Friday, Dec 02, 2022

Morse Code: Fifteen memorable quotes from Colin Dexter

What better way to pay tribute to Morse’s creator than by recalling some of the greatest quotes from the books and TV series that featured Dexter’s delightfully defective detective!

File photo of British author Colin Dexter after receiving an Order of the British Empire. Dexter, who created music-loving Oxford detective Inspector Morse, has died aged 86. Publisher Pan Macmillan said Dexter died Tuesday March 21, 2017 at his home in Oxford England. (John Stillwell/PA, File via AP)

Colin Dexter, the man behind one of the most famous detective characters in the history of crime fiction, Inspector Morse, passed away on March 21. He was 86. On paper, Morse had all the ingredients for being a disaster – he drank too much, had a penchant for pornography and eyeing women and was highly irregular in his investigation methods. But what rescued him time and again was his amazing intelligence, which allowed him to spot clues where none had seemingly existed. The Morse series of books sold in tens of thousands, and Morse gained even more iconic status when a television series was made based on Dexter’s books, where his portrayal by John Thaw is supposed to be one of the best performances ever seen in television.

So what better way to pay tribute to Morse’s creator than by recalling some of the greatest quotes from the books and TV series that featured Dexter’s delightfully defective detective:

“Patrick thinks you’re a very good detective. A poor policeman, and a very good detective.”
“Really. Well I suppose half a compliment is better than none.”
Second Time Around (TV series)

(on why he – Morse – never married) “No one would put up with me – I play my records too loud.”
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (TV series)

Subscriber Only Stories
Savarkar’s impact on Marathi literature and his work on ‘purification of ...Premium
Wanted: New York City rat czar. Will offer salary as high as $170,000Premium
‘AAP a one-man party… cannot become BJP alternative,’ says Baijayan...Premium
Insurance law review on cards to push for ‘efficient use of resources’Premium

He was somewhat of a loner by temperament…though never wholly happy when alone, he was usually slightly more miserable when with other people.
The Wench is Dead

He had no time for reports. He suspected that 95 per cent of the written word was never read by anyone anyway.
– The Last Bus to Woodstock

“Morse’ Law is there’s always time for one more pint…except that there isn’t.”
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (TV series)


The wider the circle of knowledge, the greater the circumference of ignorance.
– The Riddle of the Third Mile

Life was full of “if only” for everyone.
The Dead of Jericho

“I like being dead. It takes the strain out of living.”
Masonic Mysteries (TV series)


“The secret of a happy life, Lewis, is to know when to stop and then to go that little bit further.”
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

“Unlike you, I’ve lived a very sheltered life. I have tried to get invited along to one of these porno-parties, but everybody seems to think I’m above such things.”
Morse’s Greatest Mystery and other stories

“I stumble about. That’s what I do. Sometimes I stumble in the right direction”
– Deceived by Flight (TV series)

“You can’t arrest the man just because you don’t like him”
“More’s the pity!”
Driven to Distraction (TV series)

“If anybody wants me, they’ll find me looking at fish. Through the bottom of a beer glass!”
– The Wolvercote Tongue (TV series)


This was exactly why holidays were so valuable…they allowed you to stand back a bit, and see where you were going rusty.
The Way Through the Woods

“What’s your first name?”
– Remorseful Day (TV series)

First published on: 22-03-2017 at 09:23:00 am
Next Story

Bengaluru woman booked for ‘objectionable’ Facebook posts on UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments