Title: Death is Now My Neighbour
Author: Colin Dexter
Page Count/Review Word Count: 418
Here we have yet another one of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels, and this particular book takes its title from the fact that the action centres on a small street. There’s a murder at one of the houses, and the investigation immediately begins to centre on the other residents of the street. You see, it seems like someone knows something, and in fact there’s an entire web of lies and conspiracy that the whole street is tangled up in.
One of the problems that I have with detective novels is that it’s often difficult to remember all of the different characters who are involved. That wasn’t such a problem here, and in fact it was one of the few Morse books that I think I’d struggle to re-read, because I’d remember all of the different twists and turns that the reader experiences along the way.
One character in particular – Owens, the murder victim’s next-door neighbour and a reporter at the local paper – seemed to stand out to me, although I still found that Morse, Lewis and Strange were my favourite characters throughout. It was also interesting to visit Lonsdale College, where two men – Julian Storrs and Dr. Denis Cornford – are competing for the position of Master. It’s intriguing, because the academic world of Oxford is so far removed from my own experiences with life and education, and yet Dexter paints such an evocative picture that it’s easy to be absorbed by the story.
Meanwhile, Morse is facing his own crisis, and it’s interesting to learn a little more about the great detective’s personal life. In fact, at the end of the book, he even reveals his Christian name to Lewis, something which I didn’t expect – you, as the reader, get to find out what that is, and I was under the impression that Morse’s first name would never be revealed.
Overall, then, I’d have to say that this is one of the better Inspector Morse novels, and it was a lot of fun to read. Despite being a little longer than some of the other books in the series, it only took me a couple of days to get through it, because it was just so damn addictive. It really was a page-turner, the type of detective novel that keeps you guessing right up until the very end. It’s just a great read!