Colin Dexter Books

Colin Dexter was a renowned English Novelists that died in 2017 at the age of 86. Dexter created Inspector Morse, a character that entertained lovers of crime for decades.

Order of Inspector Morse Series

Order of Colin Dexter Short Stories

# Read Title Published
1 The Other Half (Short Story) 2015

Order of Colin Dexter Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published
1 Book of "Morse" Crosswords 2006
2 Cracking Cryptic Crosswords 2009
Print: Print PDF

The author’s roots can be traced back to Stamford, Lincolnshire where he was born in 1930. Dexter was lucky enough to get a scholarship to Stamford School where he studied with the likes of sports legend M.J.K. Smith.

Before finding a place at Christ’s College, Cambridge where he read classics, Dexter spent some time with the Royal Corps of Signals, completing his national service. Dexter had the pleasure of teaching at East Midlands and then Wyggeston School, Leicester.

Even though Colin Dexter contributed to the operations of the Christian Union Society while in Leicester, the author eventually admitted that he was an atheist.

Colin Dexter’s foray into mystery writing wasn’t planned. It all began in North Wales, somewhere between Pwllheli and Caernarvon. One Saturday morning in a little guesthouse, with the rain falling outside, Dexter was sitting at the kitchen table when an idea began to tickle his brain. And before he knew it, he had written the first few paragraphs in a story that eventually became Last Bus to Woodstock.

The book officially introduced Inspector Morse to the world in 1975. Morse was known for his love for English Literature and Cryptic Crosswords. He also had an affinity for cask ale and Wagner, and he was somewhat of a reflection of Colin Dexter’s own personality.

Dexter’s death was reportedly peaceful. It happened at his home in Oxford. Before he took to fiction, Dexter’s writing exploits were restricted to general studies text books.

Colin Dexter Awards

Dexter had a notable impact on the mystery genre, delivering more than a dozen novels that elicited a fervent following from book enthusiasts. For his efforts, Dexter was rewarded with accolades like the Macavity Award, Silver Daggers Awards, Gold Daggers and even a Cartier Diamond Dagger Prize.

Colin Dexter Books into Movies

The success of the Inspector Morse books was such that the series was adapted into dozens of episodes of a Television Show called Inspector Morse.

Each episode of this detective drama was two hours long, with the show airing on the ITV network. Several writers tried their hand at scripting various episodes of the show and Colin Dexter made appearances in almost all the episodes.

The show, which begun airing in 1987, finally ended in 2000. However, the show was so popular that it was followed up with a sequel that aired on ITV in 2006. The show was more of a spin-off that chronicled the adventures of Inspector Lewis.

While some Inspector Morse fans have been known to turn their noses down on Endeavor, a prequel that explored the life of a young Detective Constable Morse, others believe that the show gives even more life to the world of Inspector Morse.

Best Colin Dexter Books

Colin Dexter wrote more than a dozen books in the Inspector Morse series; though, it wasn’t until the television show was produced that Dexter elicited the popularity he deserved, with some of the best books in the author’s bibliography including the following:

The Way Through the Woods: When a young student from Sweden disappeared in Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley Police presumed the worst, though the investigation eventually stalled in the absence of a body. Now someone is writing poetry in the newspapers filled with clues about the disappearance.

Morse, who is on holiday in Dorset, decides to write a letter of his own, offsetting a series of events that will unveil a murder.

This book is driven more by Morse as a character than anything else. Morse is intrigued by a letter in The Times that he uses to locate the body of a presumably murdered girl. Now Morse, who loves puzzles, thinks he has an inkling about the identity of the murderer.

The Remorseful Day: Two years ago, Nurse Yvonne Harrington was killed. Morse and Lewis will not stop until they unveil her killer.

This book finds Morse as he realizes that his lifestyle, all the alcohol and tobacco is finally catching up to him. It didn’t help that he kept lying to his friends and even the doctors about his habits. And now his health has begun to suffer.

When this book’s mystery first starts, Morse shows no interest in the case at hand, using his health issues as an excuse. However, when Lewis is put on the case, he learns that Morse was already working the mystery.