Supper Sleuths, a mystery discussion group, meets every second Tuesday evening at 6:00pm to discuss mysteries of every genre and type. Feel free to bring your own snack or brown bag lunch with you to the meeting.
The next Supper Sleuths Discussion takes place May 9, 2017 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm in the Lecture Hall for a discussion of one Classic author: Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse’s series.
Read one or more of the following in the Inspector Morse series:
- Last Bus to Woodstock (1975)
- Last Seen Wearing (1976)
- The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977)
- Service of All the Dead (1980) Silver Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association
- The Dead of Jericho (1981) Silver Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association
- The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983)
- The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986)
- The Wench is Dead (1989) Gold Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association
- The Jewel That Was Ours (1991)
- The Way Through the Woods (1993) Gold Dagger Award from the Crime Writers Association
- The Daughters of Cain (1994)
- Death is Now My Neighbor (1996)
- The Remorseful Day (1999)
- Morse’s Greatest Mysteries and Other Stories (1993)
Colin Dexter (1930-1917) wrote quirky and intricately plotted procedural mysteries set in England. His popular Inspector Morse Mysteries features an eccentric and curmudgeonly protagonist who either amazes with his shrewd deductive faculties and arcane knowledge of the obscure or offends with his lack of diplomacy and fondness for alcohol. The frequent false leads and red herrings will keep readers guessing as Morse deftly weaves his way through complex crimes, communities full of vibrant characters, and, whenever he can, a good crossword. “To most readers of Colin Dexter’s books,” wrote Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor Bernard Benstock, “his major accomplishment is the creation of his particular detective hero, Detective Chief Inspector Morse of the Thames Valley Constabulary of Kidlington, Oxon.” Inspector Morse is an irascible figure, fond of beer and tobacco, but nonetheless held in awe by his associate Detective Sergeant Lewis…Morse’s vulnerable and remarkable character unfolds serially from book to book, so that eventually there are no mysteries about him–except for his given name.
Morse’s irritability is balanced by his companion in mystery solving, Detective Sergeant Lewis. Cushing Strout, writing in Armchair Detective, compared the relationship between Lewis and Morse to that of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, calling Dexter’s work “the best contemporary English example of adapting and updating Doyle’s technique.” Like Holmes, Strout continued, “Morse is a bachelor,” but, “in spite of his generally cynical expectations about human nature and the world, unlike Holmes he is always romantically vulnerable (in spite of disappointing experience) to being smitten by love at first sight for some attractive and intelligent, but quite inappropriate woman.” In contrast to Morse, Strout continued, Sergeant Lewis “is working class, a family man, and a competent policeman in a routine way. He has a refreshing common sense that Morse often sorely lacks, and the two men (like Holmes and Watson in this respect) know how to tease each other.”
Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels have established him as a pivotal figure in modern English detective fiction. Throughout the series, Benstock states, “the comic vies with the grotesque, pathos with the tragic, within an effective evocation of the mundane. The surface realities of ordinary life consistently color the criminal situations without impinging on the careful artifice of the usual murders and the bumbling but brilliant methods of investigation undertaken almost in spite of himself by Chief Inspector E. Morse.” According to the essayist for the St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, Dexter “has established himself in the forefront of British writers with some of the cleverest and most complicated plots, delighting a vast and ever growing band of devoted readers.” Michael Leapman, writing in New Statesman, called Morse “one of the great detectives of English fiction.” The Crime Writers Association awarded Dexter the Cartier Diamond Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1997.” (“Colin Dexter.” Books & Authors Gale, 2017. 4/06/17)
Check out Supper Sleuths web page for the previous lists: http://www.wakefieldlibrary.org/supper-sleuths-free-reads/
Because we usually have a crowd for the Free Read, everyone will have five minutes to “review” one title. If you bring more than one title to the discussion; let me know, and if there is time you can mention it when everyone has talked about one book each.
REVIEWING STRATEGY (For Thematic or Free Read Choices.)
When preparing your “reviews,” think about how well the author creates the characters, the setting, the plot, and the tone of the book. Please give a very quick overview of the plot—one or two sentences. Leave the secondary plots out of the review unless they really matter. Do not disclose “spoilers”—the ending or some other integral facet of character development or plot. The rest of the “review” can be responses to how well the author does his or her job to craft this particular story. Describe what you enjoyed. Express what you did not enjoy. Has the author written a predictable plot or character? Did you laugh? Did you care? Was the story too violent? Was the violence or crime unnecessarily graphic? Is there romance? Would you read this author again? Is it part of a series? Should you read the series in order? Does this title/author remind you of any other authors you have read?
SCHEDULE for 2017 Supper Sleuths
2017 Schedule to be announced after balloting in November 2016.
- June 13, 2017 Free Read & Potluck
- September 12, 2017 Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White and The Moonstone