c/o Oxford Police Department
Morse is an Inspector for the Oxford Police
[later promoted to Chief Inspector]. He is
middle-aged, single, likes to listen to
classical music ["I‘m a Wagner man"], solve
the Times crossword puzzles, consume beer,
and is vulnerable to a woman‘s charm. As for
his investigative skills, they are top
notch. Morse’s whole life revolves around 9
letters [D-E-T-E-C-T-I-V-E] but he gets
queasy at the site of a dead body.
Morse’s mother was a Quaker who inspired in him
an overwhelming sense of duty. His father [who
left Morse at the age of 12] was obsessed with
all things relating to explorer Captain Cook.
Morse’s first name "Endeavour" is based on the
name of Cook’s ship.
A loner, Morse was often melancholy about life.
He once said "I‘m old, unmarried and don‘t
understand human nature." He has no friends
because he is arrogant and can’t help but show
off his superiority. He uses his murder
investigations to keep his mind off of his own
Despite his devotion to duty Morse
espoused this simple rule "Morse’s Law...There’s
always time for one more pint." Morse kept a
picture of the woman he loved and lost between
the pages of poems by A. E. Houseman, his
Morse investigates crimes with detective
Sergeant Robbie Lewis whom he envied for having
a family and a sense of normalcy in his life.
Both Morse and Lewis report to Chief
investigations, Morse often uses the help of a
pathologist. He has worked with Max, Dr.
Grayling Russell and Dr. Laura Hobson.
To get to
the scene of the crime, Inspector Morse drives a
red Mark II Jaguar automobile that sports disk
wheels, a black vinyl top and a 2.4 litre manual
transmission. Its license reads: 248 RPA.
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Morse & his Jaguar
Lewis & Morse
Morse's first case involved murder of his friend
Anne Staveley, the victim of an apparent suicide
who was found hanging in her home in the Jericho
quarter of the town.
Other cases followed drawing Morse and Lewis
into the world of devil worship, rape, the
stabbing death of a retired professor, and the
murder of an Englishwoman abroad that took Morse
& Lewis to the beautiful city of Verona in
On occasion, the cases turned personal. Once,
the chef at Lewis' favorite Greek restaurant was
found murdered and another time the suicide of
Morse's step-niece lead their investigation into
a world of raves, wild house parties and
Although Morse insisted on being in
control of his cases, his practical side allowed
him to partner with his old rival Chief
Inspector Dawson to solve the mysterious death
of a former deputy police commissioner that
linked with the unsolved murder of a girl 18
When he fell ill, Morse reluctantly relinquished
his hold on his cases to the Sergeant Lewis. But
even though Lewis lead the investigations, that
didn't preclude Morse from offering his counsel
and advice to solve yet another murder with the
help a young police recruit Adrian Kershaw.
Soon after, Inspector Morse died of heart attack
[two months shy of retirement]. His last words:
"Thank Lewis for me." Later, in the hospital
mortuary Sgt. Lewis quietly uncovered his late
bosses face, kissed his forehead and said
"I always drink at lunchtime. It helps my
"The secret of a happy life is to know when to
stop - and then go that bit further."
"When I'm thinking, I get thirsty."
think another one's a good idea?
That's why I want it - to think. I
don't drink for pleasure!
TRIVIA NOTE: The Inspector Morse series is based
on the crime novels of Colin Dexter, including:
- The Daughters of Cain
- The Dead of Jericho
- Death is Now My Neighbour
- The Jewel That Was
- Last Bus to Woodstock
- Last Seen Wearing
- The Riddle of the Third Mile
- The Secret of
- Service of All the Dead
- The Silent
World of Nicholas Quinn
- The Way Through the
- The Wench is Dead
- The Ghost in the
- Driven to Distraction
- Greeks Bearing
- Masonic Mysteries
- Morse's Greatest
Mystery and Other Stories
- Second Time Around
- Sins of the Fathers
- The Remorseful Day [in
which Morse dies].
In the tradition of Alfred
Hitchcock, Colin Dexter appeared in cameos in
every episode of Inspector Morse either as a
passerby or as an anonymous customer in one of
the pubs that Morse frequented.
Morse series was produced by Central Television
in the United Kingdom and aired on PBS stations
nationwide in the United States.
episode for the series "The Remorseful Day" was
aired in England on November 15, 2000 and later
aired in America on February 22, 2001.
the show will notice that an underlying melody
in the series theme song contains the dot/dash
tones of "morse code."
Inspector Endeavour Morse
Detective Sergeant Lewis
Grayling Russell, pathologist