Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse, dies at 86

Dexter received an OBE for services to literature in 2000.

tv Updated: Mar 21, 2017 21:58 IST
Colin Dexter,Inspector Morse,Cambridge University
Colin Dexter began writing a detective novel to help pass the time during a wet vacation in Wales.(AP File)

Writer Colin Dexter, who created music-loving Oxford detective Inspector Morse, has died aged 86.

Publisher Pan Macmillan said Dexter died today at his home in Oxford, southern England.

Born in 1930 in Stamford, central England, Dexter studied classics at Cambridge University and became a teacher and author of textbooks before turning to fiction. He began writing a detective novel to help pass the time during a wet vacation in Wales.

Last Bus to Woodstock, published in 1975, introduced Morse, a curmudgeonly detective with a love of real ale, classical music and crosswords and for a long time, no first name, at least not one disclosed to readers.

In the 1996 novel Death is Now My Neighbour his given name was revealed to be Endeavour.

Morse, accompanied by the trustworthy Sgt Lewis, solved murders and mysteries in the ancient university city in more than a dozen novels until Dexter killed him off in The Remorseful Day in 1999.

Morse was played by the late John Thaw in a successful TV version that ran from 1987 to 2000.

That series spawned two more television spinoffs: Lewis, which centered on Morse’s former sidekick; and Endeavour, which showed the beginning of Morse’s career in the 1960s.

Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevathan said Dexter “represented the absolute epitome of British crime writing.” “With Colin’s death there has been a tectonic shift in the international crime writing scene,” he said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2017 21:58 IST