Colin Dexter, Morse’s Greatest Mystery
Colin Dexter is the Oxford don of classic crime. Wonderfully entertaining his Morse and Lewis characters are national treasures. Many has said that Morse is an iconic detective hero worthy to rank alongside Holmes, Marple and Poirot. But here June Thomson, an authority on Holmes, draws out the particular qualities of Morse.
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Colin Dexter was discovered by the collecting fraternity a few years after the long running Morse television series began in 1987. His first two books, nice fine first editions, were rarely priced at more than £60. The main reason for this was that detective fiction was a specialism and dealers of valuable collectibles stocked only literary fiction, unless of course, their was a demand. After the initial burst energy of a book a year for three years, the pace slackened to a book every other year or every third year. Dexter wrote for fun not for profit. Following the acclaimed series with John Thaw the author of the books was sought out for speaking engagements. It is said that he attended Buckingham Palace to read the Morse books to no less than Her Majesty. He was sought out by a pop music agent to give a presentation on Morse and his writing to a packed theatre. These feats compare in magnitude to the large literary figures of yesteryear such a Oscar Wilde.
Morse’s Greatest Mystery (1993 )is Dexter’s first collection of detection stories. It contains eleven stories, six with Morse and five others with various themes of crime and criminality. An author of the Appreciation is June Thomson, a noted crime writer (DCI Jack Finch series, and the same age (born 1930) as Colin Dexter. She also shares with Colin a love of the classic detective story. She is an authority on Arthur Conan Doyle and has produced some highly successful Sherlock Holmes pastiches. She describes in her Appreciation why Dexter is a satisfying writer and his skill at developing his stories. This volume was published as a signed limited edition of 99 copies and 20 specially bound presentation copies.