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Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories Paperback – Mar 16 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan; 1 edition (March 16 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330451901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330451901
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #843,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Dexter (The Daughters of Cain) demonstrates his absolute mastery of the art of plotting in these 11 short stories, six of which feature Inspector Morse. Morse fans might fear that, by confining the Thames Valley investigator to the short form, Dexter risks losing all that irascible interplay between the beer-swilling snob of a copper and his dogged subordinate, Lewis. Not to worry. In the title story, Morse's heretofore unrecognized largesse is put to the test when the Christmas charity collection at a local pub is pilfered. In another, a car is borrowed and the owner receives a charming letter and an opera ticket. All these stories are powered by such ruthlessly cunning plot lines that the reader is quickly tipped the wink and finds himself or herself feverishly striving to second-guess the sleuth. In one non-Morse story, "At the Lulu-Bar Motel," Dexter spins an elaborate plot but struggles to create all-American con men, but another Morseless yarn, "Evans Tries an O-Level," is a terrific prison-break tale. Watching Dexter?and Morse?work in constricted space is great, challenging fun.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

You've seen him on TV, now catch him in print. Dexter's Chief Inspector Morse is back in six of the 11 short stories featured here-enough for a whole new PBS series. Dexter throws in five unrelated works for good measure.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While I am a great Morse fan and enjoyed the short stories involving Thames Valley's finest, I particularly enjoyed Dexter's turn at Sherlock Holmes. I was truly impressed with his ability to emmulate Doyle's literary style and to capture the essence of those well-loved characters. But, what I loved most about this short story was the wonderful ending and Watson's role in it! Dexter's homage, though loving, also manages to poke a little fun at the greatest literary detective.
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By A Customer on Nov. 10 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This collection is definitely not Dexter at his best. The book reads like the sort of thing he does when he is thoroughly bored and has nothing better to do. If you must insist upon reading it borrow the book from your local library. It is a good way to catch Morse on one of his off days.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A great disappointment. Aug. 9 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
As a long-time Colin Dexter fan, I looked forward to a long auto trip while listening to this book. Beware, all ye of similar expectations. This is not Colin at his best, or even average. None of the stories is very interesting, most are easily solved, (if you care enough to try), none is suspenseful. I had the feeling these stories were rejects from other publications. The Sherlock Holmes story is just dumb. Don't bother with this one.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Morse is OK, but Dr. Watson shines. March 14 2003
By D. B. Killings - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fans of Dexter's Inspector Morse series will probably be a little disappointed by this book, since only five of the ten collected stories actually have the cantankerous Thames Valley detective, and with a few exception those stories tend to be the shorter entries of the batch. But still, this is a very readable collection of mysteries and other crime stories, one which as a whole tends to lean more toward the light-hearted rather than the serious. Probably the high point of the collection is not a Morse story but a Sherlock Holmes tale, in which the perrenially overshadowed Dr. Watson finally gets a little bit of recognition.
Overall not a stellar collection, but easily an enjoyable lazy afternoon's read.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Oh, now... Feb. 21 2004
By Donnald - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, now! It's not so bad! Don't you listen to 'em. Bunch of filthy liars. But, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. I for one think it a good read. I mean of course it's not like the books; this is just a bit of fun. Some anecdotes with Morse and others. The stories are well-written... adequate anyway...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By David R. Eastwood - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Colin Dexter's MORSE'S GREATEST MYSTERY AND OTHER STORIES (1993) contains eleven short stories of somewhat uneven quality. In order of their appearance in this collection, they are "As Good as Gold," "Morse's Greatest Mystery," "Evans Tries an O-Level," "Dead as a Dodo," "At the Lulu-Bar Motel," "Neighbourhood Watch," "A Case of Mis-Identity," "The Inside Story," "Monty's Revolver," "The Carpet-Baggers," and "Last Call."

With the exceptions of "Evans Tries an O-Level" (1977; Macavity Award, 1996), "At the Lulu-Bar Motel" (1981), and "A Case of Mis-Identity" (1989), I've basically been unable to discover dates of earlier publication for these stories. ("Morse's Greatest Mystery" was included in a 1992 mystery anthology I own, but its original date was not listed by its editor.)

Essentially this book contains four kinds of stories: four Puzzle Stories, where the reader gets to match wits with a detective and the author; five Premise Stories, each built around some unusual "What if--?" idea which is disclosed, usually at the end; one Parody; and one Ironic Successful-Adventure Story.

In my judgment, the BEST story in this collection was the wonderful PARODY of Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, and Doctor Watson, titled "A Case of Mis-Identity." (Anyone reading it with the mistaken assumption it's a PASTICHE will probably find it very unsatisfying.)

The WORST story is the first one: "As Good as Gold." It is the Ironic Successful-Adventure Story, where far-fetched coincidences abound and SHEER LUCK is the sole bacon-and-face-saving factor at the end. It is almost as if Colin Dexter had decided to write a cruel Parody about Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis, showing them capable of despicable evidence-tampering. Morally speaking, I found this story deeply disturbing and disappointing, despite its numerous "clever" touches in construction.

One further story of special note is "At the Lulu-Bar Motel," which is the only "modern" story told in the first-person AND the only story set in the United States. It has, like most of the stories in this book, a Triple-Twist Plot.

While reading these eleven stories, I assigned letter grades to each of them. In my judgment, three deserved an "A", six deserved a "B", one deserved a "C", and one deserved an "F"; averaging these grades (if that seems a fair thing to do) provides this collection with an overall solid "B" grade.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A solution and then some March 4 2009
By Russell A. Mann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The collection includes Colin Dexter's first and only Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Titled "A Case of Mis-Identity," it is Dexter's take on the Conan Doyle story, "A Case of Identity" (1891). Dexter follows Doyle's plot up to a solution to the mystery by Holmes. But then Dexter expands the story with a contrary solution offered by Holmes older brother Mycroft and still another by Holmes friend and colleague Doctor Watson. Only one of the three solutions turns out to be correct. Dexter's tale first appeared in a collection edited by Hilary Hale, Writer's Crimes 21 (1989) published by Macmillan. To thoroughly enjoy Dexter's story you should read Doyle's.