The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)
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The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse #10)

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  3,687 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Already a bestseller in Britain, and winner of the Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year, The Way Through the Woods is the tenth Inspector Morse novel by Colin Dexter, and his finest so far. It displays all of Dexter's gifts for matching the taut plotting of classic British mystery with rich characterization and witty prose. As always, the central figure is Mo...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 1994 by Ivy Books (first published 1992)
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Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls WilderWalden by Henry David ThoreauA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakShiver by Maggie Stiefvater
forests, woods, copses, coppices, arbors, orchards
18th out of 108 books — 59 voters
The Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinThe Two Towers by J.R.R. TolkienWalden by Henry David ThoreauPrince Caspian by C.S. LewisTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Trees
13th out of 73 books — 30 voters


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Jean
The Way Through the Woods is the tenth novel in the Inspector Morse series, and won the Gold Dagger Award in 1992. It is perhaps the quintessential Morse novel. Its title, part of the couplet,

"There once was a way through the woods
Before they planted the trees"


is taken from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. In the novel Colin Dexter continues his predilection for starting each chapter with a quotation. They are not all from literary sources, however. They can be taken from anywhere, as long as the auth...more
Yngvild
The Way Through the Woods is a classic Inspector Morse murder mystery. We have Morse’s drinking problems, his overt and inevitably doomed attempts at wooing the female characters, and his beetling down every wrong track he can find until he triumphantly identifies the killer.

Colin Dexter’s novel is held together by a mysterious poem that is sent anonymously to the Times, presumably by the killer of a backpacking Swedish student. Morse’s devious mind unravels the clues in the poem one by one – wi...more
Susan Johnson
This is my favorite Morse book so far. It had an interesting mystery and for once, Morse wasn't on a lot of goose chases. He was enjoying himself on vacation and loathe to return to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the blond, gorgeous Swedish hitchhiker. Personally, I would have thought this was right up in his alley. This was a good read.
Lobstergirl
Jul 11, 2014 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Israel af Ström

This is probably the best Morse I've read so far. It has nice twists and turns. Also Morse listens to Dinu Lipatti at the end. Surely this is the only novel ever published in which someone listens to Dinu Lipatti - one of the greatest pianists of all time, yet hardly a household name.
Aoife
Oh Morse what am I to do with you? Again the crime-plot was awesome and so cleverly constructed (though to be fair while I found the previous books mostly clever this had a few instances where I felt it wasn't only clever but also jumping up and down yelling Look how clever I am) and there aren't many authors who use red herrings as masterfully as Dexter does. Morse also still makes a brilliantly flawed hero...
But this book also had him say a few of the most cringeworthy sexist and rape-apologet...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen
The more I read Morse, the more I want to read Morse, December 6, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Way Through the Woods (Inspector Morse) (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Way Through the Woods"

I have been spoiled rotten by Colin Dexter or shall I say Inspector Morse. This, my 3rd in this series (although not in order) is no exception. The strange but certain comraderie between Inspector Morse and Lewis is delightful. This particular mystery does not end at all the way it...more
Rupali Rotti
Maybe I'm not eligible to rate this book because this book went bouncer over my head. The last book I read of Colin Dexter, The Dead of Jericho, forced me to go back and search for specific words/hints the author had planted earlier in the story narration. So for this book, I tried to remember every word/instance that the author had written in the beginning. But this book is so long (around 500 pages) that after some time I became tired of trying to remember everything, because my efforts were n...more
Steve
My first acquaintance with Inspector Morse, and I liked the guy. For much of the book, I wondered if this review would be three or four stars. What won me over after a slow start was Dexter’s fine writing and the development of both Morse and his partner and fellow police officer Lewis. The story surrounds the disappearance of a lovely Swedish young woman about a year before the story takes place. The general conclusion is that she has been murdered and it’s only when a mysterious poem alluding...more
Neja
I like a crime book with a good twist. I always hate it when I find out by myself who did it, who is the murderer. And this book surprised me. I had no idea who the killer was. I read a few books written by Colin Dexter a few years ago, I decided to explore more of his books. He really is a good writer. Inspector Morse is such an intelligent and interesting character. And I liked all those quotes from other books/people/newspapers.. on top of every chapter.
Paula
I live for British detective novels, and the Inspector Morse series, set in Oxfordshire, is just well-written and literate (if not actually literary) enough to alleviate some genre guilt. At the same time, this entry in the series revolves around a porn ring, so it's not all snooty Oxford shenanagins, either. Be forewarned: everyone in this series is always eating cheese sandwiches and drinking bitters, so if you're trying to eat healthily and would find this triggering, you must find a detectiv...more
Stuart Langridge

SUMMARY:
Quietly, rather movingly, Strange was making his plea: 'Christ knows why, Lewis, but Morse will always put himself out for you.' As he put the phone down, Lewis knew that Strange had been right . . . in the case of the Swedish Maiden, the pair of them were in business again . . . They called her the Swedish Maiden ' the beautiful young tourist who disappeared on a hot summer's day somewhere in North Oxford. Twelve months later the case remained unsolved ' pending further developments. On

...more
Paul
This is my second Inspector Morse novel. I listened to a Desert Island Discs podcast from the BBC and learned that he was an Oxford teacher and was 44 before he wrote his first of 12 novels. Of course, there is a lot of the author in him main character.
This one begins with Morse on vacation when a poem is published about a woman who disappeared near Oxford the previous year. Newspaper readers begin the tease apart the poems clues. When he gets back on the job, the dormant investigation is on ag...more
Joe
Morse mysteries are rather high brow affairs more about the science of deduction and inference than splatter violence, bad asses and suspense.

Docked a few points because the reasoning of the murderer after the act is so stupid as to be unbelievable.

Lots of dry English humor.

"Morse may be an idiot, you're right. But he's never been a fool. Let's get that straight!!"

"Some people are occasionally right for the wrong reasons. But Morse? He's more often than not wrong for the right reasons." -C...more
The Wee Hen
The British like to say that when one has had a terrible shock the very best medicine is a good cup of strong, sweet tea.
After finishing that gruesome Mo Hayder book I decided to pick up my first Inspector Morse remembering that my mother had really enjoyed these books. And it was the PERFECT cup of tea to soothe me right back into the joys of a good British mystery.
Yes, I have fallen head-over-heels in love with dear Morse and have already ordered the first two omnibuses of Dexter's books from...more
Crystal
I didn't love this book, but I definitely liked it. There are a lot of good points: very well-written, intelligent, excellent pacing and buildup and a central character that is very multi-dimensional. It reminded me slightly of a modern-day Agatha Christie. Plus, I learned several new words (you might want to keep a dictionary handy for this one!) and British phrases. All in all, an enjoyable read, and I will consider checking out the other Inspector Morse books in the future.
Dolly
Jan 31, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: 2011, english, mystery, sweden
This book was chosen by my local library for the book club selection of the month. I didn't finish it before the meeting nor did I go, but I'm planning on attending more book club meetings in the future and I appreciate the opportunity to read new books that I might not have picked out on my own.

This story was a bit heavier on the sex, alcohol and violence than I typically like (I'm more of a "cozy mystery" fan), but it was a fascinating tale and I enjoyed the English setting. The story was fai...more
Alger
Shamefully, this is my first Inspector Morse novel and this was probably not the best book with which to introduce myself to this series.

Nevertheless it was not difficult to catch on to the quirks and tics of the protagonists; it helps immensely that Morse is something of a pastiche of cliched Detective Inspector quirks, or possible helped set the mold.
Drives a Jaguar recklessly, check
Is irresistible to beautiful women, check
Is a borderline sociopath with an intuitive grasp of crime, check
Does...more
Richard
an Inspector Morse detective book. I've not read any of Dexter's books before. This is a very English book with lots of phrases we don't use in USA. Lots of twists and turns in the book that keep you guessing. I am generally not a detective fan, but this was a good read.
Kathy  Petersen
From January 2014: Seldom do I reread a book, but having been on a Morse series (TV, that is) marathon, I was intrigued by the episode of this name. The book version is quite different, but the general atmosphere, if you will, bears a strong and interesting resemblance to what I just watched via Hulu.

From August 2009: My second Inspector Morse, and a good one. Dexter leads us through a number of twists and turns around the Swedish Maiden but ties it all up almost believably.

The quotations that o...more
Charles Vella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ravie
A pretty interesting mystery, I must say. Being my first attempt at reading at a Dexter novel, I was quite attracted to the English style of writing, and a very English novel in all sense! Morse is a very quirky character that I have come across, but makes for a good detective! The plot about finding a missing Swedish Maiden, was quite simple in the beginning, but got very complicated with too many characters thrown in (I guess to deliberately confuse the reader), but ends up on a satisfying not...more
Susan
Inspector Morse and Sgt Lewis solve the case of the Swedish maiden with many twists.. I love the characters.
Harry Casey
One of the best of the Morse novels. Twists and red herrings. Winner of Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel.
Doug
Sep 18, 2011 Doug added it
A young girl disappears on a hot summer day. The police don't suspect foul play but Morse insist that she has been murdered but with no body how can he prove it. A year later anonymous letter containing a cryptic poem is published in the local paper, which causes many letters offering solutions to the crime. Lewis has to take a trip to Sweden to interview the girl's mother and Morse of course is not lucky in hes relations with the opposite sex even though he tries. \

But in the end is it a murder...more
Tammy Sload
Classic british mystery set in Oxford, England. Good read.
Jean Carlton
An Inspector Morse mystery.
Whitney
This is my favorite Inspector Morse book and one of my all time favorite mysteries. The Way Through the Woods contains Dexter's usual literary references, hilarious consequences from Morse's stubborn hunches, but this book is particularly tasty because of the haunting setting in Wyndham Woods. There are twists and turns in the plot, some I guessed, and one that hit me like a mac truck, which is always my preference concerning mysteries.
A must read for mystery fans who enjoy vivid characters and...more
Leslie
While I think that this is one that every Morse fan should read due to the death of the medical examiner Max and introduction of his replacement, Dr. Laura Hobson, the mystery itself was actually a repeat of one of the previous books (view spoiler).
George
#10 in the Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis mystery series set in the Oxford area. Morse takes over a year old missing person's case investigation that has stagnated. As Morse and Lewis make progress on the case, it becomes more complicated and starts involving other issues. There are also several subplots involving various characters in the story.

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43698
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
More about Colin Dexter...
Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1) Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2) The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse, #13) The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse, #11) The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)

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“This was exactly why holidays were so valuable, he told himself: they allowed you to stand back a bit, and see where you were going rusty.” 2 likes
“Morse poured himself a can of beer. "Champagne's a lovely drink, but it makes you thirsty, doesn't it?” 0 likes
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