Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse books in order

Colin Dexter's iconic Inspector Morse series is a must-read for any crime and thriller fan. Here are all the Inspector Morse books in order.

25/09/2020
2 minutes to read

Inspector Morse, famously played by John Thaw in the phenomenally popular crime drama TV series, first appeared in a series of thirteen bestselling novels by author Colin Dexter. Pour yourself a pint of real ale, stick on some Wagner and crack some clues with Morse. Here are all Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse books in order. 

Looking for more crime fiction? Don't miss our edit of the best crime and thriller books of 2020. 

Last Bus to Woodstock

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299073

The death of Sylvia Kaye figured dramatically in Thursday afternoon's edition of the Oxford Mail. By Friday evening Inspector Morse had informed the nation that the police were looking for a dangerous man – facing charges of wilful murder, sexual assault and rape.

But as the obvious leads fade into twilight and darkness, Morse becomes more and more convinced that passion holds the key . . .

Last Seen Wearing

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299080

The statements before Inspector Morse appeared to confirm the bald, simple truth.

After leaving home to return to school, teenager Valerie Taylor had completely vanished, and the trail had gone cold.

Until two years, three months and two days after Valerie's disappearance, somebody decides to supply some surprising new evidence for the case . . .

The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299141

The newly appointed member of the Oxford Examinations Syndicate was deaf, provincial and gifted. Now he is dead . . .

And his murder, in his north Oxford home, proves to be the start of a formidably labyrinthine case for Chief Inspector Morse, as he tries to track down the killer through the insular and bitchy world of the Oxford Colleges . . .

Service of All the Dead

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299196

Chief Inspector Morse was alone among the congregation in suspecting continued unrest in the quiet parish of St Frideswide's.

Most people could still remember the churchwarden's murder. A few could still recall the murderer's suicide. Now even the police had closed the case.

Until a chance meeting among the tombstones reveals startling new evidence of a conspiracy to deceive . . .

The Dead of Jericho

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299202

Anne Scott's address was scribbled on a crumpled note in the pocket of Morse's smartest suit.

He turned the corner of Canal Street, Jericho, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 3rd October.

He hadn't planned a second visit. But he was back later the same day – as the officer in charge of a suicide investigation . . .

The Riddle of the Third Mile

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299219

By the 16th of July the Master of Lonsdale was concerned, but not yet worried.

Dr Browne-Smith had passed through the porter's lodge at approximately 8.15 a.m. on the morning of Friday, 11th July. And nobody had heard from him since.

Plenty of time to disappear, thought Morse. And plenty of time, too, for someone to commit murder . . .

The Secret of Annexe 3

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299226

Chief Inspector Morse seldom allowed himself to be caught up in New Year celebrations. So the murder inquiry in the festive hotel had a certain appeal.

It was a crime worthy of the season.

The corpse was still in fancy dress. And hardly a single guest at the Haworth had registered under a genuine name . . .

The Wench is Dead

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299233

The body of Joanna Franks was found at Duke's Cut on the Oxford Canal at about 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, 22nd June 1859.

At around 10.15 a.m. on a Saturday morning in 1989 the body of Chief Inspector Morse – though very much alive – was removed to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. Treatment for a perforated ulcer was later pronounced successful.

As Morse begins his recovery he comes across an account of the investigation and the trial that followed Joanna Franks' death . . . and becomes convinced that the two men hanged for her murder were innocent . . .

The Jewel That Was Ours

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299240

For Oxford, the arrival of twenty-seven American tourists is nothing out of the ordinary . . . until one of their number is found dead in Room 310 at the Randolph Hotel.

It looks like a sudden – and tragic – accident. Only Chief Inspector Morse appears not to overlook the simultaneous theft of a jewel-encrusted antique from the victim's handbag . . .

Then, two days later, a naked and battered corpse is dragged from the River Cherwell. A coincidence? Maybe. But this time Morse is determined to prove the link . . .

The Way Through the Woods

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781909621435

They called her the Swedish Maiden – the beautiful young tourist who disappeared on a hot summer's day somewhere in North Oxford. Twelve months later the case remained unsolved – pending further developments.

On holiday in Lyme Regis, Chief Inspector Morse is startled to read a tantalizing article in The Times about the missing woman. An article which lures him back to Wytham Woods near Oxford . . . and straight into the most extraordinary murder investigation of his career.

The Daughters of Cain

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299264

Chief Superintendent Strange's opinion was that too little progress had been made since the discovery of a corpse in a North Oxford flat. The victim had been killed by a single stab wound to the stomach. Yet the police had no weapon, no suspect, no motive.

Within days of taking over the case Chief Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis uncover startling new information about the life and death of Dr Felix McClure. When another body is discovered Morse suddenly finds himself with rather too many suspects. For once, he can see no solution. But then he receives a letter containing a declaration of love . . .

Death is Now My Neighbour

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299271

The murder of a young woman . . . A cryptic 'seventeenth-century' love poem . . . And a photograph of a mystery grey-haired man . . .

More than enough to set Chief Inspector E. Morse on the trail of a killer.

And it's a trail that leads him to Lonsdale College, where the contest between Julian Storrs and Dr Denis Cornford for the coveted position of Master is hotting up.

But then Morse faces a greater, far more personal crisis . . .

The Remorseful Day

by Colin Dexter

Book cover for 9781447299288

The murder of Yvonne Harrison had left Thames Valley CID baffled. A year after the dreadful crime they are still no nearer to making an arrest. But one man has yet to tackle the case – and it is just the sort of puzzle at which Chief Inspector Morse excels.

So why is he adamant that he will not lead the re-investigation, despite the entreaties of Chief Superintendent Strange and dark hints of some new evidence? And why, if he refuses to take on the case officially, does he seem to be carrying out his own private enquiries?

For Sergeant Lewis this is yet another example of the unsettling behaviour his chief has been displaying of late . . .