The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse Series #13)

The Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse Series #13)

by Colin Dexter

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For a year, the murder of Mrs. Yvonne Harrison at her home in Oxfordshire had baffled the Thames Valley CID. The manner of her death—her naked handcuffed body left lying in bed—matched her reputation as a women of adventuresome sexual tastes. The case seemed perfect for Inspector Morse. So why has he refused to become involved—even after anonymous hints of new evidence, even after a fresh murder? Sgt. Lewis's loyalty to his infuriating boss slowly turns to deep distress as his own investigations suggest that Mrs. Harrison was no stranger to Morse. Far from it. Never has Morse performed more brilliantly than in this final adventure, whose masterly twists and turns through the shadowy byways of passion grip us to the death. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804119542
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/30/2001
Series: Inspector Morse Series , #13
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 384,319
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.85(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Colin Dexter lives in Oxford, England. He has won many awards for his novels, including the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding achievements in crime literature—the equivalent of a lifetime achievement Edgar Award. This is the thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

You holy Art, when all my hope is shaken,

And through life's raging tempest I am drawn,

You make my heart with warmest love to waken,

As if into a better world reborn.

(From An Die Musik, translated by Basil Swift)

Apart (of course) from Wagner, apart from Mozart's compositions for the clarinet, Schubert was one of the select composers who could occasionally transport him to the frontier of tears. And it was
Schubert's turn in the early evening of Wednesday, July 15, 1998,
when—The Archers over—a bedroom-slippered Chief Inspector Morse was to be found in his North Oxford bachelor flat, sitting at his ease in Zion and listening to a Lieder recital on Radio 3, an amply filled tumbler of pale Glenfiddich beside him. And why not? He was on a few days' furlough that had so far proved quite unexpectedly pleasurable.

Morse had never enrolled in the itchy-footed regiment of truly adventurous souls, feeling (as he did) little temptation to explore the remoter corners even of his native land, and this principally because he could now imagine few if any places closer to his heart than Oxford—the city which, though not his natural mother, had for so many years performed the duties of a loving foster parent. As for foreign travel,
long faded were his boyhood dreams that roamed the sands round
Samarkand; and a lifelong pterophobia still precluded any airline bookings to Bayreuth, Salzburg, Vienna—the trio of cities he sometimes thought he ought to see.

Vienna . . .

The city Schubert had so rarely left; the city in which he'd gained so little recognition; where he'd died of typhoid fever—only thirty-one.

Not much of an innings, was it—thirty-one?

Morse leaned back, listened, and looked semicontentedly through the french window. In The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde had spoken of that little patch of blue that prisoners call the sky; and Morse now contemplated that little patch of green that owners of North Oxford flats are wont to call the garden. Flowers had always meant something to
Morse, even from his schooldays. Yet in truth it was more the nomenclature of the several species, and their context in the works of the great poets, that had compelled his imagination: fast-fading violets, the globed peonies, the fields of asphodel . . . Indeed Morse was fully aware of the etymology and the mythological associations of the asphodel, although quite certainly he would never have recognized one of its kind had it flashed across a Technicolor screen.

It was still true though: as men grew older (so Morse told himself) the delights of the natural world grew ever more important. Not just the flowers, either. What about the birds?

Morse had reached the conclusion that if he were to be reincarnated (a prospect which seemed to him most blessedly remote), he would register as a part-time Quaker and devote a sizeable quota of his leisure hours to ornithology. This latter decision was consequent upon his realization, however late in the day, that life would be significantly impoverished should the birds no longer sing. And it was for this reason that, the previous week, he had taken out a year's subscription to
Birdwatching; taken out a copy of the RSPB's Birdwatchers' Guide from the Summertown Library; and purchased a secondhand pair of 152/1000m binoculars (#9.90) that he'd spotted in the window of the Oxfam Shop just down the Banbury Road. And to complete his program he had called in at the Summertown Pet Store and taken home a small wired cylinder packed with peanuts—a cylinder now suspended from a branch overhanging his garden. From the branch overhanging his garden.

He reached for the binoculars now and focused on an interesting specimen pecking away at the grass below the peanuts: a small bird, with a greyish crown, dark-brown bars across the dingy russet of its back, and paler underparts. As he watched, he sought earnestly to memorize this remarkable bird's characteristics, so as to be able to match its variegated plumage against the appropriate illustration in the Guide.

Plenty of time for that though.

He leaned back once more and rejoiced in the radiant warmth of
Schwarzkopf's voice, following the English text that lay open on his lap: "You holy Art, when all my hope is shaken . . ."

When, too, a few moments later, his mood of pleasurable melancholy was shaken by three confident bursts on a front-door bell that to several of his neighbors sounded considerably over-decibeled, even for the hard-of-hearing.

Customer Reviews

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Remorseful Day (Inspector Morse Series #13) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
EJW More than 1 year ago
Like anyone you've become close to you hate to see them die. In this case through many volumes I became almost his second sergeant after Lewis. Watching him do his cross word puzzles and having a pint with him I am sorry to lose my fellow in crime detection. He was true to his character right to the end. Rest in peace my good friend. This final is a must read and one of the best in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Colin Dexter for a fitting end to Inspector Morse. It was really a thrilling read with all its red herrings and loose ends tied up at the satisfying conclusion. The tender affection between Morse and Lewis, master and student, was very moving. I truly admire Dexter for providing sensitive and appropriate closure for his readers who will truly grieve the loss but will be comforted by the respect and integrity of this great fictional hero rivaling, even surpassing Sherlock Holmes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To say this book was an excellent read says little. Colin Dexter remains true to a character, who has become much more than that, to the end. Dreading the loss this book brings did not stop it from being the consistent page turner one has come to expect from a Morse Mystery. Morse's strengths and vulnerabilities are as evident as always despite his health not being such. This brings a smile to know that, with some, the mind is not always the first to go. One of the things we readers take for granted is that characters we love live on in the printed word. Colin Dexter delivers a dose of reality even in the world of fiction. While I grieve, it is the mark of a an excellent writer to know when the run has been a good one. I recommend it highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book in London in March of 1999. It is one of the best Morse novels he has written. Hope you will enjoy it when it finally comes to the US.
Dolores Kern 3 months ago
Suspensul intricate plot.
Umbratikus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a fan of mystery novels, I was reluctant to read this book. I read it however, at the prompting of my brother, and am happy I did. Ironic that the first Morse book I read is the last one to be written. Despite a couple of glaring inconsistencies in the book, the writing was surprisingly competent, the characters likable and easy to identify with, and the setting perfect for my tastes. The ending was very satisfying and emotionally stirring. This may be the last Morse novel, but it won't be the last one I read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not his best, but still worth reading.
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CorkieK More than 1 year ago
The final chapter was shocking but exciting! I thoight so many people could have killed the victim,, but was pleased at the outcome. Author is an excellent storyteller and what a mystery writer! you will enjoy this book greatly!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I heard of Inspector Morse was on an A&E movie based on the book titled 'Way Through the Woods.' The story and characters were wonderful and I was hooked! I have enjoyed 'Remorseful Day' so much that I will have to go and hunt down all the past story lines I have missed. And I look forward to catching some more Inspector Morse on A&E! Bravo to Colin Dexter!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You don't just read an Inspector Morse novel because of the contents, but also for the language, the play of words, the wonderfully exquisite prose, and the affable characterization of Morse and his faithful Sgt. Lewis. Together they make a wonderful pair of detectives, each complementing the other in terms of character and habits. The more you read into the book, the more you start liking Morse and Lewis. And the best part of these books...? Morse makes mistakes, like you and me! Alas, this is the last in the series, where the Inspector passes away into realms of yonder (thanks to his fondness for a tipple)... but in detective lore, Inspector Morse will live on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This 13th and last Inspector Morse book was my first, although I expect I will have to read them all now! While there are so many good things to say about this book, I think the ending was superb -- especially considering that the author says this is the last book of the series. I also love it when a book expands my vocabulary, as this one did. I learned five or six new words reading this delightful book. I have also started using the Oxford comma again. This mystery is a must read for fans of the genre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is a classic puzzle, perhaps too much so. The ending pages are pure Golden Age. Otherwise it is Morse as before. Over the years, especially from the times of Nicholas Quinn and Service for All Dead, the quality of mystery has gone down. Still one just does not read a Morse book for the mystery only (rather repetitive in this case) but for the language and the interaction between Morse and Lewis. In that area Dexter does not disappoint. Worth a read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wherever Morse goes from here, we'll presumably never know, but it has been a delight knowing him and his sidekick Lewis and following their leads and theories and investigations. This final mystery winds into many alleys and dead ends, with plenty of opportunities for anticipating a solution that never seems to come. It's loaded with suspects and possibilities, but it is not until the final few pages that everything is revealed with a series of surprises that were unanticipated. Morse's taste for bitter and Glenfidditch keeps him running as he stays a step ahead of Lewis who breaks out on his own and usually foots the bill for Morse's thirst. The quotations heading each chapter and Morse's linguisitic hangups add to the reader's delight.I'm going to miss old Morse and raise him a glass in farewell.