Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday's Forgotten Books, January 11, 2019

In what is clearly an homage to Tey's DAUGHTER OF TIME, Colin Dexter plants Inspector Morse in a hospital bed to solve THE WENCH IS DEAD. Inspector Morse comes across an account of a 19th century murder. Intrigued by the inaccuracies in the account, he decides to solve the murder from his hospital bed. With the help ofl Sergeant Lewis and a librarian visiting her ill father, Morse soon becomes engrossed in the case of a young woman, apparently murdered by boatmen during her canal journey from Oxford to London.
As has been noted by countless readers, Dexter never manages to avoid sexism in  his books. Women are there to entice, sleep with, and flatter Morse. Sometimes portrayed as the great romantic, he is closer to the great letch. But Dexter's plotting and prose almost make up for it. And it features a great ending.(I can't remember if his attitudes toward women seemed disturbing in 1975. Hmm.) Interesting to wonder if Dexter saw him as womanizer or shared his attitudes.

Les Blatt, THE GREEN ACE, Stuart Palmer
Elgin Bleecker, WORST ENEMIES, Dana King
Brian Busby, THE DUST FLOWER, Basil King
Crossexamingcrime, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, Ethel Lina White
Martin Edwards, CUL DE SAC, John Wainwright 
Aubrey Hamilton, THE DREADFUL HOLLOW, Nicholas Blake 
Richard Horton, ASCENDING, James Allen Gardner
Jerry House, THE FIFTH HARMONIC. F. Paul Wilson
George Kelley, SCIENCE FICTION OF THE THIRTIES, ed. Damon Knight
Margot Kinberg, THE ACCIDENT ON THE A 35, Graeme Macrae Burnet 
Rob Kitchin, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, Anthony Doerr  
B.V. Lawson, THE MAN WHO DIDN'T FLY, Margot Bennett
Evan Lewis, THE EYE OF THE WORLD, Robert Jordan
Steve Lewis, "Whispering Monk" Gordon E. Warenke
Todd Mason,  Midcentury Literary Ferment: some best-ofs from magazines and movements: TRIQUARTERLY, IF, SHORT STORY INTERNATIONAL, VENTURE SF
J.F. Norris, THE FROG WAS YELLOW, Francis Vivian
Only Detect, ONE MAN SHOW, Michael Innes
James Reasoner, MR. SIX-GUN, Brian Garfield
Richard Robinson, MR. CALDER AND MR, BEHRENS, Michael Gilbert
Kerrie Smith, LAST BREATH, Robert Bryndza
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, THE MYSTERY OF THE INVISIBLE THIEF, Enid Blyton
TraceyK, TRUE DETECTIVE, Max Allan Collins


Jeff Meyerson said...

I've read all the Morse books and his collection of stories (some of which feature Morse), and this has always been one of my favorites, much as THE DAUGHTER OF TIME was my favorite Tey book. But it has been decades since I read it so can't comment on the attitude of then vs. now. Still, I don't think you can go wrong with Dexter. I wish I had more of them yet to read.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Always a sad day when you read the last of a series you love.

Rich Horton said...

Thanks for including my review -- I forgot to send you an email!

Anonymous said...

Glad you featured this one, Patti. I always liked The Wench is Dead. It is a different sort of Dexter, and, yes, a nod to Tey. Thanks for including my post.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks as always, Patti. What did you make of the Ng book?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Second read of it. I liked it. Although I felt like she dropped characters as she honed in on her main arc.

Mathew Paust said...

I was so disappointed by Last Bus to Woodstock, mainly because Morse's arrogant treatment of Lewis, that I vowed not read another. I suppose my mistake was having watched the Inspector Lewis series before reading the book. I also watched a season of Morse, and found that character so different from the one in the book it reinforced my vow. Maybe had I read the book first...