Inspector Morse Books

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Inspector Morse is a fictional character in a series of detective novels written by bestselling British author, Collin Dexter. Morse serves as a senior CID officer with the Thames Valley Police based in England. Morse prefers being called by his surname and is evasive when asked about his first name and in most cases jokes that it is Inspector. His father was a taxi driver, and the detective likes to explain how he makes his additional income by saying that he used to drive the Aga Khan.

Order of Inspector Morse Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Last Bus to Woodstock ( By: Colin Dexter) 1975 Description / Buy
2 Last Seen Wearing ( By: Colin Dexter) 1976 Description / Buy
3 The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn ( By: Colin Dexter) 1977 Description / Buy
4 Service of All the Dead ( By: Colin Dexter) 1979 Description / Buy
5 The Dead of Jericho ( By: Colin Dexter) 1981 Description / Buy
6 The Riddle of the Third Mile ( By: Colin Dexter) 1983 Description / Buy
7 The Secret of Annexe 3 ( By: Colin Dexter) 1986 Description / Buy
8 The Wench Is Dead ( By: Colin Dexter) 1989 Description / Buy
9 The Jewel That Was Ours ( By: Colin Dexter) 1989 Description / Buy
10 The Way Through The Woods ( By: Colin Dexter) 1992 Description / Buy
11 The Daughters of Cain ( By: Colin Dexter) 1994 Description / Buy
12 Death Is Now My Neighbor ( By: Colin Dexter) 1996 Description / Buy
13 The Remorseful Day ( By: Colin Dexter) 1999 Description / Buy

Order of Inspector Morse Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (By: Colin Dexter) 1993 Description / Buy
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Inspector Morse is an embodiment of white male medium class Englishness, with a set of assumptions and prejudices to match. His relationships with the establishments, the authority, the status quo and the bastions of power are markedly ambiguous, and so are his relations with ladies. Morse is also an intelligent gentleman, a crossword addict, but he dislikes grammatical and spelling errors and in each single document that he receives, either personal or private, he manages to point out at least a mistake.

His approach to solving the crime is through a deductive approach as he claims that there is a fifty chance that the person who discovers a body is likely to be a murderer. He makes use of his fantastic memory and intuition into getting to the killer.

Colin Dexter began the publication of Inspector Morse series in 1975 when the first novel in the series Last Bus to Woodstock was published. The Remorseful Day is the 13th and the last book in Inspector Morse series.

The character of Inspector Morse is very close to the real life version of author Colin Dexter. For instance, the character has a penchant for cryptic crosswords and Dexter himself was a big fan. The politics and religious beliefs of Inspector Morse are also the same as Dexter which he admitted after publishing the final novel in the series.


Inspector Morse books were made into a Television series by the same name for the British Television Channel, ITV. The series was produced by Zenith Productions and consists of 33 two hour episodes produced between 1987 and 2000. The last episode in the television adaptation was adapted from the last novel The Remorseful Day, in which Inspector Morse dies.

A prequel drama titled Endeavour produced by ITV premiered on 2nd January 2012. The television series features Shaun Evans starring as young Morse during his university day and his early career life. There was also a series called Lewis which focused on Inspector Morse’s assistant, Robbie Lewis.

Last Bus to Woodstock was adapted into a radio program that was featured on BBC Radio in June 1985 with Andrew Burt playing the role of Morse and Christopher Douglas acting as Lewis.

A fun fact about the TV series is that Colin Dexter actually made a small cameo in nearly every episode of the Inspector Morse and to keep the tradition going also made cameos in several episodes of both Endeavour and Lewis.


These are three of the best books in Inspector Morse series, Last Bus to Woodstock (1975), Service of All the Dead (1979), and Daughters of Cane (1994).

Last Bus to Woodstock: The first novel in Inspector Morse series, a book that introduces Dexter’s famous protagonist, Inspector Morse working in the Oxford Homicide Division. Morse is a confirmed bachelor attracted to ladies, alcohol and puzzling homicide investigations.

As the story opens, two charming ladies are waiting for a bus. One of them Sylvia Kaye gets tired of waiting and finally decides to hitch a ride instead of wasting her time waiting for the bus. Unfortunately, she is later found murdered in the parking lot of a pub located in Woodstock.

Inspector Morse is assigned to the case of the crime, and his first task is to find the young woman who was waiting for the bus with the murdered Sylvia. The woman turns out to be more elusive when Morse narrows down his list, but the young lady keeps insisting that the inspector is wrong. Why does she deny the obvious truth? As more obstacles block Morse investigations, he soon finds himself developing feelings with one of the ladies central to this case. Will this involvement finally enable him to solve the murder puzzle quickly or will it mark the beginning of his downfall?

Last Bus to Woodstock is a brilliant and solid series introduction and also an excellent debut for characters of Morse and his sidekick Sergeant Lewis.

Service of All the Dead: Inspector Morse is supposed to be enjoying his vacation and is planning on a trip to Greek Isles when he stumbles on a pair of strange deaths at a church in a nearby division. The local authorities had already assumed that the deaths were murder and that the perpetrator had committed suicide as well. However, to Inspector Morse, something is out of order, and soon he begins digging into the case even though other detectives are not happy with his investigations into the case.

He recruits his sidekick Sergeant Lewis, and the two begin an investigation that will reveal shocking dark secrets that many are willing to kill to keep them from being exposed. If you fancy detective novels, then Inspector Morse series by Collin Dexter is a recommended series for you.

Daughters of Cane: Fans of the show will learn quickly that the book version of Morse is far more prickly and morbid. This book is a great example of that. This book shows an aging Morse who is feeling the toll of years of beer and cigarettes. He’s harsh with his assistant Lewis who gives as good as he gets.

This is a great Morse story as he has to handle two different murder cases at the same time. One, a retired don, and the other a former custodian with a connection to the don. The story is well told with Morse getting himself in a romantic entanglement that he probably shouldn’t be in. As always with Inspector Morse books, the real star of the book isn’t the case or Inspector Morse, but instead the masterful writing prose of Colin Dexter.

What Is The Next Book in The Inspector Morse Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Inspector Morse Series. The newest book is The Remorseful Day and was released on January, 1st 1999.

1 thought on “Inspector Morse”

  1. Pretty much all detectives are smart, why else would they write books about them? There is something about Inspector Morse that is above them all on an almost Sherlock Holmes level.

    This might show my age a bit too much, but I think these are still some of the best detective books out there. Inspector Morse is everything you could ask for in a lead charcters. He’s funny, he’s brilliant, impatient and superior to all around him. Morse has a fantastic memory and intuition that always lead him to solving the case. One of the best out there and a great archetype that I wish more authors would follow.

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