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Colin Dexter (1930–2017)

Author of Last Bus to Woodstock

112+ Works 17,009 Members 343 Reviews 45 Favorited

About the Author

Norman Colin Dexter was born in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England on September 29, 1930. He received a bachelor's degree in classics in 1953 and a master's degree in 1958 at from Christ's College, Cambridge University. He taught classics for many years, but growing deafness forced him to retire in show more 1966. For the next two decades, he was the senior assistant secretary at the Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations. He retired in 1988 to become a full-time writer. He was best known for creating the character Chief Inspector Morse. The Inspector Morse series began in 1975 with Last Bus to Woodstock and ended in 1999 with The Remorseful Day. The books were adapted into the television series Inspector Morse, which ran from 1987 to 2000. Dexter won the British Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award for The Wench is Dead in 1989 and again in 1992 for The Way Through the Woods. He received the organization's lifetime achievement award, the Diamond Dagger, in 1997. He also wrote Cracking Cryptic Crosswords: A Guide to Solving Cryptic Crosswords in 2010. He died on March 21, 2017 at the age of 86. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Series

Works by Colin Dexter

Last Bus to Woodstock (1975) 1,481 copies
The Remorseful Day (1999) 1,472 copies
Death is Now My Neighbour (1996) 1,294 copies
The Way Through the Woods (1992) 1,269 copies
The Daughters of Cain (1994) 1,223 copies
Last Seen Wearing (1976) 1,167 copies
The Wench is Dead (1989) 1,163 copies
The Dead of Jericho (1981) 1,057 copies
The Jewel That Was Ours (1991) 1,040 copies
Service of All the Dead (1979) 1,004 copies
The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983) 965 copies
The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986) 917 copies
Cracking Cryptic Crosswords (2009) 21 copies
Chambers Morse Crosswords (2006) 16 copies
The Inside Story (1993) 10 copies
Neighbourhood watch (1993) 2 copies
A Case of Mis-Identity (1998) 2 copies
The Burglar - story (1994) 2 copies
Terminus 1 copy
Scherzo 1 copy
Striker 1 copy
Clued Up [short story] (2009) 1 copy
Last Call 1 copy

Associated Works

Farewell, My Lovely (1940) — Introduction, some editions — 4,491 copies
Nightmare Town: Stories (1999) — Introduction, some editions — 562 copies
The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries (2013) — Contributor — 289 copies
Before the Fact (1931) — Introduction, some editions — 250 copies
The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories (2015) — Contributor — 137 copies
The Best British Mysteries 2005 (2005) — Contributor — 127 copies
The Folio Book of Christmas Crime Stories (2004) — Contributor — 117 copies
The Detection Collection (2005) — Contributor — 76 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries (2008) — Contributor — 62 copies
The Oxford of Inspector Morse (2004) — Foreword, some editions — 45 copies
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 7 (2010) — Contributor — 38 copies
The Adventure of the Lion's Mane (short story) (1926) — Introduction, some editions — 35 copies
Mysterious Pleasures (2003) — Contributor — 34 copies
The Best British Mysteries 4 (2006) — Contributor — 25 copies
Classic Detective Stories (1992) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Verdict of Us All (2006) — Contributor — 21 copies
A Feast of Stories (1996) — Contributor — 14 copies
Inspector Morse 01: The Dead of Jericho [Videorecording] (1987) — Original Story — 12 copies
Inspector Morse 33: The Remorseful Day [Videorecording] (2000) — Original Story — 11 copies
Inspector Morse 30: The Daughters of Cain [Videorecording] (2003) — Original Story — 11 copies
Inspector Morse 12: Infernal Serpent [Videorecording] (2002) — Original characters — 11 copies
Inspector Morse 03: Service of All the Dead [Videorecording] (1992) — Original Story — 10 copies
Inspector Morse 14: Driven to Distraction [Videorecording] (1994) — Original characters — 10 copies
Inspector Morse 04: The Wolvercote Tongue [Videorecording] (1992) — Original characters — 10 copies
Inspector Morse 11: Secret of Bay 5B [Videorecording] (2002) — Original characters — 9 copies
Inspector Morse 22: Happy Families [Videorecording] (1994) — Original characters — 9 copies
Inspector Morse 09: The Last Enemy [Videorecording] (2002) — Original characters — 9 copies
Inspector Morse 10: Deceived by Flight [Videorecording] (2002) — Original characters — 9 copies
Inspector Morse 05: Last Seen Wearing [Videorecording] (1987) — Original Story — 8 copies
Inspector Morse 20: Promised Land [Videorecording] (1991) — Original characters — 7 copies
Inspector Morse 18: Who Killed Harry Field? [Videorecording] (1994) — Original characters — 7 copies
Inspector Morse 13: The Sins of the Fathers [Videorecording] (1990) — Original characters — 7 copies
Inspector Morse 32: The Wench Is Dead [Videorecording] (2003) — Original Story — 7 copies
Winter's Crimes 24 (1992) 6 copies
Inspector Morse 25: Cherubim & Seraphim [Videorecording] (2003) — Original characters — 6 copies
Inspector Morse 24: Absolute Conviction [Videorecording] (2003) — Original characters — 6 copies
Inspector Morse 23: The Death of the Self [Videorecording] (1994) — Original characters — 6 copies
Inspector Morse 28: Twilight of the Gods [Videorecording] (2003) — Original characters — 6 copies
Winter's Crimes 9 (1977) — Contributor — 6 copies
Winter's Crimes 13 (1981) — Contributor — 6 copies
Inspector Morse 17: Fat Chance [Videorecording] (1991) — Original characters — 6 copies
Inspector Morse 15: Masonic Mysteries [Videorecording] (2004) — Original characters — 6 copies
Winter's Crimes 21 (1989) 5 copies
Inspector Morse 16: Second Time Around [Videorecording] — Original characters — 5 copies
Inspector Morse 26: Deadly Slumber [Videorecording] (2003) — Original characters — 5 copies
Inspector Morse 27: The Day of the Devil [Videorecording] — Original characters — 5 copies
Inspector Morse: Dead on Time - Collection Set [Episodes 18-23] (2005) — Original characters — 5 copies

Tagged

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Dexter, Norman Colin
Birthdate
1930-09-29
Date of death
2017-03-21
Gender
male
Nationality
UK
Birthplace
Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, UK
Place of death
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Education
Bluecoat Junior School
Stamford School
University of Cambridge (Christ's College)
Occupations
Assistant Classics Master (Wyggeston School)
Senior Classics Master (Corby Grammar School)
Senior Assistant Secretary (University of Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations)
novelist
short-story writer
Organizations
Crime Writers' Association
Awards and honors
Order of the British Empire (Officer)
Cartier Diamond Dagger (1997)
Freedom of the City, Oxford, UK (2001)
Short biography
Colin Dexter began his career as a teacher of Greek and Latin, but increasing deafness made him give it up. He took a job with the Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations in Summertown, and moved there with his wife Dorothy (nee Cooper) in 1966. Before beginning to write fiction, he produced general studies textbooks. A wet summer vacation in North Wales with two complaining children and nothing to do gave him the impetus to write his first detective story. It took a while for the Morse novels to gain popularity, which made Dexter keep his day job for 22 years until he retired. He won the coveted gold dagger from the Crime Writers Association for best crime novel of the year more than once, and several runners-up silver daggers. The Morse novels were adapted as a highly-successful British television series called Inspector Morse, which ran from 1987 to 2000.

Members

Discussions

Chat in Book Discussion : Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter (April 2017)

Reviews

Good Inspector Morse mystery. Learn Morse's first name, Endeavor on last page.
 
Flagged
derailer | 14 other reviews | Jan 25, 2024 |
I enjoyed this book and using the same plot device as Josephine Tey did in “The Daughter of Time” did not detract from that enjoyment. Is this is what is meant by “homage”?
 
Flagged
Northlaw | 23 other reviews | Dec 20, 2023 |
In this penultimate book in the Inspector Morse series, Morse and Lewis investigate the seemingly motiveless murder of a young woman, shot through the blind-covered window of her kitchen by an intruder who came down the back alley behind the houses. Of course, it is Morse who realises eventually that it could have been a case of mistaken identity due to the house numbering.

Morse has a serious health issue which develops in this story but which, in his usual curmudgeonly fashion he tries to ignore as best as he can. He comes up with a number of theories as to who the murderer is, especially when another occurs, and with how it relates to a contest at Lonsdale College where two men and their wives are rivals for the position of the next Master. I'm not sure though that the character of the Master as portrayed, although sickening to Morse, is as obviously nasty as in the TV adaptation which I still remember some years after last viewing it.

There is a foreshadowing of the final novel here and an air of sadness especially over the fate of the young wife of one of the characters. But there is some nice interplay with subtle humour between the two detectives and once again Lewis' long suffering nature is to the fore. Morse finally reveals the secret of his first name in this volume, which was a long kept secret at the time. All in all, a solid and page turning 3 star read.
… (more)
 
Flagged
kitsune_reader | 14 other reviews | Nov 23, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
112
Also by
57
Members
17,009
Popularity
#1,307
Rating
3.8
Reviews
343
ISBNs
802
Languages
18
Favorited
45

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