❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ The Jewel That Was Ours Author Colin Dexter – Golanvideoagency.info
A unique episode in theInspector Morsecanon The Jewel That Was Ours started out as an episode for television written by Julian Mitchell, entitledThe Wolvercote Tongue Inspector Morsewas a very popular TV series starring John Thaw as Morse and Kevin Whately as Lewis, who by the time of this episode were both well established in their character rolesThe Wolvercote Tonguewent to air in season 2 on 25th December 1987, and was only developed into a novel, his ninth in theInspector Morseseries, by Colin Dexter in 1991.Writers, especially of detective fiction, often say that when a well loved character is portrayed on television, the visual image of the actor, their familiar mannerisms and way the character is depicted then feed into subsequent books which they might write But it must be a rare case where not only the actors versions are well established enough in the public s mind to influence the author, but an actual plot too It is not clear who had the idea initially, but it says a lot for the skill of Julian Mitchell, who wrote and adapted several episodes in the TV series, that he should have captured the feel of the novels so well that Colin Dexter paid him the compliment of developing the idea in this way The endings of the two stories, though, are quite different It has to be said that the first third of the novel falls a little flat, especially coming straight on the heels of the excellentThe Wench is Deadwhich had won a gold dagger award It starts with three hosts who are preparing to welcome an exclusive tour group of Americans to the elegant Randolph Hotel in Oxford Sheila Williams is a liaison and event organiser for the university She has been having an affair with another of the organisers, Dr Theodore Kemp, who is the curator of the Ashmolean Museum We enter the story at the point where it looks as if Kemp has broken this off The third host is the tour s leader, John Ashendon Among the tourists in the exclusive party are Eddie Stratton and his wife, Laura, Phil Aldrich, Janet Roscoe, a vociferous and opinionated woman, Howard and Shirley Brown, Sam and Vera Kronquist and Nancy Wiseman The first part of the novel revolves around the death of Laura Stratton, who is found dead in her room at the Randolph Hotel, shortly after the group has arrived Her handbag, in which she has been keeping the Wolvercote Tongue, has been stolen The Wolvercote Tongue forms part of a jewelled Saxon belt buckle, and Laura had been intending to donate it to the Ashmolean museum during the tour, thereby fulfilling her late husband s wishes Her first husband had been fairly wealthy, amiddle bracket philanthropistwho had willed much of his precious collection to museums The high point of the group s tour of Oxford was to be Laura Stratton s presentation of the Wolvercote Tongue, which obviously now had to be cancelled In the meantime Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis investigate the theft as rifts, rivalries and resentments reveal themselves between the organisers.In part two of the book, view spoiler only a couple of days later, a battered and naked corpse is dragged from the River Cherwell This proves to be the body of the Ashmolean s expert on the Wolvercote Tongue, Theodore Kemp Morse had already had his suspicions about the death of Laura Stratton Now he is sure there is a connection with the theft of the Wolvercote Tongue, as Kemp had made strenuous attempts to locate the Wolvercote Tongue after its rediscovery and disappearance in 1873 He had finally tracked it down to its American owner It seemed far too much of a coincidence for Kemp to die at the point when he would finally be able to lay his hands on it Morse and Lewis therefore turn their attentions to investigating both cases as suspicious deaths, despite the pathologist s insistence that Laura Stratton died of natural causes hide spoiler One annoying element of Dexter s writing is his tendency to render the speech of anyone he considers must talk a bit funny basically, anyone working class or foreign in a needlessly phonetic, mocking way Okay, Arksford is mildly entertaining, but do we need to be told that someone says vay cation or pronounces Shirley as Shurley Naturally, if you are English and don t live on a council estate, you never drop or slur any letters but watch out, as soon as you go on the dole, you will never again speak an ing word properly.Another annoying element I only really picked up on because I just read another book by him, The Daughters of Cain, is his tendency to re use elements Ones I noticed included the description of a woman s breast, stomach, thighs as over ripe , and the reuse of a couple of the epigrams that head each chapter, including a quote from The Rubaiyat that also appeared in The Daughters of Cain, another quote I am almost certain also appeared there but I can t check, since it s gone back to the library , and the reuse of the the wench is dead quotation from, surprisingly enough, his book The Wench Is Dead I had always been mildly impressed by his inclusion of a or less apposite reference for the chapters, but am less so now I have realised that he recycles them Okay, it s a fairly minor quibble, but it jars a bit.The plot is decent enough although its convolutions get a little tiresome at points and it suffers from the perennial problem of mystery books if there s still a hefty chunk of pages to go, you know that whoever they have just arrested and are sure dunnit is going to be the wrong person, because otherwise there s nothing interesting enough about them being guilty to fill 50 odd pages.And do you think there are far too many references to Morse never paying for drinks.. Read by Michael PenningtonTotal Runtime 7 hours 8 minsBodleian Library, OxfordDescription He looked overweight around the midriff, though nowhere else, and she wondered whether perhaps he drank too much He looked weary, as if he had been up most of the night conducting his investigations For Oxford, the arrival of twenty seven 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 Mr Projectionist is trying hard to entice me into a TV series and I am adamant that that is not on the cards Adam Ant, I tell ya The Wolvercote Tongue bears a remarkable resemblence to Alfred s Jewel, currently in the Ashmolean, Oxford.Hmm, this insert into the oeuvre seems slightly distorted forced even Baseline 3 4 Last Bus to Woodstock Inspector Morse, 1 3 Last Seen Wearing Inspector Morse, 2 3 The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn Inspector Morse, 3 3 Service of All the Dead Inspector Morse, 4 3 The Dead of Jericho Inspector Morse, 5 4 The Riddle of the Third Mile Inspector Morse, 6 3 The Secret of Annexe 3 Inspector Morse 7 3 The Wench Is Dead Inspector Morse, 8 3 The Jewel That Was Ours Inspector Morse, 9 3 Morse s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories Clues, hypotheses, even establishing just which crime has been committed overwhelm the hapless reader in this Inspector Morse mystery The structure is reminiscent of an Agatha Christie whodunit, but with infinitely complications and of course the atmospheric tone of the historic university town of Oxford Dexter s detective is the curmudgeonly Inspector Morse whose pockets are somehow always empty when the bar tab comes around, to be paid by his long suffering assistant, Sgt Lewis Morris idiosyncrasies include a far too keen appetite for Glenfiddich single malt scotch, a passionate appreciation of classical music, and an apparently flawless command of the Classics, an oddly reassuring quirk that endears this character to the author s followers.At the heart of this particular mystery is one of the Ashmolean Museum s most revered treasures, the Alfred Jewel It is a masterpiece of Anglo Saxon craftsmanship and bears the inscription AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN Alfred ordered me to be made A fictional counterpart, the Wolvercote Tongue, is to be reunited with the Alfred piece in a highly publicized ceremony Laura Stratton, widow of an American collector will make the presentation Laura and her husband Eddie are part of a well heeled exclusive group of Americans shepherded by John Ashenden on the Historic Cities of England tour which will pass through Oxford No sooner than their arrival, however, Laura is found dead in her hotel suite, and the Tongue, which she kept at all times in her purse, is missing Murder That hypothesis is dashed by the medical examiner two of them, in fact Laura died of a massive heart attack Was the heart attack connected to the theft But why would anyone steal the Tongue It is so recognizable it would be impossible to fence Did a theft even occur But surely Dr Theodore Kemp, whose professional future was linked to this important new Ashmolean acquisition would have seen and inspected the item multiple times during the course of his research And really, why is everyone, even those with verifiable alibis, lying to Inspector Morse With a notebook at my side and a re reading of the first two sections of the book, I was still stumped My advice Just sit back and enjoy the tour Dexter provides a convenient map of Oxford s streets and colleges Tracing the numerous excursions of the characters over the two day period of their stay will heighten the sense of being there Cedric Downes, one of the academic docents and a colleague of Dr Kemp s, will point out that Magdalen St is pronounced Maudlin Street, while Magdalen Road is pronounced just as it is written As for the famous English Breakfast, one of the high points of my bed and breakfast stays when I was young ,Few English families living in England have much direct contact with the English Breakfast It is therefore fortunate that such an endangered institution is perpetuated by the kitchen staff in guest houses, B Bs, transport caf s, and other no starred and variously starred hotels This breakfast comprises at its best a milkily opaqued fried egg two rashers of non brittle, rindless bacon a tomato grilled to a point where the core is no longer a hard white nodule to be operated upon by the knife a sturdy sausage, deeply and evenly browned and a slice of fried bread, golden brown, and only just crisp, with sufficient fat not excessively to dismay any meddlesome dieticianp.67 Of course the characters, whittled down to about a dozen significant players, are described with a similar ironic reserve Dexter lavishes particular ire on Kemp A lisp heightens his impression of affectation The man is self preening, lazy and a serial womanizer with regard for his rain soaked shoes than the damage he may have caused to the woman he has just visited.This was a satisfying mystery with a connecting trail of crimes It s the third Inspector Morse book I have read.NOTES Interview with Colin Dexter The ninth in the Inspector Morse Mysteries, where he has to solve the mystery of the theft of a historically valued jewel, and two dead bodies Good one,and quite complicated to solve.The Inspector Morse books have kept on becoming better since its first book Although I have given this a three star, it is still a strong one.Very much readable, but certainly not as great as the previous book in the series. This entry in the Inspector Morse series was very good, with some misdirection but otherwise a fairly straightforward plot and solution unlike some of the earlier books in the series This mystery was also focused on the plot, with considerably less diversions into Morse s interests in the opposite sex or in drink My biggest complaint the solution wasn t possible for the reader to figure out completely although it was possible in broad outline. Another is the Inspector Morse series and equally as complex as others in the ouevre An American tourist dies of an apparent heart attack in a local hotel and Morse is less than pleased to be called out on this seemingly innocent death But this is a Morse mystery, so you know that there is much going on that meets the eye As usual Morse gets off track immediately once he figures out that something is amiss and we try to follow his logic as he moves toward the answer Colin Dexter s book are such fun to read and can be rather educational when Morse gets on a roll regarding literature, music, et al I watched the television series before I read the books, so I can see John Thaw as a attractive Morse than Dexter describes him in print One of the great modern British mystery series. Superbly Clue LadenA Complex And Satisfying Puzzle THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBEThe Case Seems So Simple, Inspector Morse Deemed It Beneath His Notice A Wealthy, Elderly American Tourist Has A Heart Attack In Her Room At Oxford S Luxurious Randolph Hotel Missing From The Scene Is The Lady S Handbag, Which Contained The Wolvercote Tongue, A Priceless Jewel That Her Late Husband Had Bequeathed To The Ashmolean Museum Just Across The Street Morse Proceeds To Spend A Great Deal Of Time Thinking And Drinking In The Hotel S Bar, Certain The Solution Is Close At Hand Until Conflicting Stories, Suspicious Doings, And A Real Murder Convince Him Otherwise It Is A Delight To Watch This Brilliant, Quirky Man Morse Deduce MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE Having recently seen the tv adaptation of this story I was not as focused on the story as I could have been However, the book is different from the TV adaptation and is far far better Morse and Lewis try and find a connection between the theft of a rare and precious historical artefact the Wolvercote Tongue and the deaths of Laura Stratton the owner of the Tongue and Dr Kemp, the historian who was to revive it However as usual no one and nothing is what they seem and than one person in the American tourist party is lying about their whereabouts and their history A novel with the usual intrigue and a rather moving ending. After the slight disappointment of The Wench Is Dead, this was something of a return to form for Morse Still drinking far too much and also managing to get his hands on a woman with the use of possibly the worst chat up line ever about knickers being taken down and given in evidence This mystery was full of red herrings.A group of American Tourists travelling around England arrive in Oxford, one of the them is due to present a precious jewel to a local museum, but before she can do it the jewel is stolen and the woman is dead The next day the man due to receive the jewel on behalf of the museum is also dead So was it murder Will the missing jewel ever be found.This is a crime that only someone like Morse could get to grips with It was so very, very clever and so very, very sad Once you understood the background to Dr Kemp, a thoroughly unlikeable man who had crippled his wife and killed another woman in a car accident I can t say that I was that sorry he was dead.It reminded me a little bit of strangers on a train with one side agreeing to perform the theft if the other helps do away with a very unpleasant man Then you have the Agatha Christie ending, with Morse explaining everything to the group of captive tourists one of whom was the murderer Clever, very clever.