Colin Dexter, 1930-2017

The sad news broke this morning that Colin Dexter, the creator of Inspector Morse and writer of 13 Morse novels, died, aged 86.

The author’s publisher, Pan McMillan, issued this statement:

It is with immense sadness that Macmillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully in Oxford this morning.

Colin was the hugely popular author of the 13 Inspector Morse novels, first published in 1975 with Last Bus To Woodstock. The Morse novels sold in their millions and were adapted for one of the most popular television detective series ever made, starring the late John Thaw.

Maria Rejt, Colin’s most recent editor at Macmillan, said:

“Colin was an author who inspired all those who worked with him. His loyalty, modesty and self-deprecating humour gave joy to many. His was the sharpest mind and the biggest heart, and his wonderful novels and stories will remain a testament to both.”

Jeremy Trevathan, Macmillan’s publisher, added:

“With Colin’s death there has been a tectonic shift in the International crime writing scene. Colin represented the absolute epitome of British crime writing, and in the 1990s John Thaw’s Inspector Morse took over Wednesday night television. He was one of those television characters who the nation took to their hearts. This is a very sad day for us all.”

We echo those sentiments, and send condolence to his family, as well as the armies of Morse fans the world over.

4 thoughts on “Colin Dexter, 1930-2017”

  1. Very sad- Colin Dexter and John Thaw created something special and enduring and will always be missed. Condolences for both famlies always.


  2. It seems appropriate to quote one of John Thaw’s favorite poems that his widow found marked two years after Thaw’s death when she felt like she could not go on any longer without him.

    Although it’s obviously written for a wife/spouse/partner, I thought of the article from 2009 and it seems somehow fitting.

    When You Are Old
    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true;
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead,
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
    William Butler Yeats

    Requiescat in pace, Colin Dexter.


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