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Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
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Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse #4)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,932 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
--The New York Times Book Review
This time Inspector Morse brings the imposition on himself. He could have been vacationing in Greece instead of investigating a murder that the police have long since written off. But he finds the crime--the brutal killing of a suburban churchwar
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Ivy Books (first published 1979)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,888)
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James Thane
Dec 08, 2015 James Thane rated it really liked it
Chief Inspector Morse of the Oxford Homicide Division is supposed to be on vacation and he's thinking about a trip to the Greek Isles. But then he stumbles onto a pair of mysterious deaths at a church in another division nearby. The local officials have already written off the deaths as a murder followed by the suicide of the perpetrator. They've closed the books on both deaths, but something seems odd to Morse and so he begins digging into the situation, even though he's on vacation and even th ...more
If you have never read an "Inspector Morse" novel, then this one might be a good one to start with. Service of all the Dead is the fourth novel in the series, written in 1979. Colin Dexter now seems much more comfortable with his creations. The quality of writing is vastly improved too, and the plot is devious and nicely worked. (view spoiler)

The novel consists of
Jun 02, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
I'm a huge British mystery fan, I can't help it, it's a joy I cant escape in any format book, TV, or movie. Inspector Morse is my all time favorite TV show, and for some reason I had not read through the novels before. This book is superb. I thought I knew what was happening from the first season episode of the same name from 1987, but Mr. Dexter weaves a much more complicated tale, and had me doubting whether the book and the episode would match up in the end.

If you like mysteries of any sort,
Feb 20, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli
In attesa che la Sellerio le ripubblichi tutte, Luca ha comperato da una signora siciliana un'indagine del mitico Morse (in realtà due, l'altra è in coda di lettura) con lo sfondo di una Oxford campagnola - una in cui si legge, per dire, della donna che va a fare le pulizie in chiesa in bicicletta e delle case con la porta laccata di blu e il vialetto costeggiato da erbacce. Mai, nemmeno in una pagina, c'è caduta di interesse e anche se si fatica ad intuire l'assassino - o meglio, non lo si capi ...more
Anna Rossi
Jul 21, 2014 Anna Rossi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un labirinto di parole e situazioni, ad ogni angolo svoltato si crede di aver in pugno la soluzione per vederla invece sfumare in un'ulteriore ipotesi o traccia.
Intricato fino alla fine, come solo un complesso labirinto sa essere, non delude e il percorso da compiere per arrivare alla risoluzione finale è leggero e piacevole.
Susan Johnson
The fifth book in the series is a complex story of dead bodies found in a Catholic church. I found the plot a little confusing and when the killer was revealed along with the scenario it just me cold. It seemed very unlikely to me. I did enjoy Morse and Lewis' interactions and watching Morse mature.
May 01, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
The ever-tenacious and intractable Inspector Morse could be on vacation in Greece. In fact, he should be sailing happily around the Greek islands right now - taking his meticulously-planned and highly-anticipated moment of ease, sunning himself beside the rolling waves of the Aegean Sea. Instead, he is investigating a murder that the police have long since written off. Although, he really only has himself to blame this time.

But he finds the crime - the brutal killing of a suburban churchwarden -
Peter Castine
Mar 23, 2015 Peter Castine rated it it was ok
Shelves: whodunnit
Redeeming factors: competently, at times even engagingly written; reasonably complex plot (although the main "surprise" is a common enough twist in whodunnits that I was considering it from fairly early on); and a nice touch in that Morse doesn't get everything right, not even at the end. That may be enough to get many readers through the book, perhaps even with considerable pleasure. (Dexter also gets an extra quarter star for using Oxford spelling and commas, and for having the protagonist ins ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
I was worried that I'd get bored of reading this books virtually back to back. But I really enjoyed this book, what seemed so simple to begin with became very complicated - very quickly. By the end of the book we have 6 bodies.

While on his holidays Morse ventures into a local church and becomes interested in the tale of the murder of the churchwarden and the suicide of the vicar (while becoming smitten with the cleaner). The murder is unsolved. What is strange is that the murder took place durin
Aperna Deb
Sep 29, 2013 Aperna Deb rated it it was amazing
t was one of the better whodunits I’ve read for a while. The style is quite different from the queens of mystery. It’s much more adult, in the sense it’s used in movies. Adultery and sexual attraction play a role in the plot. But besides this, it’s a fine mystery in the format of the queens and before. There’s a murder (actually quite a few), there’s a sleuth (Morse), there’s an assistant (Lewis), and there’s initial confusion and clarification in the end. But it’s crafted quite masterfully, and ...more
May 27, 2012 Dailese rated it did not like it
This is poorly written, the plot is uninteresting. Much more seriously the writer seems not to care in the least about his characters and in contrast to many mystery writers in the same genre, there seems to be no moral concern with crime whatsoever. The entire work reeks of "he he I can make money out of whodunnits too everyone els ewhy cant I?" I read the book only a few weeks ago and have largely forgotten the implausible plot and even more implausbile deaths. What did strike me is that the a ...more
Nov 24, 2015 Carmen rated it really liked it
Slowly recuperating my eye sight after and eye operation. This is the first book I have been able to read. I love Inspector Morse. If you think about it, the ending was quite logical
Dec 18, 2014 Cait rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback, crime
As usual I don't think Dexter gives the reader enough information to be able to solve the case themselves.

Quite a complicated case with the question of whether the body identified as Rev. Lawson was actually him.

The bodies seemed to mount up really quickly, it was like Midsomer Murders!

Liked the story, even though I couldn't really solve it myself. Got through it quite quickly.

Think I might have seen the TV adaptation of this one; looking forward to watching them all at some point.
Jun 12, 2014 Russell rated it it was ok
A disappointment. This book fails on so many levels. It's one of the earlier Inspector Morse novels, so we can perhaps forgive this as a work by an unpractised writer who perfected his style through later works. I'm not sure I'll bother with them: there are so many other writers in this genre whose books justify the reading: Peter Temple, Garry Disher, Kathryn Fox, Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and more.

The flawed genius of Morse is unconvincing in this novel. His behaviour ranges from irresponsi
Jan 31, 2013 Roberta rated it really liked it
Long ago now I enjoyed the regular weekly public television presentations of author Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse mysteries, but I have never read any of the books until this one. It was a very good read! I can still hear actor John Thaw speaking the lines of Inspector Morse in the book, as well as the more humble, quieter Kevin Whately as his sidekick. The solution to the mystery was very complex and certainly not guessed. nor remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.
Francesca Morelli
Dopo ben 4 libri capisco finalmente la struttura con cui l'autore concepisce questi gialli.
Il finale è sempre molto ingarbugliato, l'ispettore Morse comincia con una serie
di ipotesi che non esplicita in modo diretto, fa che sia il suo aiutante Lewis ad esprimerle
poi dopo qualche omicidio, fa intuire a Lewis che la prospettiva della rosa dei sospetti cambia.
Questo praticamente per tutto il libro e alla fine la chicca!
Non esiste un solo finale.. ne esistono n, e il libro finisce con il racconto u
Sep 23, 2013 Penny rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-crime
The fourth Morse book.

I did not enjoy this as much as some of the others as I found the plot so convoluted that I had to keep stopping to remind myself who was doing what, where and why!!!!

Even when I finished I could not have repeated the actual plot to someone else!

However, Morse is his usual irascible self and much of the plot is interesting if fiendishly difficult to follow (maybe its just me!!)
Jan 10, 2016 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Interesting in that it shows Morse stumbling from one wrong conclusion to another. But I'm still not sure in all the plot twists exactly what happened at the end and perhaps Dexter wrote it that way - or is it just me? (Please see my last two reviews of a Morse book!)
Peter Burton
Feb 27, 2015 Peter Burton rated it it was amazing
As usual a very intriguing read and interesting to compare the great TV series with the original novels.Very well done - the first murder victim turns out to be the actual murderer of all five victims in the story.What a turn around !
Aug 17, 2014 Jon rated it it was amazing
My favorite Morse yet! Morse is on holiday, so of course he uses the time to look in to a year-old mystery. The twists keep coming, and if the ending is a little implausible, the journey was enjoyable enough that I just didn't care.
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
May 18, 2014 Yvonne (Fiction Books) rated it really liked it
"Morse At His Crime-Solving Best"

More bodies than anyone knows what to do with.

Endless twists and double-twists in the plot, right to the very last page.

Morse ending up in bed with one of the defendents.

The stabilising,comforting and reliable presence of Lewis, never far away.

Just enough clue dropping to keep the reader always a pace or two behind the action.

All the ingredients of another great Colin Dexter novel, with the dour and pedantic Inspector Morse, left to unravel the truth from the lie
Mar 02, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This one I found very similar to the tv episode, so it was less engaging than some of the other stories. But still great characterization and writing. A good Morse.
rosado mp3

Read by................... Terrence Hardiman
Total Runtime.......... 8 hours 10 mins

Description: This time Inspector Morse brings the imposition on himself. He could have been vacationing in Greece instead of investigating a murder that the police have long since written off. But he finds the crime--the brutal killing of a suburban churchwarden--fascinating. In fact, he uncovers not one murder but two, for the fatal fall of St. Frideswides vicar from the church tower Morse reckons to b
Jul 17, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Morse, that clever bugger!, October 10, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: Service of All the Dead (Paperback)
First the list of characters:

Rev. Lionel Lawson-Vicar @ St. Frideswide church.
Philip Lawson-younger brother of Lionel.

Paul Morris-Church organist.
Peter Morris-member of the choir and son of Paul.

Ruth Rawlinson-spinster and charwoman at the church.
Mrs. Rawlinson-invalid widowed Mother of Ruth.

Harry Josephs-churchwarden and husband of Brenda.
Brenda Josephs-wife of har
Apr 06, 2013 Aoife rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
First of all: This book is pretty confusing. Even though I had already watched the TV-adaption and listened to the audiobook I had to consult the cast-list a couple of times to check who was who (not that it always helped considering that there was much uncertainty about the exact identity of three of the (larger number of) bodies in this book). However the whole mystery was brilliantly constructed and you were kept guessing till the last page.
For the plot to work in the first place you had to
Jan 20, 2010 Yngvild rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, detective
Service of All the Dead is the fourth of the 13 murder mysteries in the Chief Inspector Morse series. It is a variant on the country house murder, except here the victim dies during a church service rather than over dinner.

The interest in this Colin Dexter book is that we see clearly how Morse’s mind works. He several times attends church services (and muses over a pint or two) just to present his mind with the triggers that will connect the pieces of the puzzle. It was fascinating to see a wri
Oct 20, 2015 Fanficfan44 rated it liked it
Service of All the Dead, is an Inspector Morse novel and as such it is more dialog heavy and involves intricate plotting. In this particular episode, the plot is very confusing and you have to follow closely to avoid getting confused. Morse doesn’t get everything right but he has the main idea. There are lots of leads and characters so it is definitely a denser read than many other mysteries. Not my favorite so far of the Morse books, but still quite enjoyable.
Mar 18, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
Morse is at loose ends--on vacation, but without plans--when he's reminded of a murder that took place while he was out of the country. What made it unusual was the setting: one of Oxford's churches, during a service. The churchwarden who was killed had a number of people who didn't care for him, but what was the real motive? As bodies accumulate, Morse is forced to revise his ideas about the case before he finds a vicious killer.
Fin Zy
Aug 14, 2012 Fin Zy rated it really liked it
I applaud to Colin Dexter's style of writing; very chic, funny, sarcastic, not overboard with descriptions - somewhat a simple way of explaining things can get the message across. Some might find it boring, but I believe Colin's intention is to give you a light read while not expecting you to forced your brains out to think more than you shouldn't, simply because the answer and clues are there, just to collect those missing puzzles to put the pieces back together in order to perform one masterpi ...more
Mar 10, 2016 BeParticular rated it liked it
I didn't find this installment as engrossing as the previous books. That its main setting is a church and suspects/victims are all church members did not appeal to me. But I do like Dexter's writing and the way he describes Morse and his thought processes. The murderer's motivation also seemed nearly nonexistent. Still enjoyed it and will be on to the next book soon.
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Norman Colin Dexter, OBE (born 29 September 1930 in Stamford, Lincolnshire) is an English crime writer, known for his Inspector Morse novels.

He started writing mysteries in 1972 during a family holiday: "We were in a little guest house halfway between Caernarfon and Pwllheli. It was a Saturday and it was raining - it's not unknown for it to rain in North Wales. The children were moaning ... I was
More about Colin Dexter...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Morse (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)
  • Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)
  • The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse, #3)
  • The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)
  • The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)
  • The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse, #7)
  • The Wench Is Dead (Inspector Morse, #8)
  • The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse, #9)
  • The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)
  • Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories

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