Morse's Greatest Mystery

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Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories is a book by Colin Dexter. First published in 1993, it a collection of eleven short stories six of which feature Inspector Morse. The collection was also published under the title As Good as Gold in 1994 as a special paperback edition, commissioned by Kodak.

Contents[edit]

  • "As Good as Gold"

The police are faced with a difficult choice: let a known terrorist walk free for lack of evidence or fabricate the evidence convincingly. Morse decides to take matters into his own hands but things do not turn out as he anticipates.

  • "Morse's Greatest Mystery"

Money collected for a charity event goes missing in a bar. Morse claims spectacularly that he knows who stole the money and offers a day for the thief to return the money. The story exposes a new side of Morse's character.

  • "Evans Tries an O-Level" [Winter’s Crimes 9, ed. George Hardinge, London: Macmillan 1977]

Evans is a convict who was involved in two failed breakouts from Oxford prison in the past. Now he wants to take an O-level exam in German. The prison Governor is suspicious. This story does not feature Morse or Lewis but uses some of the minor characters and is set in familiar locations around Oxford.

  • "Dead as a Dodo" [Million #1 1991]

In an unusual gesture, Morse gives a lift to a neighbour, Philip Wise. Wise tells a tale about a girl called Dodo Whitaker and her brother Ambrose Whitaker whom he met during the war. Now it is up to Morse to find out why the brother and sister disappeared with no word to Philip.

  • "At the Lulu-Bar Motel" [Winter’s Crimes 13, ed. George Hardinge, London: Macmillan 1981]
  • "Neighbourhood Watch" [limited edition paperback, Richmond, England: Hartley Moorhouse 1993]

A German professor has his car stolen and then returned with an apology and tickets to the opera. Morse thinks something is fishy and guesses that the professor will be robbed when he attends the opera..

  • "A Case of Mis-Identity" [Winter’s Crimes 21, ed. Hilary Hale, London: Macmillan 1989]

A pastiche of Sherlock Holmes. A well-to-do young lady is stood up at the altar by her bridegroom. Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes and Dr. Watson each analyze the man's mysterious disappearance, with a shocking outcome.

  • "The Inside Story" [special edition paperback original, New York & London: Macmillan 1993]

A young woman is stabbed to death in Oxford and Morse and Lewis are investigating the murder. They find out that the woman wrote a short story for a crime fiction contest. Morse finds that she has juxtaposed details of her real life into the short story she wrote.

  • "Monty's Revolver" [Winter’s Crimes 24, ed. Maria Rejt, London: Macmillan 1992]

This is another story without Morse and Lewis. It revolves around an elderly married Oxford professor who falls in love with his secretary and how the secretary's young boyfriend reacts to the affair.

  • "The Carpet-Bagger"

This one does not feature Morse and Lewis. A petty thief/convict steals a truck loaded with expensive carpets and tries to escape to the country. The Oxford police apprehend him but over a confusion of identities, he escapes.

  • "Last Call"

A middle aged businessman books a deluxe room in a 5-star hotel for a rendezvous with his mistress. However, he has a heart attack and dies in the room. The medical and circumstantial evidence seem to indicate no foul play was involved. But Morse is suspicious about the call the professor received just a few minutes before the heart attack.

Publication history[edit]

  • 1993 London: Macmillan ISBN 0-333-59690-0, Pub date 5 November 1993, Hardcover; without "As Good as Gold"
  • 1994 London: Pan Books ISBN 0-330-33475-1, Pub date 4 March 1994, Paperback; without "As Good as Gold"
  • 1994 London: Macmillan ISBN 0-333-62773-3, Pub date 2 December 1994, Paperback
  • 1994 London: Pan, Pub date 1994, Paperback, 282p.; as As Good as Gold, special edition, commissioned by Kodak
  • 1995 London: Pan Books ISBN 0-330-34025-5, Pub date 7 April 1995, Paperback
  • 1995 New York : Crown Publishers ISBN 0-517-79992-8, Pub date 14 November 1995, Hardcover; First US edition
  • 1996 New York: Fawcett ISBN 0-8041-1309-2, Pub date 2 November 1996, Paperback
  • 1998 London: Pan Books ISBN 0-330-37642-X, Pub date 1998, Paperback; Promotional edition which only includes "Morse's Greatest Mystery", "Evans Tries an O-Level", "Dead as a Dodo", "At the Lulu Bar Motel", "Neignbourhood Watch" and "A Case of Mis-Identity".