I’m a fan of Masterpiece Classics on PBS and I’ve been enjoying the Inspector Lewis series on Masterpiece Mystery as well. I googled it the other day, just to see if the series would continue this summer, and found that this is expected to be the final season. Bummer! But I’ve never tried the Inspector Morse series (which Lewis was based on), and I thought I’d give the books a go before I borrowed the TV series from the library. I found the first book, Last Bus to Oxford by Colin Dexter, to have many of the things that I like about the TV series: interesting setting in the area of Oxford, engaging characters, and plenty of suspects.
The case is introduced with a scene written from a witness’s point of view. Two girls are waiting for the last bus to Woodstock, anxious and in a hurry to get there. The witness overhears the girls decide to hitch a ride. The body of one girl is later found in a courtyard outside a pub, and Inspector Morse is called out to the scene. Lewis – I think he's a sergeant at this point – is brought in to help with the legwork on the investigation. When the witness comes forward, the Inspector has even more questions. Who was the other girl? Why doesn’t she want to be found? And who picked them up?
There are certainly secrets to uncover. The atmosphere of the writing is very similar to what the TV series portrays. It was overall an entertaining read, even though I guessed the ending, and I especially enjoyed seeing the young Lewis. It looks like there are 13 books in the series. I’m not much of a series reader, but I’ll be dipping into this one again.