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

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  4,287 ratings  ·  85 reviews
"Cunning...Your imagination will be frenetically flapping its wings until the very last chapter."


Morse is enjoying a rare if unsatisfying holiday in Dorset when the first letter appears in THE TIMES. A year before, a stunning Swedish student disappeared from Oxfordshire, leaving behind a rucksack with her identification. As the lady was dis
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 WilderA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakWalden by Henry David ThoreauMythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
forests, woods, copses, coppices, arbors, orchards
17th out of 179 books — 66 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
15th out of 75 books — 34 voters

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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
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
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.
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
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
Another satisfying Morse story. I can't write too much as the plot could easily be unveiled but I did like the use of The Times. I happened to be in Oxford while reading it and was reading The Times letters page too. All woven with Dexter's usual care and cunning.

Recommended to lovers of crime, especially those who are familiar with Oxford.
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

Read by................... Michael Pennington
Total Runtime.......... 8 hours 24 mins

Description: 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 - at Thames Valley CID. On holiday in Lyme Regis, Chief Inspector Morse is startled to read a tantalizing article in The Times about the missing woman. An article which lures him back to Wytham W
This is the first inspector Morse I have read, though I know the series well from the television version. I find it odd to move from TV/movie to book and I try to avoid that. The problem--at least with this book--is that I have the actor (is it John Thaw?) so firmly fixed in my mind. And I'm not at all persuaded that the Morse of the book looks like that. He is also, I think, a somewhat different character, although in truth it has been a number of years since I watched any of them so perhaps I ...more
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.
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.
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).
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Charles Vella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jud Hanson
Guess I'm the odd man out but I gave up after about 30 pages. The plot just plods along. Don't know if I'll try any other Morse novels if they're all like this one.
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
Melinda Brasher
This was fine, as mysteries go, though a little confusing at the end. And I thought the romance was pretty perfunctory.
Again, very different from the tv episode, so quite engaging. Enjoyed the riddle in this one. Another good Morse.
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.
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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)
  • Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)
  • 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)
  • Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories
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?” 1 likes
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