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Death Is Now My Neighbor : An Inspector Morse Novel...

Title : Death is Now My Neighbour
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780330350341
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Death is Now My Neighbour Reviews

  • James Thane
    2019-01-31 03:27

    Chief Inspector Morse returns for his twelfth outing more than a little worse for the wear. His drinking and smoking, in particular, are now catching up with him and he's beginning to pay the price for all of the years through which he's neglected his physical well-being. Any number of people, including his faithful sergeant, Lewis, urge him to reform before it's too late, but any long-time reader of the series understands, like Lewis, that it isn't going to happen.The demands of another complex and demanding case certainly won't help. As the book opens, the Master of Lonsdale College in Oxford has announced his retirement. Two candidates stand for election to the position. Each man wants the job very badly, although perhaps neither man wants to be the Master as much as his wife wants to be the First Lady of the college.One would expect that the academics would get all of this sorted out within the confines of their own small world, but the larger universe intrudes when a young woman is found shot to death early one morning. There would appear to be no motive, but as Morse begins his investigation of the crime, he will discover that the poor woman did have a connection to one of the candidates in the college election. There's also a journalist involved, and the demands of the investigation will require poor Morse to have to work his way through a number of tacky strip clubs in Soho, a task he would never think to assign to his poor, overworked sergeant.Like all of the Morse mysteries, this one is densely complicated, and only someone as gifted as the Chief Inspector will ever be able to sort it out--assuming that he lives long enough to do so. This penultimate addition to the series is another very very entertaining read, even if a little bittersweet, knowing that we're approaching the end of the line. It should certainly appeal to any fan of the series.

  • Jean
    2019-01-23 03:35

    Death is Now my Neighbour is the 12th novel in Colin Dexter's "Inspector Morse" series; another enjoyable and very well-written read, in the series focusing on the crimes solved by Chief Inspector Morse, and Detective Sergeant Lewis. It is not vital to read the books in order - each one can stand on its own - but a regular reader will tend to become involved with Morse's own personal story. Both the slow reveal of facts about him, plus many emotional nuances, may be lost if this penultimate novel in the series is the first to be read.Yet these are not long sagas in the current trend, with the personal lives of the "heroes and villains" almost overshadowing the plot. The chapters are extraordinarily short, and headed by cleverly appropriate, yet diverse quotations, as is Colin Dexter's wont. He once joked in a interview that he liked to keep his chapters short, so that the reader feels they are making good progress. He liked to include conversation too, because of all the consequent space on the page. This way of writing he partly attributed to being a slow reader himself, and partly because his brother told him he particularly liked to read the Morse novels, because there was just enough in a chapter to read before he fell asleep at night! Joking aside, Colin Dexter's books could be termed as cerebral whodunits. The twists and turns of the plot are always paramount, convoluted and complex. As each novel in the series was published, Dexter cleverly kept his readers guessing about Morse. In some ways eliciting any personal information about the main character was like getting blood from a stone, and readers would pounce on the merest snippet. It is difficult in retrospect to realise just what a big deal it was that the reading audience still did not know his first (or Christian) name, especially in the light of the new series of prequels, by other writers, whose one-word series title gives the game away.For the publication of Death is now my Neighbour, however, Dexter made the gift of a publicity hook for his publishers, with the fact he was going to reveal Morse's Christian name for the first time. This caused a media frenzy, even being announced on ITV's "News at Ten"! The book shot to the top of the bestseller list, selling over 120,000 in the first four weeks in the UK alone. Reading it at this distance, the final two words, "Endeavour Morse", still manage to bring a lump to the throat. This is perhaps because of the history and presence of the main character. All the additional TV episodes by other writers, have contributed to consolidating the public's perception of the personality of Morse. He is now almost a cult figure. In the later books we can see that although TV writers have been scrupulously careful to write "in character", with no inconsistencies, some have inevitably emerged. But even Colin Dexter himself has been prey to this influence. Morse no longer curses and swears as much as he did in the early novels, his attitude towards women has undergone a slight update, and his physical type relates more now to John Thaw's than it does to the early descriptions. It's likely that Colin Dexter visualised John Thaw's portrayal when he wrote,"hair that had thinly drifted these last few years from ironish grey to purish-white" Death is Now my Neighbour is satisfyingly complex. Two main story threads are interwoven. An additional layer is provided; that of Morse's own personal story. His increasing health problems mean that there is an impending sense of doom hanging over this novel. In much of the novel, Morse typically proceeds by thinking and mulling things over, being too impatient to deal with actual "clues". And the reader knows that when Morse finally fits all the pieces of the jigsaw together, and knows who is lying and who is not, the case will be solved. He frequently goes off at a tangent, often to Lewis's exasperation and the reader's amusement. There is a very amusing episode, for instance, involving a tie-rack at Marks and Spencer's. Sometimes Lewis admires his boss's "inspired guesswork" - but in this novel he frequently states a wish to get back to "proper police work". Unusually, Morse piously agrees with him... before doing the exact opposite himself. "You make it up as you go along, sir,"Morse's face betrayed some irritation. "Of course I bloody do! That's what I'm here for"... and "it's all so - so airy -fairy, isn't it? And you said we were going to get some facts straight first.""Exactly."Lewis gave up the struggle."There is a crime near the beginning of this novel. A young physiotherapist living at 17 Bloxham Drive, Rachel James, has been shot and killed at almost point blank range, through the closed blind of her kitchen window. Morse and Lewis deduce that all that could have been seen would be her head and upper body silhouetted in the window, as she was in the process of getting breakfast before going to work. Her murderer must have been standing in her back yard. Unfortunately, none of the other residents in the road can recall seeing anything suspicious that morning. Even her immediate neighbour at number 15, Geoffrey Owens, says he saw and heard nothing. Since he is a newspaper reporter, this would have been a welcome scoop for him.Alongside this crime is interwoven a story about the application of two academics for the position of Master of Lonsdale College, to replace the 69 year-old Sir Clixby Bream. Owing to a loophole in the constitution, Sir Clixby, a most unpleasant individual, has been in position for far longer than was ever expected. The rivalry between Julian Storrs and Dr. Dennis Cornford for the position of Master, is very acrimonious. As the novel proceeds, secrets about both of them, and their wives, are unearthed. Would either of them resort to dirty tricks to keep these covered up and ensure their appointment? Would the odious Sir Clixby Bream do likewise, to keep his favoured position?And are these two separate stories, or will they be shown to be connected? Previous novels have usually shown the latter, but it is difficult at first to imagine how these "Town and Gown" characters can ever have had anything to do with one another. However the links become apparent, when it is revealed that (view spoiler)[one of the two candidates has been having an affair with the murdered Rachel James. In addition, it starts to look as if the intended victim was actually Rachel's next door neighbour the journalist, instead. Owens himself is also subsequently shot dead at close range, and it becomes evident that he had been blackmailing one of the academics. There is a satisfying explanation of how such a mistaken identity could come about, involving house numbers, and the similarity of the two characters in profile, as both of them wore a ponytail. (hide spoiler)]Morse is taken with the idea that a cryptic "seventeenth-century" love poem by John Wilmot and a photograph of Rachel with a mysterious grey-haired man are clues, mainly because he doubts the provenance of the poem. He even goes to the extreme of (view spoiler)[employing a house burglar and lock expert, who seems to have done similar "jobs" for him before, so that he can discover more about the blackmailer. (hide spoiler)]The crimes all seem to be linked to the competition to be the next Master of Lonsdale College. The rivalry between Julian Storrs and Dr. Dennis Cornford is becoming ever more intense and sordid, which is par for the course in a Morse novel. Several affairs seem to be going on, and it is cleverly written so that the reader is not always privy to know who is involved in the author's descriptions of events. This keeps the mystery element intact, and is something which would be even more difficult to manage in either an audio or a visual dramatisation.Meanwhile Morse is carrying on with his self-destructive drinking, and occasional womanising. Almost too late, it seems, he diagnoses himself with (view spoiler)[diabetes (hide spoiler)], and despite his protestations is immediately sent to John Radcliffe Hospital as an inpatient for 5 days. He develops a new love interest, (view spoiler)[Sister Janet McQueen, a nurse in charge of him at the hospital. On his discharge, Morse shows that he is not only irascible, but unreasonable too. Finding out that he has diabetes has hit him very hard. (hide spoiler)] He is strongly advised by the medics to both eat carefully and stay off the alcohol. Of course he does neither, arguing the pros and cons of his behaviour all the time, both with himself and with others - especially Lewis. There is one rare particularly unpleasant scene between the two in this book.Alibis for the crimes abound. It seems that none of the relevant suspects could actually be the perpetrator. The reader can get a little lost in following the various threads, with all their implications. There is even a suicide, and eventually Morse's health issues neatly provide the key to the solution.As with all the later Morse novels, this is a well-crafted crime read, in which the Oxford setting is both well portrayed and also an essential part of the novel. All the places are genuine, although "Lonsdale College" does not exist. In real life it is actually Brasenose College, one of the oldest colleges, founded in 1509. I am married to an alumnus of Brasenose, who lived "in Hall" as an undergraduate. Both of us remember the locations well. All the scenes within the quadrangle in the TV drama, the Dining Hall, staircases and some of the students' rooms, both in the dramatisation of this episode and others set in "Lonsdale" are filmed at Brasenose,"He looked around him lovingly at the gilded, dimly illuminated portraits of the famous alumni - the poets and the politicians, the soldiers and the scientists - who figured so largely in the lineage of Lonsdale. The rafted timbers of the ceiling were lost in darkness, and the shadows were deep on the sombre panelling of the walls, as deftly and deferentially the scouts poured wine into the sparkling glasses." The exterior too with the porter's lodge and Radcliffe Square with Radcliffe Camera is very familiar, although it never seemed to look so clean; the glamour of the camera, perhaps?! It is a mystery as to why Dexter preferred to use a different name for this College, which features so prominently in his novels. Presumably Brasenose College received ample location fees, but did not want to be officially connected with the dramatisations. Interestingly too, although he has lived in Oxford for quite a few years, Colin Dexter went to Cambridge University, not Oxford! The dramatisations of the novels are well worth watching, though. They do differ slightly, but they do also bring the locations to life.However, if you like to be able to proceed steadily through a crime novel, and be able to deduce the murderer, this may not be for you. You can almost guarantee that you will not "see it coming". It reads smoothly and entertainingly, but provides intelligent fodder, rather than being light and easy to read. Death is now my Neighbour typically has a huge number of potential suspects, and this can be confusing at times. Morse's tendency to alight on coincidences - or perhaps more realistically Colin Dexter's penchant for throwing in red herrings - adds to the confusion. Because this is such a long-running series, we have grown to know Morse and Lewis better as the years have passed. We both accept their faults and admire their qualities. For regular readers, Morse's ability to go off at a tangent is part of his charm, as is his pig-headed determination. A big part of the reason for the continuing popularity both of the Morse novels and the dramatisations, is the brilliantly conceived chalk-and-cheese relationship between the two men. Morse's sidekick, Lewis, comes across as far less curmudgeonly. Lewis is a placid family man who loves his wife and children (and his egg and chips!) very much. He doesn't always follow Morse with his leapfrog mind, but has a strong moral sense and is equally determined to solve the case. As Morse says to him,"You usually manage to find the unimportant things - and often they're the things that really matter in the end."In this particular novel it becomes clear that both he, and Morse, know that Lewis is probably the closest friend that Morse has. It is Lewis, to whom at the very end of the novel, Morse divulges his Christian name, "Endeavour". We have learned a little more about Morse's parents. His mother, who died when he was very young, was a Quaker. His father idolised Captain James Cook, so much so that he named his son after his hero's ship. And Colin Dexter makes (view spoiler)[Janet McQueen, the nurse with whom Morse is romantically involved, (hide spoiler)] be the device by which he lets Lewis know his first name. It is at her insistence that Morse sends Lewis a postcard, which he has signed with his full name. Is she to feature further in Morse's life, the reader is left to wonder?It is probably not only Lewis whose eyes feel a little damp as he reads the postcard, with its final words,"Let me thank you for everything, my dear old friend. Yours aye, Endeavour (Morse)"The sense of foreboding in this novel is very strong, and we watch Morse recklessly ignore all his health warnings. We want to shake some sense into him, as he persists in telling himself that the immediate satisfaction he gains from his beloved beer, far outweigh any possible long-term benefits in denying himself. He cleverly convinces himself (view spoiler)[that if he injects himself with insulin, as prescribed, this will enable him to continue his bad drinking habits. Then of course, he neglects to keep up the injections at all, (hide spoiler)] being far more preoccupied with the puzzle of the case. This is wholly in keeping with the character of the Morse we know and love. Here is Lewis,"Suddenly Lewis felt very happy that he was back in harness with this arrogant, ungracious, vulnerable, lovable man with whom he had worked so closely for so many years; a man who looked somewhat slimmer, somewhat paler than when he had last seen him, but who sounded not a whit less brusque..."But can Morse ever change?"Thinking and drinking...drinking and thinking...the twin activities which in Morse's mind were ever and necessarily concomitant."The next and final novel will probably prove to be a very tough read.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-01-24 07:39

    Read by................... Terrence HardimanTotal Runtime.......... 8 hours 53 minsDescription: As he drove his chief down to Kidlington, Lewis returned the conversation to where it had begun. 'You haven't told me what you think about this fellow Owens - the dead woman's next-door neighbour.' 'Death is always the next-door neighbour,' said Morse sombrely. The murder of a young woman ...A cryptic 'seventeenth-century' love poem ...And a photograph of a mystery grey-haired man ...It's more than enough to set Chief Inspector E. Morse on the trail of a killer. And it's a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contest between Julian Storrs and Dr. Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is hotting up. But then, Morse faces a greater, far more personal crisis ...We open this penultimate story to the sound of breaking glass as an early morning bullet through a window claims the life of a woman.A convoluted story that rather stretched the realms of possibility, yet I enjoyed the gruff pedantic bantering as usual. This is the one where Morse discovers he has diabetes, and Lewis, finally, finds out Morse's first name. On to the last...4* Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)3* Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)3* The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3)3* Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)3* The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)4* The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)3* The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse #7)3* The Wench Is Dead (Inspector Morse, #8)3* The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse, #9)3* The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)4* The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse, #11)3* Death Is Now My Neighbor (Inspector Morse, #12)CR The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse, #13) 3* Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories

  • Jill Hutchinson
    2019-02-10 07:30

    This is #12 in the long running series featuring Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis and Dexter's writing just keeps getting better and better and the plots keep getting more and more convoluted. But that is the beauty of a Morse book.....just when you think that the answer to the murder(s) might be staring you in the face, it evaporates and the author leads you in a different direction which sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with the ever-changing circumstances.The plot of this story centers around the Masters of Lonsdale College at Oxford and the hidden and somewhat smarmy activities that are being conducted in this temple of learning. We have a couple of murders, some blackmail, and mistaken identities. This book gives us a little more of Morse's personal life as his bad habits are beginning to affect his health and Lewis is trying to keep him on the straight and narrow. We also find out for the first time what Morse's first name is....the name that he has tried to keep secret through the first eleven books. And it is rather endearing as to how that is revealed.It's another winner from Colin Dexter!!

  • Susan Johnson
    2019-01-23 04:44

    3.5 stars Morse is starting to see his own mortality in this book when he is diagnosed with diabetes. He is hospitalized in a health crisis and starts to reevaluate his life. Not too much, of course, as the first thing he does when he is released from the hospital is to get an alcoholic drink and have a cigarette. The mystery surrounds a murder of a young professional shot in her house through the kitchen window. Surrounding the murder is the selection of a Master at Oxford by one of two local professors. How does it fit into the murder? Everyone knows her. Then her next door neighbor, a newspaper reporter, is shot and killed too. This is one series, I feel, that is better on TV than it is in the books. In the books I am mystified by Morse's power over women but in John Thaw's capable hands, it makes perfect sense. I do like exploring the Morse- Lewis relationship which you can see is growing in every book. In a touching moment, Morse reveals his first name to Lewis which was a powerful moment. There is only one more book in the series. I started this in my Cozy Mystery Group quite awhile ago and it will feel good to complete that goal.

  • Charlotte (Buried in Books)
    2019-02-12 06:44

    The end is in sight. Morse's health takes a real turn for the worse with the discovery that he has diabetes - this isn't a man to be told what to eat and drink - although he does seem to give up smoking. Once again he gets lucky with the ladies and once again he finds himself deep in a murder investigation.A woman shot in her own kitchen is the start of a story that involves blackmail and infidelity. Before the story is over 2 more bodies are added to the count. 2 men who want to become master of the Oxford university that they work at, both with their own secrets.It's a bittersweet book, because you again see the way that Morse and Lewis work together, relying on each other. The realisation that Lewis is Morse's on real friend, that he cares about what happens to Morse - even trying to tell him to stop drinking. His reward? Finally learning Morse's Christian name. You feel the end coming, as Morse again faces his mortality, his possibly retirement - because you truly feel that without his work Morse couldn't live. Wouldn't want to live. He needs the puzzle (much the same as Sherlock Holmes).

  • Allie Riley
    2019-02-10 02:41

    Very cleverly written. Well plotted and entertaining. This might be an odd book in the series to begin with, but I know the TV programmes very well. You can hear John Thaw & Kevin Whately in the dialogue! Oddly, since I've watched the series often, I didn't remember who the murderer was and Dexter kept me guessing until at least very nearly the end. Excellent stuff - I shall be reading more of them!

  • Ruthiella
    2019-02-19 06:43

    “And suddenly Lewis felt very happy that he was back in harness with this arrogant, ungracious, vulnerable, lovable man with whom he had worked so closely for so many years”“Some people took little or no mental exercise except that of jumping to conclusions; while Morse was a man who took excessive mental exercise and who still jumped to dubious conclusions”Death is Now My Neighbor is the penultimate book in the Inspector Morse series and the one where Morse’s first name is finally revealed to the reader. Other than that, I don’t have much to add. It is a classic Morse/Lewis mystery where their synergy ultimately solves the mystery and gives the book its unique flavor. Morse is still a hard drinking, classical music loving, porn sniffing perv, however.

  • Ed
    2019-02-20 03:19

    Not a good book to start to Colin Dexter/Inspector Morse series but an excellent entry in the ongoing saga, not least because we sense the Angel of Death hovering in the near distance. The mystery is satisfying; a person is killed for no particular reason. With no motive and no suspects Morse and the redoubtable Lewis are at a blank wall. Then Morse has an idea, then another person is murdered, somehow linked to but seemingly separate and distinct from the first. In the background is the cut and thrust of academic politics (so vicious because so little is at stake) over who will become the next Master of an Oxford college and the breakup of a marriage, told in a very few horrifyingly real pages. Highly recommended for Morse fans but best to have read a few earlier ones beforehand.

  • Jim
    2019-01-31 09:44

    Pretty standard entry to the Morse series. Dexter established his template early on and never really saw fit to go beyond it. That said, it's a pretty good template. In part, it's this sense of reliability that makes the series a pleasure. Dexter gives the reader a contrasting pair of protagonists in the grumpy, intellectual, fainty alcoholic Morse and the loyal, dogged Sgt. Lewis. British mysteries have a long tradition of the otherworldly brainbox and the common-sense, common man sidekick; Holmes and Watson or Poirot and Captain Hastings are a couple examples. At the risk of sounding sociological, it's probably an expession of the English class system or, perhaps, it's just a literary device (see Don Quijote and Sancho Panza). Regardless, it works in book after book. As always, Dexter provides us with bits of literature and philosophy that make us feel clever. And, not least, we get the Medieval weirdness of university society, where delicious pettiness plays out against Oxford's dreaming spires.All in all, an enjoyable read.

  • Leslie
    2019-02-01 07:23

    In this penultimate book in the Inspector Morse series, Dexter has clearly been influenced by the success of the TV show -- Lewis is now explicitly stated as being younger than Morse despite the fact that this contradicts statements in the earlier books in the series. Morse continues to have health issues in this book, but in some regards his character is reminiscent of that shown in the earlier books. This is most evident in his scattershot approach to solving the crime. I thought that the mystery part of the book was done well. However the mood the book left me with was melancholy -- not only is Morse sick, but the solution of this particular case left me feeling sorry for some of suspects as well (mostly (view spoiler)[Dennis Cornwall (hide spoiler)]).

  • Brian
    2019-02-20 08:45

    This was my fisrt Inspector Morse novel to read, the only one I've been able to find State-side, and I absolutely loved it. This is book 12 of 13 so some of the sub-plots I was not privy to. But It was an amazingly well written and planned mystery. Kudos to Mr. Dexter. I am actively hunting all of the series now.

  • Heather Fineisen
    2019-01-27 02:23

    Inspector Morse is good for a guessing game to the end. And he's a cranky bastard. Love it. What do you love? Er-him, as Endeavor would have it, er--me. I started reading Colin Dexter just recently after enjoying Inspector Lewis on PBS. I highly recommend to those who love a good pretentious literary maze. This is not a light read by any means. Enjoy!

  • Arwen
    2019-02-01 01:17

    Just re-read this, more slowly this time. A very good, elaborate plot and I love (as always) the interaction between Morse and Lewis. And it's so nice that Morse gets a bit of luck with his lady - though he also gets the first signs of his demise.

  • Brian Oldham
    2019-01-29 02:15

    Lovable. Well written. We learn Morse's first name. What a wonderful way to spend time

  • Jim
    2019-02-23 02:17

    One of my favourite ever Morse novels, and that's saying something, from 1998.

  • Philip Benge
    2019-02-20 06:45

    One of the very best detective writers.

  • Amanda Patterson
    2019-01-31 09:24

    Colin Dexter at his best.I miss Inspector Morse, his crosswords, Oxford and his drinking problem.

  • Isca Silurum
    2019-01-25 02:19

    My god I thought I was pompous and pretentious!That said I read it, but do feel TV series had much to do with that.

  • Nikki
    2019-01-28 01:37

    Good. Very good. The chapter openings are a bit odd... But Morse and Lewis are in good form, here, and the plot is sufficiently mysterious. A nice, easy and strangely upbeat read.

  • AngryGreyCat
    2019-01-27 03:20

    Just finished this, the 12th book in the Inspector Morse series. Such a bittersweet read, knowing what I know about Morse and that I have almost reached the end of the series. I kept putting the book down to make it last longer. Great character work is displayed in this depiction of Morse and in the “persons of interest” . Morse’s bad habits are catching up with him and we see foreshadowing of what is to come. The mystery is intriguing and it is really engaging to watch Morse and Lewis work through it, playing off of one another. Strange also has a plot line here that is pointing to the 13th and final book in the series.The piece at the end brought me to tears and made me commit to rereading the series once I am done. Very moody writing here, feelings of regret and melancholy tinged with some slivers of hope. 5 star read!

  • Jill Holmes
    2019-02-06 06:18

    Mystery-writing above all other types seems to require an understanding of human nature and behaviour down to the most disgusting and devious of details. When murder occurs in the classic, elegant City of Oxford amongst the academics the City, the University of Oxford and its colleges, and the far wider world place on high but unmerited pedestals, the contrast is great visually (even in the mind's eye) and viscerally. Colin Dexter knows Oxford from its great traditions to its pubs and roundabouts. He also knows more about crafting mysteries than possibly any other author writing today, and he understands the balance needed in the character of his detectives. Like Conan Doyle and Christie, his detectives solve murders best because their own flaws have been their best teachers. Morse knows his own arrogance and erudition, but he also knows that he is a traitor in the eyes of many in Oxford because he turned to police detection instead of academia for a career and because that endeavour often leads him into the innermost, shady secrets of the City's shining lights. Lewis by contrast knows his tastes are limited to eggs and chips and to the bits and pieces of family life; his gift is cherishing these "failings" and realizing the insights simple pleasures and lifetyles give him into the far-from-simple.In "Death Is Now My Neighbor", Morse and Lewis investigate the shooting death of a young woman with a ponytail who happens to live next door to a man with a ponytail. The woman herself is as distant from the heights of Oxford style as Lewis himself; but, when Morse observes the ponytail coincidence and its link to broken fences and mistaken house numbers, he picks up the loose end of a daisychain of cause-and-effect leading to two senior Oxford dons who are rivals for the position of Master of Lonsdale College. The prestige of this appointment usually leads to a knighthood for the chosen don, and, although important to the two men, it is even more important to their two young and attractive wives who have climbed out of the mire of their pasts. For Morse and Lewis, the case involves understanding the character of the people wrapped up in it and not just the cold, hard facts (which are also murky and confused). Other persons and entities seeming to play parts in the mystery are a tabloid journalist, a trucking business about to expand to the Continent, and potentially shady trafficking that connects the haulage firm and the strip-club past of one of the wives. Is it conceited greed for position and prestige or garden-variety lust for money that is behind the murder of the ponytailed girl? Morse and Lewis follow a circuitous path with loads of offshoots and cul-de-sacs as they track down the murderer.The murder mystery is everything, of course, but the title "Death Is Now My Neighbor" also foretells Morse's own outcome. He is getting old and has related health problems as well as many more he has brought on by his own affection for drink and other indugences. He still lusts after the women who cross his path in every mystery, but his personal relationships are lacking or flawed, often thanks to his own emotional dysfunction. This book tells the story of the mystery that is Morse himself and ends with a surprise reveal made to Lewis from a distance and as essential to Lewis (destined to be the survivor) as to Dexter's readers who must tie up some loose ends themselves before they will reluctantly release Morse from his earthly bonds and Dexter from his responsibilities of authorship. The entire story is fulfilling and rewarding because Dexter makes it just that--an entire story bubbling over with detail and challenge. Can you tell I love these books?

  • Dane Cobain
    2019-02-11 07:25

    Here we have yet another one of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels, and this particular book takes its title from the fact that the action centres on a small street. There’s a murder at one of the houses, and the investigation immediately begins to centre on the other residents of the street. You see, it seems like someone knows something, and in fact there’s an entire web of lies and conspiracy that the whole street is tangled up in.One of the problems that I have with detective novels is that it’s often difficult to remember all of the different characters who are involved. That wasn’t such a problem here, and in fact it was one of the few Morse books that I think I’d struggle to re-read, because I’d remember all of the different twists and turns that the reader experiences along the way.One character in particular – Owens, the murder victim’s next-door neighbour and a reporter at the local paper – seemed to stand out to me, although I still found that Morse, Lewis and Strange were my favourite characters throughout. It was also interesting to visit Lonsdale College, where two men – Julian Storrs and Dr. Denis Cornford – are competing for the position of Master. It’s intriguing, because the academic world of Oxford is so far removed from my own experiences with life and education, and yet Dexter paints such an evocative picture that it’s easy to be absorbed by the story.Meanwhile, Morse is facing his own crisis, and it’s interesting to learn a little more about the great detective’s personal life. In fact, at the end of the book, he even reveals his Christian name to Lewis, something which I didn’t expect – you, as the reader, get to find out what that is, and I was under the impression that Morse’s first name would never be revealed.Overall, then, I’d have to say that this is one of the better Inspector Morse novels, and it was a lot of fun to read. Despite being a little longer than some of the other books in the series, it only took me a couple of days to get through it, because it was just so damn addictive. It really was a page-turner, the type of detective novel that keeps you guessing right up until the very end. It’s just a great read!

  • Ellen
    2019-01-28 04:36

    Requires Your Undivided Attention, December 28, 2012 This review is from: Death Is Now My Neighbor (Inspector Morse) Colin Dexter has never let me down. Inspector Morse and Lewis are a team again ...perhaps a bit trying on Lewis's patience. None the less they are together as they attempt to come to grips with the murder of Rachel, a young woman, living alone. But was Rachel James actually the intended victim? Alone at night looking through the back window with both Rachel and her next door neighbor having a ponytail...Could there have been a mix up? And then the murder of Geoffrey Owens, Rachel's next door neighbor, takes place. Are these murders connected?And what could the motive be? A love affair gone wrong, Blackmail or something more devious.There are several side issues going on at the same time. The most important, in my opinion, is the Inspectors' health. Morse finds himself taken to the hospital and diagnosed with diabetes. He's put on a restricted diet...cut down on the alcohol! Inspector Morse has a strong mind when it comes to solving cases but is he strong enough to change his habits?The 2nd side issue is ...the election for the next head Master at Lonsdale. It appears that Sir Clixby Bream has had quite a long run as Master and it was high time for a change. Denis Cornford and Julian Storrs are the 2 senior dons who have a no holds barred competition for that position. Then there's their wives-Angela Storrs and Shelly Cornford. Inspector Morse and Lewis find no problems whatsoever in digging up their past history.Lastly Inspector Morse 's fist name is finally revealed. Sorry but you will need to read this marvelous adventure to find the answer.Another fantastic Inspector Morse mystery...but be sure to give it your undivided attention

  • Roberta
    2019-02-09 09:37

    I've been enjoying reruns of the Inspector Morse series, so I thought I'd finally read the books. I started with this one, the twelfth in the series, because it happened to find it on the shelf at a local library. Chief Inspector Morse reminds me of House in the way that he infuriates everyone and gets it wrong multiple times before he gets it right. Like Agatha Christie's books, my enjoyment of the story didn't depend much on who actually did the murder. I enjoyed the presence of lots of characters who are not exactly who they seem to be at first appearance. This is similar to the TV show and something in common with some other mysteries set in academia. But I also enjoyed the relationship between Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis which is somewhat different from the TV show. I didn't expect to find too many chuckles in this book but there is some humor and I had to laugh at poor Lewis doing a crossword puzzle. Here is my Lesson 1 for Lewis: Eel, Era, Ere, Eli, Ale, Ali (at least in the U.S.), Ate, Ore, Ole, Area, Alee, Erie and Eire. I wonder what I would have to learn to do British crosswords? Probably know some rivers in addition to Exe : Dee, Esk, Yeo, Ted, Sim, Lim, Wey, Aire and Ouse. Lest we forget our place, there were two words that I'm reasonably sure I've never seen in a mystery novel before: uxorial (which I figured from context means wifely) and hebdomadal (which means weekly).

  • Neena
    2019-02-21 09:24

    This was my first book by Colin Dexter and this would not be last. The starting was slow and infact it takes almost 100 pages to really get into the story. However, writing is superb. The best thing about Colin Dexter’s writing is that he made Morse completely human. Chief Inspector Morse is not perfect in every sense. While reading this book I was forced to compare him to Armand Gamache and Adam Dalgliesh of others eries. While they both are perfect to utmost degree, Morse seems more real. He has many flaws. He does not always go by the books and likes to bend rules to get the work done. He is addicted to booze and is as stubborn as they come; would not listen to anyone. Lewis's character is very likable too. Lewis is tolerable of Morse’s flaws and the dry humour between them made me laugh so hard many times. The suspense stays all through the story and the plot is tight. The starting is slow but then after 100 pages everything starts to come together. I was completely hooked to the story after 100 pages and I stayed awake until late in the night to finish it all. A very enjoyable reads. I would surely read more books in the series.

  • Melissa
    2019-02-16 04:44

    The mystery part of this story was pretty good - the kind where you can pretty much figure out who did it but it's trickier to figure out how it was done. I really like Dexter's narrative style, how he occasionally speaks almost directly to the reader as an aside. It's a difficult thing to pull off without becoming condescending, but Dexter manages it well and with humor. The character of Inspector Morse is what really drives the story, and it is a shame because I really don't like Morse all that much. The character is extremely well drawn in an abundance of contradictions: brilliant and oblivious, miserly and kind, gruff and vulnerable. The tortured genius, however, evokes in me only a sense of the pathetic, and Dexter's focus on the complexities of Morse's character IMO distracts from the mystery. Much more likeable is the undervalued Sgt Lewis - undervalued not only by Morse, but in the context of the story as well. I think I'd enjoy this book just as much if not more if Lewis enjoyed the spotlight and Morse were relegated to background color.

  • Peggy
    2019-01-26 05:33

    Inspector Morse is at his cranky, cantankerous best in this book. The ever-patient Lewis is Morse's long suffering side kick. In this story a woman is shot and killed through her kitchen door window. It seems random, but the story involving the politics of choosing a new Master at a local college ensues. When the murdered woman's neighbor, a local reporter, is also murdered, things get more complicated. Morse is famous for jumping to conclusions and expounding unlikely theories each time a new clue presents itself. Lewis is famous for taking it all in stride as he helps sort out the true from the lies. Morse's personal life is catching up to him, and his drinking and poor diet lead to diabetes. I enjoyed the book very much.

  • Kaye
    2019-01-27 03:42

    Hmmm...I just read the review on the other page and I am somewhat puzzled. The book I read Death is now my Neighbor is not about a nurse's death. It is about the battle between two Oxford don's to become the Master of Lonsdale in Oxford. It is the "study of academic and sexual jealousy" according to cover fly. It does seem to be the last book in the series and Sgt Lewis does have a larger role than usual. But it is not about the year old murder of a nurse. Could it be that there is an English version by the same name as an American version? I am most confused. Definitely enjoyed the book and love the vocabulary and style of writing.

  • Tim Healy
    2019-02-15 04:32

    The Morse books are all good, and I picked this one up, more or less, at random when book bub mentioned it. It's a good example, although late in the series. There are hints of the end of the road beginning to show. However, Morse is as irascible and Lewis as unflappable as ever. There's a lot of the darker side of human nature going on around the events at one of the Oxford University colleges. There's also a lot of reminder that human beings are weak, stumbling creatures which I think reminds us that we're not so bad as we make ourselves out to be much of the time. Maybe I'm reading too much in, though.