ffb: The Jewel That Was Ours by Colin Dexter

this is the 154th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

The Jewel That Was Ours by Colin Dexter, Ballantine (Ivy), 1991, paperback, mystery, police procedural – Inspector Morse

Jewel That Was OursThis is Inspector Morse’s ninth outing, if I have the count right, and though I’ve tried to read these in order it’s been a while and I think I pulled this off the shelf out of order. Still, little seems to have changed, perhaps Lewis is slightly more confident, and Morse is an angrier, sadder, boozier man than I remembered from the last one I read.

I liked John Thaw as Morse on the Mystery! and now I can’t read these books without picturing him in the role. No problem there.

This story concerns a group of tourists, all from California, on a tour of Oxford and other historical cities. One of the group is going to present an Oxford museum with The Wolverton Tongue, part of a buckle artifact originally set with three rubies (only one left now). The woman has a heart attack, the “jewel” is stolen, then a lecturer is murdered. Morse is attracted to a woman who drinks too much and is one of the lecturers to the group. With two deaths and a theft, the tour halts while Morse and Lewis investigate the many clues.

Dexter is a pleasure to read, though the last chapter seems overly drawn out in this book. Still, the motives are sound, the red herrings sufficiently convincing, the language satisfying, the clues well if scantily placed, and it’s another good Morse outing. These books are satisfying enough that I never seem to want to read two in a row, but each time I pick one up I’m glad I did. I think I still have a couple unread, so there is more to enjoy ahead. I was lucky enough to meet him at a signing some years ago in southern California, he was a very personable fellow.

If your only experience with Morse is with the televised series, I encourage you to try the books, these are very good.

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More Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Patti Abbott’s fine blog Pattinase

 

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Friday Forgotten Book, mystery. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to ffb: The Jewel That Was Ours by Colin Dexter

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Good choice. I liked all of Dexter’s Morse books. You should also check out his short stories.

  2. Richard says:

    Thanks, Jeff. I have read some of them.

  3. Great title. I don’t read a lot of straight mysteries. I’ve probably said that before here. I tend to repeat myself. 😉

  4. I have a bunch of Colin Dexter’s books. They seemed to be everywhere a few years ago. Now, they’re scarce. Do you prefer the books or the Brit TV series?

  5. Richard says:

    Apples and Oranges, George. I like the series with John Thaw, but the books have more depth and I get to see things in my mind’s eye rather than a director’s vision.

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