Last Bus to Woodstock – Colin Dexter

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. – Goodreads

I guess towards the end of #20booksofsummer I was on a bit of a crime reading spree. Probably because I was travelling through Ireland and the breathtaking views of Atlantic coast didn’t leave much brainpower to focus on classics, old or modern. As a result I reached for quite classic crime duo: Inspector Rebus and Inspector Morse.

This was my first Inspector Morse book and this time I managed to start the series at its beginning. Let me just add that I’ve never seen the series either, so had no clue as to what awaits me. One thing I noticed quite quickly is that the book was published in 1975 and it definitely is a document of its times. Especially when it comes to picturing women. In general they can be suspects, slutty or lying. Argh… I’m so happy the 70’s are gone!

Once I got over my annoyance with this aspect I must admit the book wass quite entertaining. Morse is definitely a functioning alcoholic, but one of the cheerful sort, not our Nordic brooding kind. Though he also has his worse days. Morse, in this book at least, is not as complex character as Rebus in his first novel, but being a bachelor of certain age he sometimes wonders is he missed something in life.

The story was decent, investigation reminded me of Agathe Christie. Generally an old school crime novel. When I finished I needed a break,  but I may yet give Inspector Morse another chance, I think I have few more books on my Kindle. Let’s hope he’ll only improve.

P.S. I realize it is a tram in the picture, but couldn’t find a nice bus and the tram is so cute!


This is book #16 of my 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy at 746books.

Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska

One thought on “Last Bus to Woodstock – Colin Dexter

  1. Pingback: August round-up –

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