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6 items from 2017

How Colin Dexter changed the face of crime fiction

24 March 2017 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse novels began a boomtime in crime fiction on television and in bookshops – and we are still feeling its effects

“Game-changer” is a word Colin Dexter, who died this week, would almost certainly have loathed. But it exactly describes what Dexter himself was, via TV’s Inspector Morse. Though it might seem his legacy is limited to a handful of novels, it is actually far larger than that: publishers’ insatiable enthusiasm today for crime fiction, the shelf space bookshops now allocate to it, the number of writers making a living from it.

Related: Colin Dexter obituary

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- John Dugdale

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I’ve got to the bottom of motorists’ ‘aggression’ to older cyclists | Brief letters

23 March 2017 11:29 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Colin Dexter | Cycling septuagenarians | England v Wales | Cartoonists | Anent revival

Your report of the death of Colin Dexter (22 March) mentions that he shared Morse’s love of music, but not their shared passion for cryptic crosswords. Dexter was a frequent winner of the Observer’s Ximenes/Azed clue-writing competition, and named his detectives after two others, Sir Jeremy Morse and Mrs B Lewis (a pseudonym). In Last Bus to Woodstock, the characters are given the names of other winners, including – in an appropriately very minor role – me.

Colin Westbrook

Newport, Gwent

• I wonder if Margaret Squires (Letters, 22 March) isn’t mistaking admiration for aggression. We snowy-locked septuagenarians know that decades of cycling give us well-honed bums.

Christine Hawkes


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- Letters

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Colin Dexter: the writer who brought novel ideas to television

23 March 2017 8:59 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

TV took the Inspector Morse stories of the late Colin Dexter into the homes of millions – and he wasn’t the only novelist to bathe in the glow of the small screen

The death of Colin Dexter has rightly brought tributes from the literary community, but the writer also has a very special place in the history of television. Apart from Charles Dickens – whose use of the serial format and exaggerated characters anticipated the demands of popular TV drama – Dexter is the novelist who has had most individual impact on the medium’s fiction output.

Related: Colin Dexter: a mischievous, generous man every bit as clever as his creations

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- Mark Lawson

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‘Inspector Morse’ Creator Colin Dexter Dies at 86

21 March 2017 12:01 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Author Colin Dexter, whose novels spawned the successful crime-drama series “Inspector Morse,” died Tuesday at his home in Oxford, England. He was 86.

His 13 “Morse” novels were adapted for the series starring John Thaw, which aired on broadcaster ITV in the U.K. and was distributed across the world. Dexter’s publisher announced the news in a statement on Tuesday: “With immense sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter, who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning.”

Kevin Whately, who played Morse’s sidekick Lewis in the series, described Dexter as “impish and bubbly and always fascinated with everybody and everything,” the BBC reported.

Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said “Inspector Morse” was “one of the nation’s best-loved shows,” and Thaw’s “irascible detective with a love for crosswords, real ale, and classical music” was one of the most popular characters of all time.

“Through 33 feature-length stories, the »

- Will Thorne

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Colin Dexter obituary

21 March 2017 9:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Crime writer who created the deep-thinking Oxford detective Inspector Morse

Though he thought of himself primarily as a school teacher, Colin Dexter will be remembered as the crime writer who created the curmudgeonly but entertaining Inspector Morse. Morse, the beer, crossword and Wagner-loving detective who drives a vintage Jaguar around Oxford, solves murders by deep thinking, often about chance remarks made by his sidekick, Sergeant Lewis.

Dexter, who has died aged 86, claimed that he was no writer, but could revise his “bad starts” into something that worked. The formula was certainly a success for some dozen Morse novels and many original scripts for television, the medium that delivered the doings of the idiosyncratic Morse to an audience across 50 countries. “I just started writing and forced myself to keep going,” he said. “And it’s been the same ever since.”

Related: Crossword blog: Colin Dexter's life in five clues

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- Dennis Barker

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Endeavour series 4 episode 1 review: Game

10 January 2017 12:42 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Gem Wheeler Jan 10, 2017

Morse prequel Endeavour returns to ITV with what promises to be a richly rewarding fourth series...

This review contains spoilers.

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4.1 Game

It’s the summer of 1967, and we rejoin Endeavour Morse and his colleagues only a fortnight after the dramatic events of series three’s finale. The aftermath of that episode’s bank robbery casts a long shadow over Game. Joan Thursday, traumatised by her experience as a hostage, has abruptly departed Oxford for pastures new, leaving her parents bereft. For Morse, who’d realised his love for her too late, the suffering’s just as acute. He gets no comfort from Fred Thursday, who’s sunk into a »

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