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Service of All the Dead Hardcover – Jan 1980


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (Jan. 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312713169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312713164
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 12.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,339,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford.

Product Description

About the Author

Colin Dexter lives in Oxford. He has won many awards for his novels and in 1997 was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for outstanding services to crime literature. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "themarquisdecarabas" on 6 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
"Service of All The Dead" brings Inspector Morse into the murder of a churchwarden where nothing is what it appears to be.
As usual Colin Dexter conjures up a magnificently twisting plot that starts out simply and revolves into another complex mystery that only Morse can solve.
Although the plot of the novel is quite complex, Dexter manages to ensure that the reader is not too confused and brings the action along at a speedy pace which encourages prolonged reading. The character of Morse shines through the novel in a way that it never does when watching the television version. There is a wealth of supporting characters with well plotted histories and one of the best aspects of a Dexter novel is seeing Morse discover their involvements with the central murder of the novel and this one is no exception. Their motivations are always believable, as are their characteristics.
The actual details of the how and the why are a little more obvious than usual in this particular novel, but there is still a great detective story at the heart of this novel.
"Service of All The Dead" is a solid detective novel with wit and thrills in abundance. Highly recommended, if not the best in the series of Morse novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craobh Rua VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
Colin Dexter was born in 1930 and, over the course of his writing career, has won CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. "Service of All the Dead" was first published in 1979 and is the fourth book to feature the famous Inspector Morse.

Morse's investigation centres on St Frideswide's Church, a historic church that proves popular with the tourists. It's a while before Morse makes his first appearance, with the early part of the book setting the scene and introducing the key players. The Reverend Lionel Lawson has been the church's vicar for around ten years, and is well educated - and pretty well-off - individual. There has been some speculation about the Vicar's personal life - some believe that one of Oxford's down-and-outs in his brother, while others gossip about his alleged sexual preferences. However, he does have a very healthy bank balance...although he has suspected for a while that someone has been helping themselves to the collection plate. When the book opens, he knows his suspicions are correct - and that the pilferer is Harry Josephs, the church's Warden.

Harry is an ex-soldier who joined the Civil Service after he left the forces. He'd been made redundant two years previously, and has since only briefly worked in a pharmacy. (His redundancy is something he's still a little bitter about). Harry's wife, Brenda, works as a nurse and he suspects - correctly - that she's having an affair with Paul Morris, the church's organist and a music teacher. Morris is a widower, and his son, Peter, sings in the church choir. He and Brenda have only been "together" for around three months, but he'd be very keen for Harry to conveniently disappear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
I don't think I've read any of the Morse novels since The Remorseful Day in 1999. More than half my life ago. I saw an episode on TV and had a hankering to revisit them, so I picked this one up, as I remembered particularly grappling with it when younger, thinking I would get more out of it this time.

I certainly did - I remember being a bit puzzled by it the last time I read it, and certainly the solution is quite complex (I'm still not sure I'm absolutely clear on the motive for the first murder...), but I completely loved the experience of re-reading this. It was like returning to a favourite holiday destination after many years and finding it's still as beautiful as you remember. Dexter writes wonderfully slyly, and plots exceptionally well. The whole thing is gripping, mysterious, fun, witty, intelligent. Blah blah blah. I'm keen to re-read a few more, now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Old Badger on 6 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed the book. It was my first Colin Dexter and my first Kindle read..! The book has a good twist at the end. Problem I did find with the Kindle version was that the text had not been split into chapters 'electronically' so what is supposed to move from chapter to chapter takes you to the beginning or the end. But enjoyed the book.
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By MR PJ HAWKINS on 18 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a fan of Lewis predominantly I've often considered picking up the original Morse books to see how they fare to the more modern tv series.
The first few novels were very good and it was romantic and nostalgic to be drawn back into the late 70's. As this book moves into the 80's Morse's character seems to have been fully developed by Dexter and, although its hard to separate the literary Morse from the obvious mental relationship with the imagery of Thaw's fine performances (he played him even better with the benefit of hindsight and a few Morse books under my bely as it was), Dexter's character is rather likeable and interesting.
The plot line is an interesting commentary on morality and human foibles, Morse often displays a charming ambiguity to the former and suffers plenty of the later so in all it's a lovely and engaging read.
I'll work my way through the back catalogue with relish.
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