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DEATH IS NOW MY NEIGHBOR by Colin Dexter

DEATH IS NOW MY NEIGHBOR

By Colin Dexter

Pub Date: March 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-517-70786-1
Publisher: Crown

 The ferocious intelligence that always blazes out of Dexter's Oxford mysteries makes Lonsdale College, where two ambitious candidates are jockeying to replace the retiring Master, a logical focus for this one. In this quadrangle is Senior Fellow Julian Storrs, whose connections include a scheming wife, a comely mistress, and his colleagues in the local Conservative Party. Opposing him is diffident historian Denis Cornford, newly married to a much younger woman. No one who's ever met a donnish academic will doubt Inspector Morse's faith that the murder of Rachel James, the physiotherapist who'd been brightening Storrs's bed, is connected to the mastership somehow. But what to make of the convenient neighbor who provides an alibi almost too good to believe, or the enterprising journalist who seems to be blackmailing everyone in the Oxford directory, or the possibility that Rachel James, who'll soon have company in the morgue, wasn't the intended victim? Ever-waspish Morse (Morse's Greatest Mystery, 1995, etc.) thriftily uses every scrap of information that crosses his desk, from a coded postcard to his own diagnosis with a life-threatening illness, as raw material for the answers. Though the characters and the writing alike pulse with the endless capacity to surprise, the relatively unoriginal central situation here will throw most readers back on fringe pleasures- -though Dexter's are among the best in the business. Alert fans will even work out Morse's first name. (Author tour)