- Series: Inspector Morse (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Ivy Books (June 30, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804114900
- ISBN-13: 978-0804114905
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.7 x 6.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse) Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 1996
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Highly effective . . . exceptionally clever * Sunday Times * Let those who lament the decline of the English detective story reach for Colin Dexter * Guardian * --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
"[Morse is] the most prickly, conceited, and genuinely brilliant detective since Hercule Poirot."
--The New York Times Book Review
"YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW MORSE UNTIL YOU'VE READ
HIM. . . . Viewers who have enjoyed British actor John Thaw as Morse in the PBS Mystery! anthology series should welcome the deeper character development in Dexter's novels."
Beautiful Sylvia Kaye and another young woman had been seen hitching a ride not long before Sylvia's bludgeoned body is found outside a pub in Woodstock, near Oxford. Morse is sure the other hitchhiker can tell him much of what he needs to know. But his confidence is shaken by the cool inscrutability of the girl he's certain was Sylvia's companion on that ill-fated September evening. Shrewd as Morse is, he's also distracted by the complex scenarios that the murder set in motion among Sylvia's girlfriends and their Oxford playmates. To grasp the painful truth, and act upon it, requires from Morse the last atom of his professional discipline.
"Few novelists write books as intelligent and deliciously frightening as those by Colin Dexter. . . . What Mr. Dexter does so well, so brilliantly, is weave a thick, cerebral story chock-full of literary references and clever red herrings."
--The Washington Times
"A MASTERFUL CRIME WRITER WHOM FEW OTHERS MATCH."
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Top customer reviews
I expected Morse to be quirky yet brilliant. I guess he was that but there were times when I was tempted to replace the word ‘quirky’ with something more along the lines of <i>unhinged</i>.
What struck me, and other readers that I talked to, most about the book is that Dexter's treatment of gender issues is far from enlightened. Granted, it was written in the 1970s but I came of age back then and I don't remember the people I encountered being quite so -neanderthal - as the characters in this book are. Their thoughts about rape are frightening and the old idea that women who act or dress in a certain manner deserve what they get is, if not said outright, at least inferred more than once. One can make certain allowances for when a book was written but there are limits.
And if all that isn't enough, Morse doesn't even drive his signature burgundy Jaguar! He drives a beat-up old Lancia, whatever the heck that is.
I'm not sure at this point if I will read more Morse books. If I do, I will probably skip forward to a point where Collins writing, and Morse's character, are better developed.
My thanks to M.L. and the The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group at for creating the opportunity to read and discuss this book with other Goodreads members.
The Plot: Two young ladies are waiting for a bus to Woodstock which is a town close to Oxford. One of them whose name is Sylvia Kaye is found later to have been brutally murdered and raped. Morse and Lewis are called upon to solve the crime. During the course of the investigation, Morse falls in love with a friend of Sylvia's.
If you want to peruse the best in British crime writing this is a good place to begin your journey with the inimitable Messrs Morse and Lewis!