The statements before Inspector Morse appeared to confirm the bald simple truth: After leaving home to return to school, teenager Valerie Taylor had completely vanished, and the trail had gone cold - until two years, three months, and two days later, when somebody decided to supply some surprising new evidence.
The murder of Yvonne Harrison at her home in the Cotswold village of Lower Swinstead has left Thames Valley CID baffled. A year after the dreadful crime, they are still no nearer to making an arrest. But one man has yet to tackle the case - and it is just the sort of puzzle at which Chief Inspector Morse excels.
"Excellent rendition of a classic book"
The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail. By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault, and rape. But as the obvious leads fade into twilight and darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key.
"Why was it abridged?"
Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit....He turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 3rd. He hadn't planned a second visit. But he was back later the same day - as the officer in charge of a suicide investigation.
The murder of a deaf academic in his North Oxford home is the start of a formidably labyrinthine case for Chief Inspector Morse, as he tries to track down the killer through the insular and bitchy world of the Oxford colleges.
The thought suddenly occurred to Morse that this would be a marvellous time to murder a few of the doddery old bachelor dons. No wives to worry about their whereabouts; no landladies to whine about the unpaid rents. In fact nobody would miss most of them at all.
How can the discovery of a short story by a beautiful Oxford graduate lead Chief Inspector Morse to her murderer? What awaits Morse and Lewis in Room 231 of the Randolph Hotel? Why does a theft at Christmas lead the detective to look upon the festive season with uncharacteristic goodwill? And what happens when Morse himself falls victim to a brilliantly executed crime?
"Well done but time listed is wrong"
Chief Inspector Morse was alone among the congregation in suspecting continued unrest in the quiet parish of St Frideswide's. Most people could still remember the churchwarden's murder. A few could still recall the murderer's suicide. Now even the police have closed the case - until a chance meeting among the tombstones reveals startling new evidence of a conspiracy to deceive.
"Worthwhile and intricate"
Chief Superintendent Strange's opinion was that too little progress had been made since the discovery of a corpse in a North Oxford flat. The victim had been killed by a single stab wound to the stomach. Yet the police had no weapon, no suspect, no motive.
Chief Inspector Morse seldom allowed himself to be caught up in New Year Celebrations. So a murder inquiry in a festive hotel had a certain appeal. It was a crime worthy of the season. The corpse was still in fancy dress. And hardly a single guest at the Haworth had registered under a genuine name.
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. 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 Woods near Oxford...and straight into the most extraordinary murder investigation of his career.
Colin Dexter's brain-teasing whodunit unravels a complex web of deceit and betrayal in the upper echelons of Oxford academia. At the centre of this web is the murder of a young woman, Rachel James, shot from close range through her kitchen window.
For Oxford, the arrival of 27 American tourists is nothing out of the ordinary...until one of their number is found dead in Room 310 at the Randolph Hotel. It looks like a sudden and tragic accident. Only Chief Inspector Morse appears not to overlook the simultaneous theft of a jewel-encrusted antique from the victim's handbag. Then, two days later, a naked and battered corpse is dragged from the River Cherwell. A coincidence? Maybe. But this time Morse is determined to prove the link.
The body of Joanna Franks was found at Duke's Cut on the Oxford Canal at about 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 22nd June 1859. At around 10.15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 1989, the body of Chief Inspector Morse, though very much alive, was removed to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. As Morse begins his recovery, he comes across an account of the investigation and trial that followed Joanna Frank's death...and becomes convinced that the two men hanged for her murder were innocent.
Twelve hours after a woman's broken body is washed up on a deserted shore on the south coast of England, her traumatized three-year-old daughter is discovered 20 miles away, alone and apparently abandoned. But why was Kate killed and her daughter allowed to live? More curiously, why had Kate willingly boarded a boat when she had a terror of drowning at sea?