"The Dead of Jericho" (1981) has Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse once again faced with another of his brain-numbing mysteries. The final improbable and convoluted solution will probably puzzle and confound readers to a point of despair. This one involves two sets of brothers, a peeping Tom, marital infidelity, a suicide, blackmail, crucial letters, coincidental car fatalities, and a bucket of red herrings.
At a party fifty-year-old Morse, always a lonely man seeking female companionship meets a woman, Anne Scott, whom he likes, a mature woman younger than he. Forever putting off things, Morse looks her up six months later on the very day that the woman has committed suicide. Morse gets assigned to the case much later.
For the first 125 pages Sergeant Lewis is out of the picture, but during the investigation stages Morse turns on faithful Lewis and treats him very shabbily. Lewis calls it a carpeting when he's being chewed out. Lewis takes it, and short-tempered Morse quickly changes tack and even compliments his dogsbody assistant. Lewis worships his boss and considers him a near-genius. But why does such a brilliant guy go off on such wild goose chases? He thinks his mind is keener after a few pints. There's enough wit and humor in an Inspector Morse mystery to keep readers chuckling.