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The peaceful uadrangle of Lonsdale College seems remote from the shocks of the outside world—such as the shooting of a young woman in her North Oxford home But things at Lonsdale are not as tranuil as they appear The Master of the college is retiring and two senior dons Denis Cornford and Julian Storrs are vying discreetly but furiously to succeed him There are only two people to whom the coveted appointment means than it does to Cornford and Storrs—their wives Chief Inspector Morse investigating the murder on Bloxham Drive follows a trail that leads first to a tabloid journalist then to the strip clubs of Soho It soon winds back however to the university For Morse and his partner Sergeant Lewis the uestion becomes Is the Mastership of Lonsdale worth killing for?


10 thoughts on “Death is Now My Neighbour

  1. says:

    Chief Inspector Morse returns in his twelfth outing 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 happenThe 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 collegeOne 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 reuire 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 sergeantLike 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


  2. says:

    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 readYet 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 uotations 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 conseuent 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 preuels by other writers whose one word series title gives the game awayFor 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 120000 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 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 freuently 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 freuently 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 sirMorse'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 firstExactlyLewis gave up the struggleThere 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 himAlongside 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 spoilerone 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 subseuently 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


  3. says:

    This hard cover book is signed by Colin Dexter


  4. says:

    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 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 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 womanA 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 last4 Last Bus to Woodstock Inspector Morse #13 Last Seen Wearing Inspector Morse #23 The Silent World of Nicholas uinn Inspector Morse #33 Service of All the Dead Inspector Morse #43 The Dead of Jericho Inspector Morse #54 The Riddle of the Third Mile Inspector Morse #63 The Secret of Annexe 3 Inspector Morse #73 The Wench Is Dead Inspector Morse #83 The Jewel That Was Ours Inspector Morse #93 The Way Through The Woods Inspector Morse #104 The Daughters of Cain Inspector Morse #113 Death Is Now My Neighbor Inspector Morse #12CR The Remorseful Day Inspector Morse #13 3 Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories


  5. says:

    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 and convoluted But that is the beauty of a Morse bookjust when you think that the answer to the murders 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 circumstancesThe 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 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 isthe name that he has tried to keep secret through the first eleven books And it is rather endearing as to how that is revealedIt's another winner from Colin Dexter


  6. says:

    In this penultimate book in the Inspector Morse series Morse and Lewis investigate the seemingly motiveless murder of a young woman shot through the blind covered window of her kitchen by an intruder who came down the back alley behind the houses Of course it is Morse who realises eventually that it could have been a case of mistaken identity due to the house numberingMorse has a serious health issue which develops in this story but which in his usual curmudgeonly fashion he tries to ignore as best as he can He comes up with a number of theories as to who the murderer is especially when another occurs and with how it relates to a contest at Lonsdale College where two men and their wives are rivals for the position of the next Master I'm not sure though that the character of the Master as portrayed although sickening to Morse is as obviously nasty as in the TV adaptation which I still remember some years after last viewing itThere is a foreshadowing of the final novel here and an air of sadness especially over the fate of the young wife of one of the characters But there is some nice interplay with subtle humour between the two detectives and once again Lewis' long suffering nature is to the fore Morse finally reveals the secret of his first name in this volume which was a long kept secret at the time All in all a solid and page turning 3 star read


  7. says:

    35 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 book in the series I started this in my Cozy Mystery Group uite awhile ago and it will feel good to complete that goal


  8. says:

    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


  9. says:

    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 investigationA woman shot in her own kitchen is the start of a story that involves blackmail and infidelity Before the story is over 2 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 secretsIt'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


  10. says:

    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 of them