Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse, #11)” as Want to Read:
The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse, #11)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Daughters of Cain

(Inspector Morse #11)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,790 ratings  ·  214 reviews
--The Wall Street Journal
It was only the second time Inspector Morse had ever taken over a murder enquiry after the preliminary--invariably dramatic--discovery and sweep of the crime scene. Secretly pleased to have missed the blood and gore, Morse and the faithful Lewis go about find
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 2nd 1996 by Fawcett (first published November 11th 1994)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Daughters of Cain, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rob I don't think the name is ever stated. I've just re-read two relevant pages.…moreI don't think the name is ever stated. I've just re-read two relevant pages.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,790 ratings  ·  214 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Daughters of Cain (Inspector Morse, #11)
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Chief Inspector Morse's eleventh outing finds the brilliant, if unconventional, detective ailing, out of shape, and thinking about retirement and his own mortality. He'd be in a lot better health at this point if he'd only give up cigarettes and cut back on the amount of alcohol that he consumes. But of course, that's a lot easier said than done, and any long-time reader of this series knows that it's not going to happen.

As the book opens, Morse inherits a murder investigation from a colleague w
Bionic Jean
With The Daughters of Cain, Colin Dexter has created a different mood and a different style for this eleventh "Inspector Morse" novel from 1994. It is approaching the end of the series, two before the end to be exact, which it presages at various points. We are told that,

"Morse himself was now within a couple of years of his retirement."

It is actually full of omens, and has a gloomy feel overall. Colin Dexter is as erudite as ever, and each chapter begins in his chosen fashion with a quotation
Bruce Beckham
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Here’s a paradox (a Colin Dexter kind of word): while I enjoyed each occasion that I picked up this novel, I didn’t think it was so good, as a whole.

Naturally, the Morse-Lewis exchanges were like eavesdropping upon two old friends, at once amusing and exasperating – but of course interpretation of their dialogue is so heavily informed by familiarity with the on-screen characters.

Indeed, the explanation for my discontent lies, I suspect, in the timing – The Daughters of Cain was published 7 years
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dexter’s Chief Inspector Morse has appeared in a fine TV series which we were watching in an Islington row house next to the below-ground level kitchen, when the kitchen popped from an overheated pan. No, it turned out to be smash-and-grab, since we’d foolishly left the shutters open, my wife’s purse visible on the table with keys to the Aston Martin parked on the front garden. Except there were no keys, still in the study on the first floor (US, 2nd), since I was too worried to drive it, drove ...more
Pam Baddeley
As a fan of the TV series starring John Thaw I had hoped to enjoy this novel more than I did. I realised after buying it that it is late in the set of novels and therefore Morse is in decline, accelerating the process by being unable to give up smoking and drinking despite having to spend a few days in hospital due to an exacerbated chest infection. The plot is rather convoluted featuring two murders, one leading on from another, and with one of the victims being so unlikeable that you end up ro ...more
Susan Johnson
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Morse is aging now and getting a little nudge to consider retirement. Still this and a hospital stay does not deter him from smoking, drinking and flirting. He especially likes to flirt with witnesses from his murder investigations. Where else is going to meet them?
This case involves an abused woman, her hooker daughter and her employer. I thought it was just an OK plot. You could see it coming from a mile off and there were no surprises. What always surprises me is the number of women who lik

Read by................... Terrence Hardiman
Total Runtime.......... 9 hours 53 mins

Description: Inspector Morse is up against a baffling murder inherited from a colleague who left the bloodied trail cold and unsolved. Morse along with his faithful, long suffering Sergeant Lewis must pick up the tangled threads and make some sense out of the sensless. An Oxford Professor has been brutally stabbed to death and the trail leads to the brutal college handiman who may or may not have been dealing drug
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Oh these novels are ever so much better than the screen adaptations (with the obvious exception of the lack of John Thaw)! Loved the characters in this story, especially the lovelorn Morse and put-upon Lewis, but also Ellie Smith. Although I remembered much of the plot from the TV series, I was happily surprised by the differences, and several times I couldn't guess where the twists would lead. Loved the solution, even if it things weren't necessarily tidy. I only have one problem with this stor ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
quickly read, a good enquiry of morse & lewis - we start to have a gut feeling that this is leading to the end of the series since morse is rather ill, and the doctors advise to change his habits of smoking, drinking and not eating properly -
i found the story a little too long before getting to the core of the inquest, but a good story as usual with colin dexter
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill Hutchinson
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Morse and Lewis are in the midst of a murder at Oxford which eventually leads to yet another murder and the hunt is on. With Lewis doing the physical work and Morse cogitating, they narrow down the field of suspects pretty quickly to prove it? The characters in this series entry are very well drawn and, as usual, Dexter's use of the language is impeccable. The reader gets a closer glimpse into the real Morse as he becomes emotionally entangled with one of the suspects and must make ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I think this is possibly the most enjoyable Morse mystery I have read thus far, probably because it wasn’t super complicated; I could actually follow it.

In terms of development of the characters, it was interesting because this is the third to the last title in the series and there are intimations of Morse’s retiring or perhaps even expiring due to ill heath in the near future.

As a constant, Morse is his usual prickly, slightly icky self. I will never understand how women in the books are attra
Ana Ennis
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Considering how much of my life I've spent watching Inspector Morse on the TV, it's shocking that I'd never read any of the original novels before this year, but I'm glad to say I was not disappointed in the slightest. I wasn't surprised by this, because the show makes it easy to believe the source material is of high literary quality, but still, it was a thrill to realize that after enjoying this one, I have so many more Morse stories to look forward to. ...more
Dane Cobain
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is yet another instalment in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series, and so to a certain extent, you know what to expect here. I’ve never watched the television adaptation of the series, and so I can’t tell you how close the TV series and the books are in style and substance, but I will say that I’ve had a lot of fun reading these.

Now, I’ve read the Morse books out of order, but I don’t think it’s necessarily important. Certainly, this book works well as a standalone, and it’s fascinati
Jun 15, 2018 added it
I was disappointed by this book. I think Colin Dexter did not do justice to himself here. He is famous for his Oxford stories, though there is nothing of that here, though it is an Oxford don who is the murder victim. Inspector Morse appears to be somewhat subdued and he even develops an affinity towards one of the suspects. But the story falls apart midway into the book. The focus shifts and the final denunciation lacks conviction. But I know this is not a pronouncement on Dexter. I do intend t ...more
Jul 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is not the type of book you read to figure out "whodunnit" - that is no real surprise; rather you keep reading to figure out why, how, and whether or not they get away with it. This is also one where you are rooting for the killer to get away with it, because the victim is that much of a monster. ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Inspector Morse is on the case.
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something about Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse that is wholly satisfying. Reading one of these mysteries is an exercise in cognition as well as vocabulary-- why use a commonly understood word when some arcane, polysyllabic synonym is readily available? Perhaps it has to do with the author's love of complex crossword puzzles (I believe he was actually the author of many), but whatever the reason, it just satisfies in a strangely academic manner.

Moreover, I've been watching the television
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over the years, I've seen all the Inspector Morse DVDs and loved them all. Now I am making it a goal to read the original stories as written by Colin Dexter. This one came on sale for my Kindle, so I grabbed it. It's the third to last book of the series and Morse is beginning to think of retirement. His health is not so good now as he cannot seem to give up his unhealthy vices, and those vices are slowly killing him. I wish I had not started my reading with this book though. I'm told by some tha ...more
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Daughters of Cain is a Detective Morse mystery from Colin Dexter. We are getting close to the end of the series and there is a lot of foreshadowing of that here. Morse himself talks of his retirement and his health issues are definitely featured here. There are two murders here and Morse, with the help of Lewis, seeks to find the connection. Along the course of the investigation, Morse meets with three women, the titular Daughters of Cain.

In this outing, I found myself rooting for the killer
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent audio version with narration by Samuel West.
My respect for the writing of Colin Dexter grows. Morse is often convinced that his latest theory fits all the facts and then he finds that it doesn't. Lewis keeps asking questions, and then the aspect he doesn't understand of Morse's theory provides the springboard for a more acceptable explanation. Often Morse can't even explain what has given rise to his latest idea, but eventually, of course he is right.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The title holds the clue(s), April 6, 2013

This review is from: The Daughters of Cain (Mass Market Paperback)
The author had started introducing the ongoing decline of Inspector Morse in the last book I read, "The Wench is Dead". The Inspector and hospitals are no longer strangers rather ambulance rides and hospitals are becoming ever more present in Morses' life. Needless to say Morses' drinking and smoking remain prevalent regardless of the consequences.

The Inspector once again chooses to be
Mary Wilt
My niece recently spent a semester at Oxford and I was lucky enough to visit her and the town for a week. She suggested, if I was looking for a book, that I read some Morse, the well-known Oxford detective. Since I hadn't read any of Dexter's series in a LONG while, I thought I'd give them a try again.

This is the third-to-last in the series, and I had not previously read it. I had forgotten how irritating I find Dexter's writing (at least in the Morse series, can't judge otherwise), so often ab
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anglophiles, lovers of a good mystery
Shelves: mystery
Easily my favorite of the Inspector Morse series, we see more development of the Morse character as he delves into a murder linked to three women- one of which he finds himself very much attracted. There's not much in the way of guessing the end of the book in advance (or really, any of the books in this series) and do look elsewhere if you'd like a nice cozy mystery. These novels are a bit gritty, yet very intelligent- anything can pop up from English literature, history, the Classics, opera, a ...more
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dexter-colin
What fun! I was sure I had read all the Inspector Morse mysteries but I stumbled across one that was new to me. Occasionally I will begin a mystery that I had read years before and soon realize that I knew what was going to be happening as it happened in the novel--not so much in advance but sufficiently contemporaneously that it spoiled the mystery aspect, having forgotten many of the details but somehow kept filed away all the clues that one should not necessarily figure out as they happen.

Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Morse takes on a case, comes up with every wrong hypothesis possible, has an eye for all the suspected murderesses in Oxford, drinks at the Kings Arms to his liver's demise, and with the help of the trusty Lewis and all his grunt work, closes the case with a few loose ends. So, another typical Morse mystery. I'm rather sad I only have two more of these to go, but it's clear that Morse is writing checks his body can't cash. ...more
Lucy Barnhouse
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I really enjoyed this: above-average even by the high standard of Dexter's other Morse novels, in my opinion. The tone is unusually elegiac; in the lives of the daughters of Cain, there is brokenness that Dexter mourns, even as he allows the reader (and Morse!) to admire the women's strength and resilience. All mystery novels strike some balance (or hold some tension) between the ugliness of injustice, cruelty, etc. and the resolute efforts of the protagonists to combat this. Those efforts--alwa ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this on Blackstone Audio, read by Frederick Davidson. With all the fame of the PBS 'Inspector Morris' , Inspector Lewis, & 'Endeavour' Series ,I wanted to go straight to their creator, Colin Dexter. I am delighted with my first read and plan to read more this 2018. Each chapter begins with a famous writer's sage quote setting the scene of how Morris thinks. His mind is always working ( in proper English, of course) on clues seen and unseen. His knowledge of Greek, poetry, and attenti ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Love in Amsterdam (Van der Valk #1)
  • The Harry Bosch Novels, Volume 3: A Darkness More Than Night / City of Bones / Lost Light (Harry Bosch, #7-9)
  • Seven Years (Bibliomysteries)
  • Gideon's Week (Gideon, #2)
  • Treacherous Estate
  • Fuzz (87th Precinct, #22)
  • Lies Come Easy (Posadas County Mystery #13)
  • Winter Frost (Inspector Frost, #5)
  • Fallen Into the Pit (Felse Investigations, #1)
  • Road Rage (Inspector Wexford, #17)
  • Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here! (87th Precinct, #25)
  • White Sister (Shane Scully, #6)
  • Henrietta Who? (Inspector Sloan #2)
  • The Summons (Peter Diamond, #3)
  • Harm Done (Inspector Wexford, #18)
  • Hard Frost (Inspector Frost, #4)
  • The Stately Home Murder (Inspector Sloan #3)
  • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
See similar books…
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

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

Related Articles

If you ask us, it's always the perfect time to lose yourself in a page-turning mystery. To help you sleuth out a new read, we asked the...
92 likes · 83 comments
“My life will not be significantly impoverished if I never see another Shakespearian comedy.” 4 likes
“But he'd realized too, at the same time, that his capacity for jealousy was pretty nearly boundless.” 0 likes
More quotes…