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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  ·  Rating details ·  5,624 Ratings  ·  128 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 dishy,
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Fawcett (first published 1992)
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James Thane
Oxford's Chief Inspector Morse rarely ever takes a holiday but here we find him vacationing in Dorset when a letter appears in The Times offering a clue to the whereabouts of a young female Swedish student, Karin Erikksson, who disappeared in Oxfordshire nearly a year earlier. She was never seen again and is presumed dead. The letter writer suggests where the body might be found. This leads to a series of letters published in the paper attempting to interpret the clues that the original writer h ...more
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

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
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.
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
Dec 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective
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
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, english, sweden, 2011
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
Jan 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whodunnit
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.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017
This was a suitably complex mystery about a young Swedish tourist who went missing in 1991 from Oxford. A year later, the case has stalled out; the clues have led nowhere and no corpse has been found. While Morse is on vacation, however, a cryptic letter pertaining to the missing woman is sent to the police and subsequently published in the Times which sparks the public’s assistance in solving the disappearance (and presumable murder) of whom the press dubs “The Swedish Maiden”.

I liked it as I h
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chief Inspector Morse on holiday, never far from a pint of his preferred Best Bitters or a lovely dram (or two) of Scotch, as quirky as ever, still solving the seemingly unsolvable. What more could a fan of intelligent British murder mysteries ask for? How about some romance (or just plain lustful wishes)? Okay- you've got it, though I'm unsure as to why Morse seems to have such an unforgettable effect on women.
Ah well, it just makes this excellent installment in Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Dane Cobain
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Colin Dexter book that I’ve ever read, and I wasn’t sure what to expect – I was hoping to find that he writes like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, and I wasn’t disappointed. Dexter can write a cracking crime novel, and Morse is a fascinating character – just like Poirot, Holmes and the other great detectives in the world of literature.

The story follows Morse’s investigation into the disappearance and presumed death of a young girl – he’s a reluctant hero, as he’s on
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
The Wee Hen
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a mysterious riddle is sent to the police in relation to the year long disappearance of a swedish student,they decide to enlist the help of the public by publishing it in a national newspaper in the hope that a reader can revel the hidden cryptic clues. With the current investigation exhausted, the case is given to Inspector Morse who uses a possible clue spotted by an intelligent reader, to conduct a search in the woods that leads to the discovery of a body. Very quickly it is evident that ...more
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
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dianne Wilson
I wish this had been set in Bristol. I've spent a lot of time in and around Oxford so it was nice to recognise things, but I'd love the same action to be located in Bristol. I kept on imagining scenes taking place in areas that I know so well. Anyway, that's my indulgence. This is beautifully written - oh so English - and oh-so gender focused too. Old white men taking care of poor helpless women. Quite nice plot, though, and clever little sentences that raise a smile every now and then.
The Book Shelf
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always enjoyed the Inspector Morse series on PBS and only fairly recently started reading the Colin Dexter books. The books are interesting and always remind me of the time that we went to Oxford to visit our daughter. Also, I really enjoy a good British mystery, especially those with a few interesting twists at the end. It was a good read.
Sep 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Mar 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, british
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).
Herman D'Hollander
It is a joy for many readers to visit and ‘check out’ the locations of the novels they have read – if the place names are sufficiently real and concrete, that is. For ‘The Way Through the Woods’ I took the opposite direction. As an enthusiastic and ‘serial’ visitor of Oxford I bought this crime novel in the Blackwell bookshop in Broad Street (in the very city of Oxford, indeed) to find out how the city was used as a backdrop to the plot. I was not disappointed. Morse drove his Jaguar to and thro ...more
Pino Sabatelli
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ancora una volta Dexter si dimostra un maestro del giallo deduttivo classico. Nei libri dedicati all'Ispettore Capo Morse è tutto perfetto: l'impasto di di profonda cultura e di umane debolezze con cui è costruita la figura del protagonista, il rapporto (ormai quasi un'amicizia) con il sergente Lewis, l'immancabile tocco di homour britannico e (non ultima) la qualità dell'indagine poliziesca che porta (pur dopo qualche falsa pista) alla soluzione del caso.
Insomma la garanzia di passare qualche o
May 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback, crime, borrowed
Got through the first half of this book fairly quickly but then felt like it slowed down in the second half.

Had a funny feeling (view spoiler).

Morse instigating the investigation with (view spoiler) was kind of funny but also highly unprofessional.

Felt like it could have been a little shorter.
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure there's anything to say about this that won't be a spoiler. Like all the Morse books, it's funny, it's clever, and it's a little melancholy at times.

Do not expect to understand what's going on for the first few chapters - this is par for the course with Morse - just go with the flow, and let it all settle.

And if you successfully suss any little bit of what's going on before Morse and Lewis crack it - well done you!
Aug 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I couldn't finish this one. Morse is great, as always, but I didn't want to spend more time reading the diary entries of whoever the sexual sadist turns out to be. Maybe I shouldn't have stuck with it longer but it didn't make for very fun reading.
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Norman Colin Dexter was 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 sitting at the kitchen table with nothing else to do, a
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

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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.” 4 likes
“Morse poured himself a can of beer. "Champagne's a lovely drink, but it makes you thirsty, doesn't it?” 2 likes
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