this book is so well written that I struggled through it but the plot was so boring it was a hard task. I do want to try other Inspector Morse novels, I got the sense from this one that the others are probably pretty good. This one was kind of dreary and inconclusive. It reminded me a little of Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time: While in the hospital recovering from a severe ulcer attack, Morse begins reading a dull history book given him by his hospital roommate. The roommate dies in the first few chapters (conveniently if unfortunately) but Morse becomes fascinated by the mystery in the book that the dead man wrote, about the murder of a woman on a canal a century or so ago.