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Book Review: 'Death Is Now My Neighbor'

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Chief Inspector Morse’s world is inhabited by characters like the local barber who quotes Thomas Hardy and suspects who are revealed through their incorrect use of 17th-century verse. In Morse’s latest adventure, the lugubrious detective indulges in what he does best — ”hypotheses, imaginings, the occasional leap into the semidarkness” — as he investigates the goings-on at Oxford, where the retirement of Sir Clixby Bream has set off a murderous battle for the top spot at Lonsdale College. Before long the bodies are mounting up, and Morse, with the ever faithful Sergeant Lewis tagging behind, is back in his maroon Jaguar chasing down suspects in the most unintellectual places. Dexter, too, is in high gear. This is a quick — if occasionally demanding — read. A-

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