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Morse stood for a few minutes, gazing down at the ugly scene at his feet. The murdered girl wore a minimum of clothing – a pair of wedge-heeled shoes, a very brief dark-blue mini-skirt and a white blouse. Nothing else. Morse shone his torch the upper part of the body. The left-hand side of the blouse was ripped across; the top two buttons were unfastened and the third had been wrenched away, leaving the full breast almost totally expose. ….
How he heated sex murders! …
By a quarter to midnight Lewis had finished his task and he reported to Morse, who was sitting with the The Times in the manager’s office, drinking what looked very much like whisky.
from: Last Bus to Woodstock
The Lonely Morse
Morse dies. At the end of the series Morse dies. This is rather unusual for a crime series based in the police universe because as a rule either the main protagonist simply gets older and climbs up the ranks or he/she gets retired and works from retirement – or he/she lives endlessly at a certain age. In the Morse series there is a definite final novel when Morse dies.
How did the media work with this?
Primarily there were the novels – still in print and popular. Of course there is a TV series about Morse’s cases (which unfortunately I didn’t watch so far). Morse is after all the ultimate Oxford inspector. In addition a spin-off was created dealing with Morse’s assistent Lewis who follows Morse’s steps years later after having promoted to a DI (Detective Inspector). (This TV series is still one of my favorites when I need to relax …) There is still another spin-off (which I also never watched …): The young Morse. So … the Morse concept seems to have impressed a lot of media people and enjoys great popularity. Even nowadays.
Who is Morse?
I wasn’t sure when deciding on the title. Is Morse really lonely? I always had the impression … when reading the novels. Of course they are old-fashioned, no traces of modern life like mobile phones etc. He is not married and, although he’s popular with women, he never enjoys a relationship lasting longer than some days, weeks …
So, who is Morse?
It is obvious that Morse is Morse meaning nobody ever addresses him by his first name. Morse is a lone wolf attacking his cases always on his very special way. He’s got an assistent, Lewis, but Lewis has to struggle to meet Morse’s ideas and expectations. (Later Lewis becomes a hero of his own sharing his insights and experiences with his DS James Hathaway …)
Morse seems to get lost in his crosswords. Imagine him sitting in a pub with a beer or a whisky and a crossword before him waiting to be solved. He never stops trying to master his crossword.
He imagines a lot and follows details and traces – often without success. Well, finally he gets them all – even the solution to a murder case almost a hundred years old. His boss knows about his abilities and keeps him on a long leash.
I remember reading the novels years ago and in my imagination an Oxford developed filled with old-fashioned people. Crime is mainly a personal affair and emerges from love and hate, frustration and greed, restrained sexual desires … It’s a quiet Oxford, no hustle and bustle, no gang warfares … Life is leisurely, crime is leisurely.
… and Morse is also some sort of blueprint: he is one of the most iconic drinkers in the crime fiction world.
So there won’t be any news on Morse concerning novels, but the TV series are alive and maybe media people may invent other (new) stories around Morse.