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Colin Dexter graduated from Cambridge University in 1953 and has lived in Oxford since 1966.
His first novel, Last Bus to Woodstock, was published in 1975 and there are now twelve novels in the Inspector Morse series, most recently The Daughters of Cain and Death is Now My Neighbour.
In 1989 The Wench is Dead was awarded a Gold Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for best crime novel of the year, as was The Way Through the Woods in 1992, and Colin Dexter has also been awarded Silver Daggers for Service of all the Dead and The Dead of Jericho. Death is Now My Neighbor went straight to the top of the bestseller lists on first publication in 1996.
In 1997 Colin Dexter was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding services to crime literature.
The Inspector Morse novels have been adapted for the small screen, with huge success, in Carlton/Central Television's series starring John Thaw and Kevin Whately.
Colin Dexter died in March 2017.
CWA Hall of Fame Dagger 2009. The final Morse novel in which we say a sad farewell to one of the best characters ever created in a crime novel. Beautifully written not only is there another cracking case to solve but a tender and moving insight in to one of the great fictional detectives of our time. A brilliant goodbye to a sensational series of books.
Das kleine englische Stadtchen Woodstock ist stolz auf seine historischen Gebaude und die edlen Pubs, in denen angeblich schon die fruhen Royals zu Gast waren. Kaum einer erliegt nicht dem Charme von altehrwurdigen Mauern und schicken Hotels. Doch die heile Fassade bekommt deutliche Risse, als im dunklen Hinterhof des Black Prince die Leiche einer jungen Frau gefunden wird. Alles deutet auf einen Sexualmord hin. Inspector Morse wird auf den Fall angesetzt und entwickelt eine brillante Theorie nach der anderen - doch die Wahrheit scheint sich ihm immer wieder zu entziehen.
Der fast taube Nicholas Quinn wird uberraschend zum Mitglied des Verbands fur Auslandsprufungen der Oxford-Universitat berufen. Quinn lebt sich schnell ein in die Welt der angesehenen Professoren, der Nachmittagssitzungen mit gutem Rotwein und der bequemen Ledersessel. Nur hat er kaum Gelegenheit, sich an seinem neuen Job zu erfreuen: Schon kurz nach seiner Ernennung wird Quinn vergiftet in seiner Wohnung aufgefunden. Ein Mord ohne die geringsten Anhaltspunkte - wie geschaffen fur den brillanten Inspector Morse.
Inspector Morse halt nicht viel von Vorschriften. Wahrend sein Untergebener, Sergeant Lewis, penibel nach Polizeihandbuch ermittelt, folgt Morse lieber seiner Intuition, wobei ihn das tagliche Kreuzwortratsel der Times immer wieder auf verbluffende Fahrten bringt. Vor allem, wenn er bei einem Pint Bitter in einem verrauchten Pub seinen Gedanken nachhangt. Eine herausfordernde Bewhrungsprobe ist der Fall der spurlos verschwundenen Valerie Taylor, die vor mehr als zwei Jahren von zu Hause weggelaufen ist. Morse sieht nicht die geringste Chance, das Mdchen noch lebend zu finden. Bis ein Brief eintrifft, der scheinbar Valeries Unterschrift trgt, und der damalige Ermittler kurz darauf bei einem Verkehrsunfall ums Leben kommt. Morse glaubt nicht an einen Zufall.
Seit Ewigkeiten ist in der verschlafenen Gemeinde St. Frideswide's nichts Aufregendes mehr passiert. Jeden Sonntag pilgern die Schafchen brav in die Kirche, werfen ein paar Pence in die Kollekte, beichten die ublichen Vergehen und lassen sich von ihren Sunden freisprechen. Bis eines Tages der Kirchenvorsteher ermordet wird - wahrend des Gottesdienstes. Das kommt Chief Inspector Morse ganz gelegen, der sich in seinem Urlaub furchterlich langweilt. Als kurz darauf der Pfarrer hochstselbst vom Kirchturm in den Tod springt, stehen Morse und sein treuer Sergeant Lewis vor einem kriminalistischen Ratsel.
Service of All the Dead is the fourth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. The sweet countenance of Reason greeted Morse serenely when he woke, and told him that it would be no bad idea to have a quiet look at the problem itself before galloping off to a solution. Chief Inspector Morse was alone among the congregation in suspecting continued unrest in the quiet parish of St Frideswide's. Most people could still remember the churchwarden's murder. A few could still recall the murderer's suicide. Now even the police had closed the case. Until a chance meeting among the tombstones reveals startling new evidence of a conspiracy to deceive . . . Service of All the Dead is followed by the fifth Inspector Morse book, The Dead of Jericho.
The Remorseful Day is the thirteenth and last novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. 'Where does this all leave us, sir?' 'Things are moving fast.' 'We're getting near the end, you mean?' 'We were always near the end.' The murder of Yvonne Harrison had left Thames Valley CID baffled. A year after the dreadful crime they are still no nearer to making an arrest. But one man has yet to tackle the case - and it is just the sort of puzzle at which Chief Inspector Morse excels. So why is he adamant that he will not lead the re-investigation, despite the entreaties of Chief Superintendent Strange and dark hints of some new evidence? And why, if he refuses to take on the case officially, does he seem to be carrying out his own private enquiries? For Sergeant Lewis this is yet another example of the unsettling behaviour his chief has been displaying of late . . .
The Dead of Jericho is the fifth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Morse switched on the gramophone to 'play', and sought to switch his mind away from all the terrestrial troubles. Sometimes, this way, he almost managed to forget. But not tonight . . . Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit. He turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 3rd October. He hadn't planned a second visit. But he was back later the same day - as the officer in charge of a suicide investigation . . . The Dead of Jericho is followed by the sixth Inspector Morse book, The Riddle of the Third Mile.
The Way Through the Woods is the tenth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Quietly, rather movingly, Strange was making his plea: 'Christ knows why, Lewis, but Morse will always put himself out for you.' As he put the phone down, Lewis knew that Strange had been right . . . in the case of the Swedish Maiden, the pair of them were in business again . . . They called her the Swedish Maiden - the beautiful young tourist who disappeared on a hot summer's day somewhere in North Oxford. Twelve months later the case remained unsolved - pending further developments. On holiday in Lyme Regis, Chief Inspector Morse is startled to read a tantalizing article in The Times about the missing woman. An article which lures him back to Wytham Woods near Oxford . . . and straight into the most extraordinary murder investigation of his career. The Way Through the Woods is followed by the eleventh Inspector Morse book, The Daughters of Cain.
Death is Now My Neighbour is the twelfth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. As he drove his chief down to Kidlington, Lewis returned the conversation to where it had begun. 'You haven't told me what you think about this fellow Owens - the dead woman's next-door neighbour.' 'Death is always the next-door neighbour,' said Morse sombrely. The murder of a young woman . . . A cryptic 'seventeenth-century' love poem . . . And a photograph of a mystery grey-haired man . . . More than enough to set Chief Inspector E. Morse on the trail of a killer. And it's a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contest between Julian Storrs and Dr Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is hotting up. But then Morse faces a greater, far more personal crisis . . . Death is Now My Neighbour is followed by the thirteenth Inspector Morse book, The Remorseful Day.
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn is the third novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Morse had never ceased to wonder why, with the staggering advances in medical science, all pronouncements concerning times of death seemed so disconcertingly vague. The newly appointed member of the Oxford Examinations Syndicate was deaf, provincial and gifted. Now he is dead . . . And his murder, in his north Oxford home, proves to be the start of a formidably labyrinthine case for Chief Inspector Morse, as he tries to track down the killer through the insular and bitchy world of the Oxford Colleges . . . The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn is followed by the fourth Inspector Morse book, Service of All the Dead.
Last Seen Wearing is the second novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Morse was beset by a nagging feeling. Most of his fanciful notions about the Taylor girl had evaporated and he had begun to suspect that further investigation into Valerie's disappearance would involve little more than sober and tedious routine . . . The statements before Inspector Morse appeared to confirm the bald, simple truth. After leaving home to return to school, teenager Valerie Taylor had completely vanished, and the trail had gone cold. Until two years, three months and two days after Valerie's disappearance, somebody decides to supply some surprising new evidence for the case . . . Last Seen Wearing is followed by the third Inspector Morse book, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn.
The Secret of Annexe 3 is the seventh novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Morse sought to hide his disappointment. So many people in the Haworth Hotel that fateful evening had been wearing some sort of disguise - a change of dress, a change of make-up, a change of partner, a change of attitude, a change of life almost; and the man who had died had been the most consummate artist of them all . . . Chief Inspector Morse seldom allowed himself to be caught up in New Year celebrations. So the murder inquiry in the festive hotel had a certain appeal. It was a crime worthy of the season. The corpse was still in fancy dress. And hardly a single guest at the Haworth had registered under a genuine name . . . The Secret of Annexe 3 is followed by the eighth Inspector Morse book, The Wench is Dead.
The Wench is Dead is the eighth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. That night he dreamed in Technicolor. He saw the ochre-skinned, scantily clad siren in her black, arrowed stockings. And in Morse's muddled computer of a mind, that siren took the name of one Joanna Franks . . . The body of Joanna Franks was found at Duke's Cut on the Oxford Canal at about 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 22nd June 1859. At around 10.15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 1989 the body of Chief Inspector Morse - though very much alive - was removed to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. Treatment for a perforated ulcer was later pronounced successful. As Morse begins his recovery he comes across an account of the investigation and the trial that followed Joanna Franks' death . . . and becomes convinced that the two men hanged for her murder were innocent . . . The Wench is Dead is followed by the ninth Inspector Morse book, The Jewel That Was Ours.
The Jewel That Was Ours is the ninth novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. He looked overweight around the midriff, though nowhere else, and she wondered whether perhaps he drank too much. He looked weary, as if he had been up most of the night conducting his investigations . . . For Oxford, the arrival of twenty-seven American tourists is nothing out of the ordinary . . . until one of their number is found dead in Room 310 at the Randolph Hotel. It looks like a sudden - and tragic - accident. Only Chief Inspector Morse appears not to overlook the simultaneous theft of a jewel-encrusted antique from the victim's handbag . . . Then, two days later, a naked and battered corpse is dragged from the River Cherwell. A coincidence? Maybe. But this time Morse is determined to prove the link . . . The Jewel That Was Ours is followed by the tenth Inspector Morse book, The Way Through the Woods.
The Daughters of Cain is the eleventh novel in Colin Dexter's Oxford-set detective series. Bizarre and bewildering - that's what so many murder investigations in the past had proved to be . . . In this respect, at least, Lewis was correct in his thinking. What he could not have known was what unprecedented anguish the present case would cause to Morse's soul. Chief Superintendent Strange's opinion was that too little progress had been made since the discovery of a corpse in a North Oxford flat. The victim had been killed by a single stab wound to the stomach. Yet the police had no weapon, no suspect, no motive. Within days of taking over the case Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis uncover startling new information about the life and death of Dr Felix McClure. When another body is discovered Morse suddenly finds himself with rather too many suspects. For once, he can see no solution. But then he receives a letter containing a declaration of love . . . The Daughters of Cain is followed by the twelfth Inspector Morse book, Death is Now My Neighbour.
Morse had solved so many mysteries in his life. Was he now, he wondered, beginning to glimpse the solution to the greatest mystery of them all . . . ? How can the discovery of a short story by a beautiful Oxford graduate lead Chief Inspector Morse to her murderer? What awaits Morse and Lewis in Room 231 of the Randolph Hotel? Why does a theft at Christmas lead the detective to look upon the festive season with uncharacteristic goodwill? And what happens when Morse himself falls victim to a brilliantly executed crime? Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories is a dazzling collection of short stories from Inspector Morse's creator, Colin Dexter. It includes six ingenious cases for the world's most popular fictional detective - plus five other tantalizingly original tales to delight all lovers of classic crime fiction.
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