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The Jewel That Was Ours (An Inspector Morse Mystery) Hardcover – March 24, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; 1st American ed edition (March 24, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517588471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517588475
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,583,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Chief Inspector Morse is dispatched to Oxford to untangle a plot involving the death of the American who intended to donate a fabulous jewel to the Ashmolean Museum. Soon after, the professor who is hyping the receipt of the jewel is murdered, and the plot takes off on a giddy series of revelations tied to the professor's assorted drunken sprees and amorous liaisons among the Oxford elite. Unfortunately, the story seems overedited, and the reading by popular British actor Edward Woodward leaves much to be desired. Woodward plays a great Inspector Morse, and some of his other British voices are wittily done. However, every American voice sounds alike; read: Southern hick. Woodward's female voices are uniformly squeaky. Nonetheless, the story will keep listeners guessing, and Dexter is in top form. For large mystery collections.
Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, N.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

For Dexter, a decidedly conventional outing, this one involving an American tour group and their Oxford guides and Inspector Morse's investigation into who among them pilfered the Wolvercote Jewel, a Saxon buckle that Mrs. Laura Stratton was planning on presenting to the Ashmolean Museum. Laura dies in her hotel tub; the philandering tour-lecturer, Dr. Thomas Kemp, is found murdered; and Morse and sidekick Lewis are kept busy checking alibis, train schedules, romantic entanglements, and past tragedies. Discarding several pet theories that prove to be incontrovertibly flawed, Morse eventually--in an old-fashioned gathering-of-the-suspects confrontation scene--nitpicks his way to a solution, then retires to the King's Arms for a pint of Flowers Bitter. Based partly on a storyline that Dexter wrote for the PBS series, this effort succeeds best in the small details--e.g., the use of a hearing aid as a clue--while being somewhat slapdash and sketchy in its character analysis and dialogue. Less impressive than the eight previous Morse stories, and far less adroit than Dexter's handling of The Wench is Dead. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

I guessed the answer to the mystery at the beginning pretty much.
bbq
A clever, well developed plot along with both the familiar as well as new characters.
David R. Edwards
I'm only sorry that I have only four left to read until the end of the series.
S. Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John F. Rooney VINE VOICE on January 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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In this traditional British mystery a group of elderly American tourists are on a bus tour in Oxford. It turns out that the travelers have more than their share of secrets. When an accidental death and a murder occur, Inspector Morse suspects that events in the pasts of some of these tourists and their guides are playing a part in present events. (We don't learn Morse's first name until the final book in this fine series.)
Dexter's books have a sly, malicious sense of humor and much is said in a tongue in cheek fashion. Morse is a lot of fun for the reader. He's not a happy man, but he is a bright bachelor able to bounce back from adversity as long as he has his booze, his crossword puzzles, his classical music, and an infrequent roll in the hay. He is not willing to take any blame for swallowing all those red herrings put out for him and the reader.
The final unraveling of the plot is very complicated, defies common sense and is more ingenious than credible and leaves you wondering if you haven't been taken for a bus ride yourself.
As in the classic British mystery this book even has all the suspects gathered together in a meeting with the police inspector ticking off the facts of the case and pointing to the murderer. Readers will learn the title has two meanings. Inspector Morse is a brilliant detective whose bursts of insight sometimes send his investigations off in the wrong direction and sometimes lead to the arrests of innocents. Exculpatory evidence often turns up to prove that he's been too hasty. For these errors he is unapologetic and good at ignoring his mistakes. Sergeant Lewis in this Colin Dexter outing fawns over his boss a great deal and is all to ready to overlook his superior's miscues.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Inspector Morse occupies the bar of the Randolph Hotel while he investigates the titillating Shelia Williams and the odd disappearance of a priceless jewel. The jewels owner's heart attack leads to complications, complicity, murder, and an enormously entertaining run through a list of American tourist suspects. A superb plot, well written, well executed. An excellent read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Emma-Mary D Hawk on October 27, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although I figured out why the murder was committed and by whom, I didn't work out how until the end of the book. As usual Morse was knocking back the beer, flirting in his subtle way and actually got a "little"!!! bit friendly with a suspect. A good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kingdog on June 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A compelling plot and a great read. Inspector Morse is a vivid protagonist, and no ordinary action-hero cop. He operates outside the box, in the tradition of the great intellects of English crime fiction. Never daunted by the apparently unsolvable crime, he applies the crossword puzzle approach to real life mysteries. He is assisted by Lewis, who seems to not only anticipate Morse's needs, but acts as an uncanny catalyst in the crime solving process. Factor in a very sympathetic criminal element and a spoonful of sharp, ironic humor, and you have one of the great teams of modern detective literature. My one criticism would be an occasional over-reliance on a large, changeable cast of characters, to connect the dots of the plot elements. But... I nitpick. Jewel That Was Ours is a riveting read, another modern classic by Colin Dexter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Cargill on December 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dexter's mysteries are so well written, whatever I read next suffers in comparison. I love the word play. The chapter intro quotes are also very clever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills on August 25, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Jewel That Was Ours" is a 1991 police procedural novel in the Inspector Morse series by Colin Dexter. The genesis of the novel began life as a TV script for the British tellie production of the Morse mysteries. The book is well written though characters are one dimensional. I concur with other reviewers that the book is printed in small type. Also, the letters included from suspects are very hard to read for Medicare age eyes! Dexter is a cut above many authors in the detective genre due to his wit and use of literary quotations throughout the novel.
The Plot: A group of wealthy older Americans are on a tour of Great Britain. They visit Oxford University led by tour guide John Ashenden. While in Oxford, Laura Stratton, one of the tourist, is discovered dead of a coronary in her swank hotel room. Her husband Eddie is distraught as are all those in the tour party. In addition to the death of Mrs. Stratton, the famous Wolvercote Tongue is missing. The jewel was to be presented to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford as a gift from Mrs. Stratton. Her first husband had donated the jewel to the musuem. She is to present it to Dr. Theodore Kemp a noted expert in the field.
There follows a murder and a suicide of major characters. Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis face a challenging case rife with red herrings and false paths until the case is solved.
The plot will move slowly for some readers but kept this reviewer's interest. Once you read a Morse book you will be hooked!
Pleasant light reading!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on April 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this book we see a death by natural causes, a suicide, a death by a road accident, and one death by murder. Morse and his wonderful Lewis are left to solve the puzzle which also includes a theft of a very valuable piece of jewellery. I can't stress enough how wonderful this series is! Dexter is a very gifted writer, and the puzzles that he sets are masterpieces. He is a master storyteller who sets a perfect pace and he crafts wonderful characters. I really enjoy seeing these done on film with John Thaw as Morse, but reading the books is really the way to really appreciate the intricacies of each of these books. I'm only sorry that I have only four left to read until the end of the series.
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