Classic Morse

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Colin Dexter. I quite like Morse - I think he's a well rounded if sometimes slightly annoying character. The mysteries are generally pretty clever, although I do think that they can be rather far-fetched sometimes and strain credulity, and I do occasionally find Colin Dexter's pedantic use of English irritating. (I suspect that there is a lot of Morse in Colin Dexter!)

Service Of All The Dead is the fourth book in the Inspector Morse cycle. As usual Oxford is beautifully described, and is virtually an additional character in the novel. There's a great cast of characters, some more eccentric than others, and a plethora of bodies.

The only downside was that I didn't have any belief in the novel at all. The novel is told from several different angles, and the non-Morse angles are not convincing - it's also fairly obvious when the novel is told in this way who the murderer is (although it is slighly more complicated than that - I won't say more in case you haven't read the novel yet).

The first murder, although ingenious, was just plain stupid - Morse gives what are supposed to be convincing reasons for why the murder happened in this way, but it doesn't hold water, and I found myself getting quite annoyed with the novel. It's a not too complicated intro to the Morse cycle, he's rather more genial here than he is in some of the other novels, but I don't think it's a particularly good example of the series.


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