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Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)
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Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse #2)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  3,833 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Valerie Taylor has been missing since she was a sexy seventeen, more than two years ago. Inspector Morse is sure she's dead. But if she is, who forged the letter to her parents saying "I am alright so don't worry"? Never has a woman provided Morse with such a challenge, for each time the pieces of the jigsaw start falling into place, someone scatters them again. So Valerie ...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 1997 by Ivy Books (first published 1976)
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James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 James Thane rated it really liked it
Last seen wearing her school uniform, Valerie Taylor disappeared a little over two years ago on her way back to her school in a small town near Oxford after having eaten lunch at home. Seventeen and very well-developed, Valerie had a taste for older men and after her parents reported her missing, Valerie was never seen again and her body was never found.

The police detective originally assigned to the case has continued to work it periodically, even though what little trail there was has long sin
Mar 26, 2013 Aoife rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
My first impression after reading was 'I have absolutely no idea what to think of this' and it took me a while to figure out why I felt so confused. Eventually I realized it was because I had never seen a detective in a crime-series having been so terribly wrong before. Really. Morse does spent most of the time being extremely wrong: he has a theory, a new clue appears that makes it clear that it can't have happened this way. Another theory. New clue. Repeat almost endlessly.
However these wrong
Jan 31, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it
It’s always a pleasure to return to the wonderful stories of Colin Dexter and Inspector Morse, that all too-human English detective who drinks too much and realizes he needs to place his collection of Victorian erotica in a less conspicuous place on his bookshelf.
In this case, Victoria Taylor, an attractive seventeen-year-old disappeared two years ago. Morse is handed the case following the death of Inspector Ainley who had just become interested following receipt of a note that Victoria was al
Jun 30, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli, favorites
E' una piacevolissima conferma, questo Ispettore Morse. Stavolta prende ben più di una cantonata e sembra perdere le speranze ogni volta che le sue intuizioni lo portano verso l'assassino (sbagliato) e il movente (mai quello). Però è difficile chiudere il libro e fare qualcos'altro. Dalla seconda metà, dopo aver presentato caso e personaggi, ogni fine capitolo è un continuo colpo di scena e l'epilogo è una summa delle piste seguite. Forse un po' banale, rispetto al ritmo del romanzo, ma nulla to ...more
Ann Helen
3,5. Tok seg kraftig opp etter ca. 50 prosent.
Christine Blachford
May 11, 2015 Christine Blachford rated it it was ok
The second Morse book puts the Inspector in a position he's not entirely comfortable with - a cold case of a missing person, rather than a murder with a body to work from. That makes it all the more fascinating as a reader - the twists and turns of the is she/isn't she alive on top of the possibilities of who did what to whom and when.

I'm still not entirely sure I'm on board with Morse himself. His scattergun nature is fine, that's often the way with brilliant detectives - Sherlock and Frost bot
May 10, 2015 Julie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Oh dear. I've come upon a series which might have been a perfectly good read were it not for seeing the TV version first. This is the 3rd Inspector Morse I've read and the second in the series. (The first I read was actually the 10th, I think. Read out of order because it was just at hand.) I have to say, I don't really like them all that much. For one thing, there is very little I find in the least appealing or interesting about Morse. He's smart, I suppose. But you don't really see the gears t ...more
Rob Smith
Aug 23, 2014 Rob Smith rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
This is a very good book that unravels the efforts it can actually take to get to the conclusion of a mystery. For that matter, the trouble to get to answers in life. False and hopeful conclusions. Deadends. Confusion. One of the most realistic in plotting of a fictional mystery I've read.

This book is not for those looking for a straightforward mystery with w twist or two. It will greatly frustrate those. It could be said Dexter went too far with the many bad leads to then present it to the rea
3.5 rating
A good mystery and an interesting book - change from the novels where the detective knows what he/she is doing, even with a few red herrings has right deductions mostly and unravels the mystery neatly in the final few chapters.

The story begins when the case of a missing girl Valerie Taylor is handed over to a reluctant Morse. Is Valeria alive or is she actually dead? As Morse and Lewis take on the case, Morse keeps tying himself up in knots so twisted it becomes difficult to make out
Mar 05, 2015 Robert rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
of the two Inspector Morse books I have read thus far, this is my least favorite. Granted, I still enjoy the atmosphere and style of Dexter's universe, but that was about the only things keeping me going. It was evident from the start that Morse didn't care about this case, and when forced to take it, proceeded to blunder his way through it like a bull in a china shop. Morse systematically screws the pooch in any way he can, and Sergeant Lewis is left to pick up the pieces (indeed, he comes much ...more
Rob Kitchin
Sep 22, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it
There are two elements that raise Last Seen Wearing above usual police procedural fare. The first is the plotting and the second the characterization. Dexter maps out a wonderfully constructed story of feints and blind alleys as Morse stumbles from one line of reasoning to another, his theories constantly dashed on the rocks of empirical evidence. Every time it appears he has found a path forward, it turns into a cul-de-sac. This is not a tale of a genius cop who always finds his quarry, but is ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-mystery
TITLE: Last Seen Wearing
DATE READ: 12/02/10
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/1976/Ballantine Books/326 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #2 Inspector Morse
TIME/PLACE: 1970's/Oxford, UK
CHARACTERS: Inspector Morse of the Thames Valley Police
FIRST LINES: Three and a half years later two men were seated together in an office.
COMMENTS: Valerie Taylor was 17 when she went missing 2 yrs ago. Another detective was working on this cold case but died in an auto accident an
Apr 19, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
Ainsley is dead, and Morse has inherited his cold case, the disappearance of a teenager several years ago. Morse is convinced that the girl is dead, although a letter to her parents arrived right after Ainsley's accident. This is early Morse, and he arrives at a variety of solutions to the problems raised by this case--is Valerie alive? Was she murdered? By whom?--each one of which is later exploded. The ending seems a bit unclear, but watching the building of the relationship between Morse and ...more
Domenico Cinalli
Jul 09, 2014 Domenico Cinalli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alla seconda lettura, dopo un paio di decenni dalla prima, i gialli di Colin Dexter mostrano un pochino la corda: l'essere intrappolati in quel limbo cronologico tra la contemporaneità e l'età aurea del giallo inglese (prima metà del novecento, a mio modo di vedere) li fa avvertire polverosi più che classici. Ciò premesso, rimangono comunque un esempio chiarissimo di mistery britannico, con il suo studio dei caratteri e i continui twist investigativi. Sarebbero più corrette le tre stelle e mezzo ...more
Rachel Hawes
Below is my review from when i last read these books. The latest season of Endeavour has prompted me to reread them.They are even more poignant now.

I'll admit it. I've had a Morse shaped crush since I was 14.

2008 review
The one with the girl who might not be dead after all, and Morse almost falls in love.
David Matthews
Oct 21, 2010 David Matthews rated it liked it
I liked this book. If there's one thing that annoys me about detective novels, its that the detectve always seems to get things right, they are never wrong. Well here Morse and Lewis get plenty of things wrong. Laughed out loud when Morse corrects Lewis's grammar mistakes when reading up on Lewis theory, he had written while he was ill in bed!re-read June 2015
Jun 26, 2013 Joan rated it liked it
I've been away from Morse and Lewis for many years now, and it was nice to be back. However, this is definitely not one of Colin Dexter's best plots. One major head fake per plot is my limit; this one exceeded that limit by a wide margin. I also like to have a real "solution," preferably a surprising one.
Dec 20, 2015 Pauleen rated it it was ok
I read crime novels all the time and this was one of the most frustrating I've ever read. Surely based on this story, Morse shouldn't even have got out of uniform let a,one reached Detective Inspector. This will be one author's novels I won't bother with in future.
Matthew Barnes
Sep 20, 2015 Matthew Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review can be found on my blog:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian Richards
Feb 24, 2017 Brian Richards rated it it was amazing
Classic Morse
Ann A
Dec 27, 2016 Ann A rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, uk-setting
This earns an extra 1/2* for being different from your average detective novel.
Apr 07, 2015 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if the reason I couldn't really care very much about this story is related to Morse not really caring very much about it either. When he cannot squeeze it into being murder-shaped, he admits that he simply cannot raise much enthusiasm. And in many ways I feel similarly.

The opening Prologue definitely caught my attention, keeping me intrigued to find where it fitted and to whom it belonged.

One of my main issues, I think, is with the characterization. I prefer the characters of the TV Mor
In this second book of the "Inspector Morse" crime mystery series, entitled Last Seen Wearing the cogs and wheels of Colin Dexter's brain are really beginning to revolve. The number of false conclusions Morse leaps to is quite staggering. And embarrassingly I was with Inspector Morse in every blind alley he trundled up. Even when I thought (he and) I had guessed the answer, Colin Dexter deftly diverted my attention away from it, so that it was literally only in the final few pages that my vagu ...more
In Last Seen Wearing Inspector Morse is given the case of the disappearance of the teenager Valerie Taylor that has remained unsolved for more than two years. The case has been reopened because Valerie's parents have received a letter supposedly from their daughter just a few days after the detective on the case was killed in a car accident while chasing down a mysterious new lead.

To be honest I am not a great fan of plain police procedural detective stories. I prefer more emotional connection a
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
Sep 14, 2013 Charlotte (Buried in Books) rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dane Cobain
Mar 22, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it
This book is another entry in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series, and here we get to watch as the detective is assigned to a cold case. But maybe the case isn’t that cold, because some new evidence is discovered and he’s given a lead to follow up on.

But with no body, it’s difficult to prove that a murder has even occurred. It’s a tangled web of intrigue that we’re looking at here, and we get to see it through his eyes – of course, Lewis comes into it as well, and he actually provides some use
Bill Rogers
Jan 25, 2015 Bill Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superintendent Strange says Inspector Morse isn't half the cop Ainley was. But Ainley is dead; killed in a car crash on his way back to London. Now other people have to take over the cases he had been investigating. One of those cases is the disappearance, two years earlier, of a teenage schoolgirl named Valarie Taylor.

Ms. Taylor went missing on a normal school day. In two years, nobody has heard of her. Then for some reason Ainley went to London to take up the cold case again-- and died.

The ne
Oct 05, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second outing with Inspector Morse & Sgt. Lewis,as they,warily, begin to accept the other's style & manners,involves the apparent disappearance of a nubile school student,Valerie Taylor, in suburban Oxford,a city I know a little from my one academic year there in the early 80s.
This episode takes us back to the mid-70s,almost a 'Year Zero' for the British psyche;I still wince at the dismal political & economic climate,the dreadful fashions & the first violent skirmishes of the
May 31, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2013, 3-stars
This review also appeared on my blog

This is the second novel in the Inspector Morse series, which was a very popular tv series in the 80s. If you've read my review of the first novel in the series, you will know that I really didn't like it, mostly due to my dislike of Morse himself and the boring plot of that novel.
This novel had a much better plot than the last. The mystery was much more interesting, I actually felt interested about what was going to happen and how
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English Mysteries...: July 2013 - Last Seen Wearing 85 117 Aug 11, 2013 05:30PM  
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Norman Colin Dexter, OBE (born 29 September 1930 in Stamford, Lincolnshire) is an English crime writer, known for his Inspector Morse novels.

He started writing mysteries in 1972 during a family holiday: "We were in a little guest house halfway between Caernarfon and Pwllheli. It was a Saturday and it was raining - it's not unknown for it to rain in North Wales. The children were moaning ... I was
More about Colin Dexter...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Morse (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)
  • The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
  • The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)
  • The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)
  • The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse, #7)
  • The Wench Is Dead (Inspector Morse, #8)
  • The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse, #9)
  • The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)
  • Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories

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“Morse stared morosely at the blotting paper. "It's just not my sort of case, Lewis. I know it's not a very nice thing to say, but I just get on better when we've got a body - a body that died from unnatural causes. That's all I ask. And we haven't got a body.” 9 likes
“Morse firmly believed that there was nothing so unsatisfactory as this kind of pornography; he liked it hot or not at all.” 1 likes
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