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Morse author Colin Dexter dies

24 March 2017

Colin Dexter, who created Inspector Morse and wrote 13 novels featuring the character, died peacefully at his home in Oxford, England on Tuesday at age 86.

Norman Colin Dexter was born in Stamford, England, on September 29, 1930, a birthday he shared with the fictional Endeavour Morse.

He told BBC Radio 4's Front Row Dexter was "such a warm friendly guy that when he arrived on set we all adored him and he had this wonderful inquiring mind and unbelievable alpha brain, that Morse had of course".

Dexter's cerebral Morse, who solved crimes around Oxfordshire, was first introduced in 1975 in his novel Last Bus To Woodstock and appeared in more than 10 other novels, as well as several short stories.

As well as making appearances in Morse, Dexter would also regularly pop up in episodes of Endeavour, which stars Shaun Evans as a young Morse in the early days of his career as a detective constable in Oxford.

Dexter was married to Dorothy with whom he had a son and daughter.

"I think Morse, if he had really existed and was still alive, would probably say to me, "Well, you didn't do me too bad a service in your writing". "His loyalty, modesty, and self-deprecating humor gave joy to many".

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Added Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevathan, "With Colin's death there has been a tectonic shift in the worldwide crime writing scene".

"Through 33 feature-length stories, the casebook of Morse and Lewis changed the landscape of detective drama".

"Colin represented the absolute epitome of British crime writing, and in the 1990s John Thaw's Inspector Morse took over Wednesday night television", Trevathan added.

He was best known for penning the crime novels, which spawned the long-running TV series Inspector Morse and spin-offs Endeavour and Lewis.

"He was one of those television characters who the nation took to their hearts".

As a lover of ale, crosswords, Wagner and English literature he shared many traits with Morse and was a regular crossword setter for The Oxford Times under the name Codex. "Very sad to hear of his death today".

Morse author Colin Dexter dies