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. .
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 after Valerie’s disappearance, somebody decides to supply some surprising new evidence for the case. .
Chief Inspector Morse, a middle-aged bachelor with a fondness for crossword puzzles, Mozart, and attractive women, investigates a series of suspicious and sinister events at Oxfords Church of St. Frideswide.
Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit. Inspector Morse turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on Wednesday afternoon. He hadn't planned a second visit, but was back the same day as officer in charge of a suicide investigation.
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.
Morse sought to hide his disappointment. So many people in the Haworth Hotel that fateful evening had been wearing some sort of disguise — a change of dress, a change of make-up, a change of partner, a change of attitude, a change of life almost; and the man who had died had been the most consummate artist of them all. . Chief Inspector Morse seldom allowed himself to be caught up in New Year celebrations. So the murder inquiry in the 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. .
The newly appointed member of the Oxford Examinations Syndicate was deaf, provincial and gifted. Now he is dead. . And his murder, in his north Oxford home, proves to be 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. .
On holiday in Lyme Regis, Chief Inspector Morse has decided to go without newspapers. But in the hotel he finds himself seated opposite a woman reading her paper, and Morse cannot help but notice an intriguing headline. Winner of the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award.
While recovering in hospital, Inspector Morse comes across an account of the investigation into a murder from 1849, a crime for which two people were hanged. When he is discharged he can prove that they were convicted wrongly.