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Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse) Mass Market Paperback – June 30, 1996
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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
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!
It is all British...I've read a few books from across the Pond, and I'm sure this author was popular at one point...Old stuff. Didn't hold my interest.
The book plods along with every ten pages some new as yet unrelated character being introduced. The thing reads like Austen--which may be fine for a 18th century novel but is less swift for a 20th century mystery.
As demonstrated in many of my reviews, my gold standard for mysteries is Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series. Those books flow. There's no jerkiness. I care about the characters. You might put a Scudder down because you're grossed out or scared but never for boredom. "Last Bus to Woodstock" is not in the Scudder universe.
This is a minority opinion. "Last" is the first of the Inspector Morse series, books which became TV programs. Apparently many people love them. I'm guessing they haven't read Block yet.