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I've not been able to bring myself to read or watch the final Inspector Morse mystery--bad enough to tear up during the first Lewis program, as the mystery is pretty much solved by his deceased former boss. But this novel, which takes place just two from the end of the road, already contains strong intimations of what's to come. Not only is Morse contemplating retirement and quite ill with a respiratory ailment for much of the book, but he's also more sentimental about Lewis and love than a fan might have expected. well, actually, he always was a soft touch for the ladies, but here pretty close to falls in love with a young lady of easy virtue who is all too close to the crime, recalling the very first Morse novel, Last Bus to Woodstock. But consider these two very nice touches between Morse and Lewis, first as Lewis questions whether he'd really retire:
"Won't you miss things?"

"Course I bloody won't. I've been very lucky--at least in that respect. "But I don't want to push the luck too far. I mean, we might get put on a case we can't crack."

"Not this one, I hope?"

"Oh no, Lewis, not this one."

"What's the programme--?"

But Morse interrupted him: "You just asked me if I'll miss things and I shan't, no. Only one thing, I suppose. I shall miss you, old friend, that's all."

He had spoken simply, almost awkwardly, and for a little while Lewis hardly trusted himself to look up. Somewhere behind his eyes he felt a slight prickling; and somewhere--in his heart, perhaps--he felt a sadness he could barely comprehend.
Then later, after looking at a waterlogged body:
"You OK, sir?"

"Course I'm bloody OK, man!" snapped Morse.

But Lewis was not in the least offended, for he and Morse were long acquainted; and Lewis knew all his ways.
It'd take a tougher bloke than I to not be moved by that and a right silly one to read homoeroticism into such love between men, as seems to be the wont these days.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

Colin Dexter (2 books reviewed)
Colin Dexter Links:
    -Endeavour:  The Official Newsletter Of The Inspector Morse Society
    -Colin Dexter (Tangled Web)
    -AuthorView: Colin Dexter (Pan MacMillan)
    -COLIN DEXTER (Stop You're Killing Me)
    -ESSAY: British and French Noir (Neil McDonald, December 2003, Quadrant)
    -ESSAY: The progress of nostalgia: Agatha Christie's Poirot and Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse, with reference to case histories by Freud and Jung ( Liz Hedgecock and Joanne Knowles, University of Liverpool, The Crime Writers of Scandinavia 1997 Mystery Anthology)
    -REVIEW: of The Remorseful Day  (2000)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Remorseful Day (H.R.F.Keating - - 1996 Cartier Diamond Dagger winner & creator of Inspector Ghote, Tangled Web)
    -REVIEW: Remorseful Day, but a good read (ROBIN ROBINSON -- Toronto Sun)
    -REVIEW: of Death is Now My Neighbor (1997)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Death is Now My Neighbor (Val McDermid, Tangled Web)
    -REVIEW: of Death is Now My Neighbor (Wendy Lawrence, Crime Time)
    -REVIEW: of Death Is Now My Neighbour (Barry Buckler, Ed's Internet Book Review: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller)
    -REVIEW: of The Daughters of Cain (1995)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Way Through the Woods (1993)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Morse's Greatest Mystery (Harrington B. Laufman)
    -REVIEW: of The Jewel That Was Ours (1992)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Wench is Dead (1992)(Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of The Wench is Dead (Mystery Guide)
    -REVIEW: of The Riddle of the Third Mile (1984)(Newgate Callendar, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Last Bus to Woodstock (Mystery Guide)

    -Official Inspector Morse Website (Carleton TV)
    -MYSTERY!: Inspector Morse (PBS)
    -Inspector Morse (A&E)
    -Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC Infopage

Book-related and General Links: