Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse is a fictional character, who features in a series of thirteen detective novels by British author Colin Dexter. He is a senior CID officer with the Thames Valley Police in Oxford, England. His first name was kept a secret until the end of Death is Now My Neighbour. The origin of his name is the vessel HM Bark Endeavour, as Morse's father was a Quaker (Quaker's have a tradition of "virtue names") and a fan of Captain James Cook.
The titles are:
- Last Bus to Woodstock, 1975
- Last Seen Wearing, 1976
- Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, 1977
- Service of All the Dead, 1979
- The Dead of Jericho, 1981
- The Riddle of the Third Mile, 1983
- The Secret of Annexe 3, 1986
- The Wench is Dead, 1989
- The Jewel That Was Ours, 1991
- The Way Through the Woods, 1992
- The Daughters of Cain, 1994
- Death is Now My Neighbour, 1996
- The Remorseful Day: The Final Inspector Morse Novel, 2000
Dexter killed Morse in his last book, and has thus far shown no sign of resurrecting him – unlike Arthur Conan Doyle, who killed his main character only to bring him back to life. Morse dies in a hospital bed from complications of his neglected type 2 diabetes-- his diabetes is mentioned repeatedly in the later books, and is one of the more realistic treatments of this disease in fiction.
The Inspector Morse novels have been made into a very successful TV series (also called Inspector Morse) for the British TV channel ITV. The series was made by Zenith Productions for Central (a company later acquired by Carlton). The series comprises 33 two-hour episodes (100 minutes excluding commercials) – twenty more episodes than there are novels – produced between 1987 and 2001. The final episode was of course adapted from the final novel. The Inspector himself was played by John Thaw and the faithful Detective Sergeant Lewis by Kevin Whately. Dexter makes a cameo appearance in each of the episodes. The series remains popular and is frequently repeated on ITV1 and ITV2. The series has been issued as cut-price videos and DVDs containing one episode each, together with magazine-size booklets giving background information on each episode, and as a series of seventeen double DVD's containing two episodes each (the last disc contains one episode and a two hour retrospective). See the official web site of the TV series at http://www.inspectormorse.co.uk/. Sadly, John Thaw died only months after the series ended.
In July 2004 ITV announced plans to make Inspector Lewis, a spinoff series starring Kevin Whately.
It is primarily the personality of the main character that makes the Inspector Morse novels so successful. With his beautiful Jaguar car (originally a Lancia), thirst for beer, intellectual snobbery, and penchant for Wagner, he is a likeable person despite his sullen temperament.
Dexter is a fan of cryptic crosswords, and Inspector Morse is named for champion solver Sir Jeremy Morse . In every novel the surname of the killer is taken from those of winners of the weekly Azed solving competition that appears in The Observer.
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