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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 11 September 2013
This was the first Morse I'd read, though I have watched and enjoyed all the drama series on TV over the years. It was actually quite different from the TV Morse which I was pleased about. The story was good and the way the investigation unfolded clever and interesting, plus there was a strong element of humour running through the story. I shall definitely be returning for another investigation.
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on 5 October 2014
I have just latched onto the Dexter / Morse / Lewis phenomenon and so it's like whole new world opening up in front of me. It's not "great literature" but it certainly is entertaining and clever. The prospect of reading all the 13 novels, and also watching all the "Morse" and "Lewis" videos is simply delightful. Each novel needs reading twice to appreciate the clever detail, and each video needs watching twice too. Add to all this the wonderful backdrop of the magical City of Oxford .... and I feel I am onto a very good thing! This novel is the first of Dexter's Morse novels, so this really is like a first step.
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on 27 May 2013
Having watched the new TV series Endeavour, I decided to re-read the Morse books. Whilst John Thaw and now Shaun Evans have brought the character off the page, I still love the books. Well worth going back to, or picking these up if you have seen the programmes.
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on 8 June 2016
I felt really comfortable with these old friends again. Although Morse,s character has not been honed into John Thaw yet his incredible mind is evident and with Lewis this is a really good story not to say convoluted.
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on 19 November 2015
It is quite difficult to review this book. I have never read Colin Dexter's books on Morse, but have seen the TV adaptations starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately,and it is very difficult to get these two personalities out of your mind when you are reading the book. You keep asking 'would Morse have said or done that', would Lewis have been so compliant with Morse's outbursts. So you need to look at the book in isolation, pretending you have no knowledge of the television productions. Under these circumstances it is quite a good read ,though 4*not 5*.I found the end not very clear, but nonetheless it was an enjoyable read, and was intriguing how the two detectives came to their conclusions. I think the confusion with the characters, as some reviewers have noted, is because they are slipped in and made formal, and talked about in a different scenario, which can be a little confusing. Overall a satisfying read.
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on 11 May 2003
I have just finnished reading this book and have found it is for confident readers and is not a story for one to read when tired, for the brain needs to concentrate as much as possible on adding clues together and remembering what different people have said. This is a book for people who like to read books based on crime. I do and i found it thoroughly enjoying to read. If you want to know more then i have written a small synopsise below.
The murder all starts when Sylvia Kaye is found dead at the back of a pub - the Black Prince. Everyone assumes that she had been raped and murdered, even Inspector Morse. Inspecter Morse and Sergeant Lewis review the murder and find clues from everyone involved with Sylvia Kaye's life, Throughout the book Colin Dexter has managed to fool minds to think of many different people who could have pursued the murder. When you do find out who the murderer is, it is someone most unexpected but i shall let you find out who it is when you read the book!
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on 4 March 2016
I bought this book as I thought it was high time I read a Morse novel. I also find it interesting to read debut crime fiction that subsequently spawned a successful series. Morse came across as a bit of an old lech, which surprised me. I was also surprised to find Dexter using speaker attributes in his dialogue. I guess if i had been more engrossed in the story this would have bothered me less. I'm not particularly in a hurry to read another but will do at some point. It was interesting to see how much Oxford has changed since this was written.
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on 26 April 2015
As a huge fan of the Morse TV series, I was very disappointed with this first book. I couldn't see the TV Morse at all. I struggled to relate to any of the characters and often couldn't even remember who was who or did what. For me, that's usually a sign I just haven't connected with them. The views on rape were quite shocking and distasteful and I don't think that excuses for what may or may not have been acceptable at the time are sufficient. The conclusion was rather far fetched and the way it was all brought together at the end rather clumsy and unconvincing. As I've got the whole series of books (a gift) I'm hopeful that the others will be better and this was just Colin Dexter finding his feet and developing his characters. The fact that the books were taken up for such a successful TV series makes me believe that the books and the characterisation do improve and I just need to be patient.
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on 1 July 2013
Different from the series but a gripping and exciting read thoroughly enjoyed it.. Couldn't put it down will be getting others
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on 26 February 2013
I suppose I decided to give the Morse novels a try having enjoyed. along with most of the population, the Morse TV series. Although the author cannot be blamed for this, this first novel in the series appeared so dated that I found it difficult to enjoy, Perhaps I will try a later novel and see if things improve. Also, Morse is a much darker character than the one I saw on television; more hitting the whiskey rather hard than a friendly pint at the local and an attitude to women that might have reflected the time but one that reads rather uncomfortably now.
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