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

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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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: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,051,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford.

From AudioFile

Here are 10 short mysteries solved by Inspector Morse and several other top-notch sleuths, including Sherlock Holmes. The smooth narration by James Nelson keeps listeners awaiting further deductions and surprising conclusions. Nelson shifts from British to Scottish to quasi-American accents seamlessly (although the American accents slip from time to time). His slow cadence provides time for listeners to try to solve the mysteries before Inspector Morse does. Engrossing till the last, the performance is marred only by bleed-through recording ghosts on several of the tapes. M.B.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Mys M TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 14 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inspector Morse, Colin Dexter's famous — or is that infamous — Chief Inspector from Oxford CID is featured in a collection of eleven short stories, one of which is a Christmas story.

Each of the stories begins with a famous and familiar quotation, is a very quick, enjoyable read, and displays a series of twists demonstrating the quick wit of a criminal or the inscrutable logic of Morse. Morse's Greatest Mystery begins with a quote from A Christmas Carol because this investigation is one where Detective Sergeant Lewis is feeling that Morse is giving a good impression of Scrooge. When he picks him up early one Tuesday morning before Christmas, Morse is arguing on the phone with the bank manager, quibbling over a minor charge. Listening to his boss's ill tempter, Lewis is moved to comment that Morse "sound[s] more like Scrooge every minute".

Lewis was starting to become irritated with Morse's cheapness, the expectation that he would have to treat Morse to a pint or two, and the fact that, since Morse's old Jag was in the shop again, Lewis would have to "ferry him around" all day. Once in the car, Lewis brought Morse up-to-date on the events of the previous day at the George, a pub run by Mrs. Michaels and her husband. It seemed that the patrons had been collecting for the Littlemore Charity for Mentally Handicapped Children as a Christmas gesture and had raised £400. Rather than presenting a "phonily magnified cheque", Mrs. Michaels had opted for genuine notes and had brought them home from the bank in a "long white envelope tucked into her shopping bag along with her morning's purchases". Hearing the phone as she entered the pub, she "had dumped her bag on the counter and rushed to answer it".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4f8abb8) out of 5 stars 52 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41d39c0) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa41d3e28) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa41d3e4c) out of 5 stars 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...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41d6180) out of 5 stars A MIXED BAG OF GOOD STORIES, FAIR STORIES, AND AN UGLY STORY June 25 2012
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
HASH(0xa41d612c) out of 5 stars 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.