Yngvild's Reviews > Service of All the Dead

Service of All the Dead by Colin Dexter
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U 50x66
's review
Jan 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: detective, mystery

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 writer describe how creative intelligence works, whether you are a novelist or a detective.

The story assumes a good knowledge of churches and church services. I had to look up many of the words associated with High Anglicanism: piscina, curate, boat-boy, nave, chasuble. A picture of the layout of a church would have been handy, like one of those often provided with country house mysteries. Exactly where is a vestry in regards to the altar?

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