Colin Dexter: Inspector Morse creator dies aged 86

ITV adapted Dexter's novels into the long-running British mystery series Inspector Morse, which starred John Thaw.

Dexter was best known for writing the novels about the cerebral, crossword-loving, ale-drinking detective and for his work on the Inspector Morse TV series and its two spin-offs, Lewis and Endeavour.

Dexter wrote his first Morse novel, Last Bus to Woodstock, in 1975 while on holiday in Wales. His final Morse story, The Remorseful Day, appeared in 1999. "So I'm very grateful to have had 30 years of his warm friendship and 30 years of his wonderful plots, characters and storytelling".

Maria Rejt, Dexter's most recent editor at Macmillan, said: "Colin was an author who inspired all those who worked with him". Lewis wrapped up its run in 2016 after nine seasons, but Endeavour is still going strong.

Jeremy Trevathan, Macmillan's publisher, added that Dexter's death had meant a "tectonic shift in the global crime writing scene". He was one of those television characters who the nation took to their hearts.

Fellow crime writers paid tribute on Twitter.

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

Ian Rankin said: "Sad news - a gentle man with a steel mind; and the creator of such an iconic character".

Vera writer Ann Cleeves said: "I have such fond memories of Colin Dexter".

Born Norman Colin Dexter in Lincolnshire in 1930, Dexter began his writing career by writing text books while working in education.

The detective pairing of Morse and Lewis earned more acclaim after being brought to the TV screen, giving John Thaw and Kevin Whateley their most recognisable roles.

Dexter himself had cameo appearances in all but three of the 33 episodes made between 1987 and 2000, according to Wikipedia. Dexter's first story about the bad-tempered inspector was a hit and he went on to write thirteen more books featuring Morse and Lewis.

Dexter was awarded an OBE for services to literature in 2000 and was given the Freedom of the City in Oxford in 2001.

  • Salvatore Jensen