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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 17 June 2017
Came to the novels after enjoying the TV series. Was expecting high quality in terms of both the literary perspective and that of characterisation and plotting. I was wrong on all counts. The plotting is leaden, the character of Morse is that of a slavering, lascivious idiot when faced with any woman who is presentable (according to the author's misogynistic characterisation of women across the range). Authorial intrusion litters these novels: e.g '......' replied Morse ungrammatically. I could go on, but end by complimenting the devisers and writers of the TV series. Silk purse magic.
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on 30 April 2017
Who could give Mr Dexter's Oxonian detective any less than 5 stars? These are the first three books, and they stand up well to a re-read all these years later. We discover that Lewis was originally meant to be several years Morse's senior - which was sensibly reversed by the TV people - or else we'd never have had the excellent spinoff "Lewis" - that ran to the same number of episodes as did Morse. Whateley said that they decided not to exceed the episode count of the Morse shows in deference to the much beloved John Thaw.
These books are meticulously crafted, with characters and dialogue to delight the most fastidious reader.
No more need be said. Chances are that if you're reading this you're already a fan - but if you're not and decide to buy these books I predict that you'll very soon become one!
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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 22 May 2018
Good stories and very well written. However in the stories Morse does not quite come across as the sophisticated John Thaw version on TV. He appears more of a rough diamond.
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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 21 November 2017
Not much like the TV programmes...readable but don't think I'll download any more. Although these are the originals I'd rather buy the DVD's and watch them
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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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