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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morse does it again
"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...
Published on 6 Sep 2000 by themarquisdecarabas

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3.0 out of 5 stars Why such a complex plot!
The main characters are the church, Morse and Lewis. All others described perform out of character behaviours, do not stand out from the page as memorable or believable and leave the reader not caring if they are murdered or the murderer. Also homophobic in parts.
Published 6 months ago by FantasyFred


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morse does it again, 6 Sep 2000
"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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Service of all the Dead, 6 Jun 2012
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can you keep a secret, Inspector ?, 21 Mar 2011
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. (In fairness, Harry isn't exactly the innocent and wounded husband - he's been playing away from home with the church's cleaner, Ruth Rawlinson).

The book's opening section concludes in August, with the Rev. Lawson calling on Paul Morris; it then picks up again with Morse, the following April. In between times there have been two deaths at the church : Harry is dead, stabbed in the vestry and the Vicar subsequently threw himself to his death from the church's tower. Paul and Peter Morris have both left Oxford - very abruptly - and, oddly enough, so has Brenda Josephs. Despite being officially on holiday - never mind the fact that it was never his case to begin with - Morse starts poking about...

For me, this instalment is definitely better than the three previous books in the series : it has an interesting storylone and Dexter's writing has improved dramatically from "Last Bus to Woodstock". Morse's main hobbies remain drinking beer, listening to classical music and leering over the ladies - however, despite his occasional grumpiness, there's still something quite likeable about him. A quick and easy read overall.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Why such a complex plot!, 3 Mar 2014
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The main characters are the church, Morse and Lewis. All others described perform out of character behaviours, do not stand out from the page as memorable or believable and leave the reader not caring if they are murdered or the murderer. Also homophobic in parts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale!, 2 Feb 2014
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Love Inspector Morse books - Mr Dexter pens an excellent read! Thank you Mr Dexter for taking the time to produce such an excellent novel!
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment, 22 Jan 2014
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I've been reading Morse post Christmas and have enjoyed the previous books. This one is less interesting with long and quite boring passages that almost convinced me to give up. The crimes were confusing and the explanation for them, given in long testimonies was tedious . There was less of Oxford and more of the church than I care for. The only good point really is the fact that Morse seemed willing to lie on oath which gives an interesting insight into his character.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Morse develops, 18 Dec 2013
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Morse, 14 Nov 2013
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I really enjoyed the book after watching all the episodes I did not expect to. I have now read 4 Morse books and am looking forward to the next one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars slightly sad, 17 May 2013
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Ter (Aberdeen) - See all my reviews
Slightly sad, like many of the Morse series of books. A main character who only truly lives for his work, who struggles with relationships with women - who all seem drawn to him, but unable, usually, to bridge the gap. Story relies on confusion between individuals, and the desire to keep secrets for whatever reasons. Easy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great., 9 Mar 2013
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Can't go wrong with Colin Dexter/Morse.Unputdownable!If there is such a word.I read it years ago but could'nt remember the story.
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Service of all the Dead (Inspector Morse)
Service of all the Dead (Inspector Morse) by Colin Dexter (Paperback - 16 Mar 2007)
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