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Published: Thu, March 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Morse author Colin Dexter dies

Morse author Colin Dexter dies

In a statement his publisher said: "With enormous sadness, MacMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning".

His words were transcribed to the screen in the guise of the hugely popular television series starring John Thaw as the cranky inspector between 1987 and 2000.

Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said: "John Thaw's pitch-perfect portrayal of the irascible detective with a love for crosswords, real ale and classical music was undoubtedly one of the best-loved characters of all time".

Macmillan publisher Jeremy Trevathan said Dexter "represented the absolute epitome of British crime writing".

If you look at his work prior to the beginning of the series, which began with an adaptation of his fifth novel "Dead of Jericho", the material which has become synonymous with Morse is already there. Dexter's role in making the show one of the most memorable of the Eighties and Nineties can not be underestimated.

Dexter's books also inspired the TV prequel Endeavour, with Shaun Evans as the young Morse, and Lewis, the sequel starring Whately.

'He was one of those television characters who the nation took to their hearts.

Dexter was a passionate crossword compiler who made the puzzles synonymous with the fictional world of Inspector Morse, often deploying them as a mental aid to help the detective on the path to catching a killer. 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 killed off Morse in 1999's The Remorseful Day, to great sadness among his fans worldwide.

He said: 'Colin was closely involved in the production of Inspector Morse, advising on scripts and making keenly anticipated cameo appearances in numerous films'.

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