Colin Dexter Books In Order

Publication Order of Inspector Morse Books

Last Bus to Woodstock (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Last Seen Wearing (1976) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Service of All the Dead (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dead of Jericho (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wench is Dead (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Jewel That Was Ours (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Way Through the Woods (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Daughters of Cain (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death is Now My Neighbor (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Remorseful Day (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Chambers Morse Crosswords (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cracking Cryptic Crosswords (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

An English author with a distinctively more British tone, he has been creating his unique brand of crime fiction for some time now. Having built some of the most beloved series of all time, especially with his ever recognizable Inspector Morse, he’s a name to be reckoned with in the world of literature. With his attempt to progress the genre in a more cerebral direction he’s appreciated critically as he is commercially.

Early and Personal Life

Being brought up in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Colin Dexter was born on the 29th of September, 1930. This was to be the area that provided him with much of his inspiration, as he used much of it to build into the lives of his characters. It was here that he was also to receive much of his education taking him into his adult life. Attending public school at the Stamford School, Dexter went on to take his place in the ‘Royal Corps of Signals’ where he completed his national service. He later went onto attend Christ’s College in Cambridge which is where he read the classics. After he graduated in 1953 he went onto receive an honorary master’s degree in the year of 1958.

He later begun to teach in the East Midlands where he worked at Wyggeston School in Leicester as an assistant master of Classics. After this he went on to Loughborough Grammar School before going on to Corby Grammar School in Northamptonshire where he worked as a senior teacher of the Classics. This teaching career lasted from 1954 to 1966 where it was cut short after the onset of deafness. It was in 1956 that he would also marry his wife Dorothy Cooper. It was later in 1972 that he begun writing his mystery novels for which he was to become famous for.

Writing Career

Writing the first few paragraphs on a family holiday, he began to formulate a story that was to be his first detective novel ‘Last Bus to Woodstock’, which was initially published in 1975. This was the first in what was thirteen ‘Inspector Morse’ novels, which eventually led to their own television series as well as an entire franchise. Reflecting the tastes of Dexter himself, Morse had a penchant for cryptic crosswords and Wagner, along with cask ale and English literature. It was this character that Dexter was going to invest the next portion of his life into building and formulating.

With a collection of awards for his contribution to the genre of crime fiction, his influence within the field is unsurpassed. Having gotten two ‘Silver Daggers’ from the Crime Writers’ Association for his novel ‘Service of All the Dead’ in 1979, his talents are undisputed. Later this would be further reinforced with more awards for his other novels. With a long-running TV series that’s become a regular fixture, the character of Morse has become an institution with many fans worldwide. Holding this legacy, Dexter has many titles to come and shows no signs of stopping any time soon as he’ll continue writing into the foreseeable future.

Last Bus to Woodstock

The first of the Inspector Morse and the first novel from Colin Dexter, this book was originally published in 1975 in January and was to mark the onset of a long-running franchise. One of thirteen, it sets up the series establishing both the tone and the character. Providing the overrunning arc, it gives him his first case to deal with and set everything up.

Whilst attempting to hitch a lift after waiting for a bus in the area of Oxford, two women are found murdered in what was thought to be their destination; Woodstock. Left in the car-park of the Black Prince pub, they appear to have been sexually assaulted before they died. It is this grim series of events that leads Inspector Morse to his first case as he seeks to discover who caused the deaths. At first it appears that it may be John Sanders, the man who initially discovered the body and reported it. With a history of pornography addiction, along with the fact he sometimes paid the victim Sylvia Kaye for sex, places him as a major suspect in the case. Then there’s married Bernard Crowther who gave a lift to two women on the night of the murder, all whilst on the way to have an affair with his mistress. Will Inspector Morse be able to put the pieces together, finding the suspect, and shedding some light on this tragedy? Can he manage to find out who it was in time, or could the killer attempt to strike again in order to cover his tracks? What happened to those two girls that particular night they failed to catch the last bus to Woodstock?

The Remorseful Day

Being the final novel within the Inspector Morse series, this was originally published in 1999 on the 15th of September. Rounding off the saga of the now infamous detective, it completes the entire run of thirteen books overall. Solving one final case, the famous inspector is led to deal with one unsolved murder he never got closure on.

Two years since her death, Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis, his now long-term companion, both attempt to uncover the mystery behind the death of Yvonne Harrington. Thought to be murdered, they never managed to find out the true identity of her killer, until now. Whilst she was a nurse in her life, they find themselves hot on the trail of the killer once again as they work to sort unfinished business in what is the Inspector’s final case. As a final note in the story of this fine detective, Colin Dexter aimed to finish it as ‘enough had been said’ on his life, in what is a heartfelt round-up of the fictional detective’s career. Will he catch the killer in time or will he be left with one final regret to an as yet unsolved case to be? Who could have killed the nurse and why would they do such a thing to someone such as herself? What will become of the detective and where will Colin Dexter leave him for this final goodbye?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Colin Dexter