DEATH IS NOW MY NEIGHBOR
By Colin Dexter

Ivy Books
April 1998, $6.99 ISBN: 0-8041-1572-9

Reviewed by Cherie Jung (4/98)

For awhile, it seemed as if I were picking up a book to read just as it was being broadcast on PBS Mystery! and this is no exception. DEATH IS NOW MY NEIGHBOR was available on my local PBS station the week after I started reading the book. In the previous cases, I enjoyed both the books (by Colin Dexter) and the televised versions. Such cannot be said for this outing.

I have no problem with the tangled plot. It held my interest, well enough. When I started reading the book I found myself disliking Inspector Morse again. For my tastes, he's over the edge again. Too harsh, too pompous. His endearing, if annoying, qualities of drink, intelect, crossword puzzles, and opera have become too irritating. Almost brittle, in a sense.

I stopped reading halfway through the book...thinking that I would enjoy the TV version better. After all, I have always like John Thaw's portrayal of Inspector Morse. I've also always like Kevin Whately's portrayal of Sergeant Lewis. Was I surprised to discover that not only did I not like the TV version, it chased me back to the book version!

I have since finished reading the book version of DEATH IS NOW MY NEIGHBOR and can only say that if you are a diehard fan of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series then go ahead and give it a try. I, for one, think it is not up to the author's earlier writing standards. But then, again, Dexter is aging and he did express his desire to stop writing the series when I interviewed him several years ago.

Other books by this author: THE SILENT WORLD OF NICHOLAS QUINN, LAST BUS TO WOODSTOCK, LAST SEEN WEARING, THE SECRET OF ANNEXE 3, SERVICE OF ALL THE DEAD, THE DEAD OF JERICHO, THE RIDDLE OF THE THIRD MILE, THE JEWEL THAT WAS OURS, THE WAY THROUGH THE WOODS, THE WENCH IS DEAD, THE DAUGHTERS OF CAIN, and MORSE'S GREATEST MYSTERY and Other Stories.


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