis, sometime home of Jane Austen and John Fowles, moving to Nether Stowey,Somerset, where Coleridge and Wordsworth spent a short sojourn, back to Oxford and for Lewis on to Uppsala. The plot is strong and complex as are most of the characters. Beneath the Oxford spires of academia lurks another type of world which is where the main characters live and work. Music is another very attractive ingredient which makes for a fulsome storyline. The pre-text at the start of each chapter adds flair and food for thought. As ever Morse is the mouth - piece for Dexter's own social conscience. If willing the reader might be almost in conversation with Morse/Dexter. Brilliant, highly recommended as are most if not all of the Morse series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Colin Dexter at his best. Morse is on leave in Lyme Regis when verses appear in the Times about the disappearance of the "Swedish Maiden". This results in a whole host of letters from Times readers which Morse reads avidly. Morse is persuaded to return to Oxford to take charge of the year old case and what follows is a brilliant and insightful investigation and solving of the case.

Read this - you won't find any other crime fiction novel which will beat this one!
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By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 May 2016
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating story that contains all of the author’s hallmarks – chapters introduced by epigraphs from a wide range of literary sources, the curmudgeonly Morse revealing his weaknesses, Lewis remaining a faithful Watson despite the many provocations of his boss [the former drinking bitter and the latter soft drinks at innumerable pubs and hotels], bleeding chunks of Wagner, a caste of interesting characters, words that only the compiler of the OED will know [scoptolognia, kleptolagnia, presbyopically, Boustrophedon, funambulist and many more], crossword clues, letters to the Times and Morse coming up with solutions to a convoluted plot before each is discarded when additional evidence is found. There is also the death of one of the memorable characters in the series thus far.

On holiday in Lyme Regis [despite his thinking that a ‘A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of Hell’ he is enjoying visiting locations associated with Thomas Hardy and Coleridge], Morse reads an article in the Times about Karin Eriksson, a Swedish hitch-hiker, who disappeared a year ago. It contains a poem sent to the editor that, it is assumed, provides clues to the young woman’s fate. Over the course of the next few weeks it spurs readers to write letters suggesting places where her body may be found.

Initially Morse’s interest in the correspondence is shared with his attraction to a woman he meets in the hotel but the former takes over when Morse is given responsibility for reinvestigating the ‘Swedish Maiden’ case. Soon a long buried body is uncovered. However, this is not the last he sees of this woman.

Opinions within the Thames Valley police are divided about whether the body may be buried on the vast Blenheim Estate or in Wytham Woods, Morse’s thinking.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the first Colin Dexter book that I’ve ever read, and I wasn’t sure what to expect – I was hoping to find that he writes like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, and I wasn’t disappointed. Dexter can write a cracking crime novel, and Morse is a fascinating character – just like Poirot, Holmes and the other great detectives in the world of literature.

The story follows Morse’s investigation into the disappearance and presumed death of a young girl – he’s a reluctant hero, as he’s on holiday at the time, but he’s still a hero. If that reminds you of Sherlock Holmes, then I’m not surprised – Dexter clearly takes a lot of inspiration from the great crime writers of old, and Conan Doyle was the best of the best.

But this book was so much more than just an imitation of Sherlock Holmes from another author who wanted to make a name for themselves. It’s a joy to read, incredibly well-written, and the story feels truly unique, packed full of twists and turns to keep you interested until the end.

Perhaps that’s why it won the Gold Dagger Award for the Best Crime Novel of the Year – if only I’d known that when I appeared on Pointless, the BBC quiz show. I got to the final round with a chance to grab the jackpot, and the question was about Gold Dagger Award winning crime writers. We didn’t get it right back then, but there’s a sort of poetic justice in the fact that I ended up reading a book which would’ve won me nearly £10,000, if only I’d read it a couple of years earlier.What a shame!
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Format: Kindle Edition
They called her the Swedish Maiden – the beautiful young tourist who disappeared on a hot summer’s day somewhere in North Oxford. Twelve months later the case remained unsolved – pending further developments and Inspector Morse cannot let it go.

My all time top favourite series in the mystery genre, and this book is the best I have read in the series. Few modern writers can rival Colin Dexter's exquisite character building, whether within the genre or from outside. Inspector Morse is a delightful, masterpiece creation. Morse is at once brilliant; peevish yet often sly and diplomatic, kindly towards those who work under him; with classic tastes in cars, music, and lifestyle; and, as far as women are concerned, lusting after every woman in sight in a manner that is pathetic yet endearing, a little creepy yet gentlemanly mannered that kind of makes you laugh at him and yet feel sorry for him at the same time. He is a very real character with very real strengths and weaknesses.

Also in this particular book Dexter reaches his peak in literary writing. Consider the brilliant 5 stanza poem on the "Swedish Maiden" with which Dexter introduces the murder to us. This is beautiful, brilliant poetry. The scene in Lyme Regis where Morse watches the tide coming in and the sea gulls momentarily flying suspended in the air then "peeling off" like fighter air-planes ... that is exquisite writing that evokes the scene's beautiful setting very viscerally.

While the writing and the characterization delights one aesthetically, at the same time the brilliant mystery and the plot dazzles one's mind with an equally exquisitely layered puzzle one impulsively feels compelled to follow.
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