Norman Colin Dexter, OBE, was born on 29th September 1930 in Stamford, Lincolnshire and is an English crime writer, known for his ever popular Inspector Morse novels. He started writing mysteries in 1972 during a family holiday. Last Bus to Woodstock was published in 1975 and introduced the world to the character of Inspector Morse, the irascible detective whose penchants for cryptic crosswords, English literature, cask ale and Wagner reflect Dexter’s own enthusiasms. Dexter’s plots are notable for his use of false leads and other red herrings.
There were 33 episodes of the TV series Inspector Morse, produced between 1987 and 2001, which brought further acclaim for Dexter and he makes a cameo appearance in almost all episodes. Latterly, Lewis, who is now an Inspector, features in 12 episodes of the new ITV series Lewis. As with Morse, Dexter makes a cameo appearance in several episodes.
Dexter has been the recipient of several Crime Writers’ Association awards: two Silver Daggers for Service of All the Dead in 1979 and The Dead of Jericho in 1981; two Gold Daggers for The Wench is Dead in 1989 and The Way Through the Woods in 1992; and a Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement in 1997. In 1996 Dexter received a Macavity Award for his short story Evans Tries an O-Level and in 1980 he was elected a member of the by-invitation-only Detection Club. In 2000 Dexter was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature.
The Wench is Dead (1990)
Inspector Morse, recovering from an ulcer in Oxford’s Radcliffe Hospital, comes across an old book recounting a sensational murder case that took place in Oxford 100 years earlier. Convinced that the two men hanged for the crime were innocent, Morse sets out from the confines of his bed to prove it.
The Remorseful Day (1999)
It says on the cover: The final Inspector Morse Novel. The Remorseful Day is one of the best in the series, with the death of Yvonne Harrison whose murder has baffled the police for more than a year. This is the kind of case Morse seems eminently suited for and yet he refuses to get officially involved in the case and his co-workers want to know why.
Jewel that was Ours (2011)
A wealthy, elderly American tourist has a heart attack in her room at Oxford’s luxurious Randolph Hotel. Missing from the scene is the lady’s handbag, which contained the Wolvercote Tongue, a priceless jewel that her late husband had bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum just across the street. Morse proceeds to spend a great deal of time thinking–and drinking–in the hotel’s bar, certain the solution is close at hand–until conflicting stories, suspicious doings, and a real murder convince him otherwise.