Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Book 19 of 2014: Service of All The Dead by Colin Dexter

I’ve been working my way through the Colin Dexter Morse books ever since Mr Click started reading the set that I bought him. I quite enjoy the odd crime novel and the Morse books fill that gap.


Service of All the Dead involves a series of murders that have taken place involving people at or who have attended a particular church. Morse gives up a holiday in favour of looking into a murder and discovers affairs and cover ups along the way. As Morse investigates, the bodies start to pile up.

As usual I don’t think that Dexter gives you quite enough information to solve the case by yourself. Morse might get a bit of a breakthrough but you don’t get to find out exactly what he knows until the big reveal which might come a chapter or more later. On the one hand it keeps to reading to find out what will come next, on the other hand, you don’t get that satisfaction of figuring out who, what, how or why all by yourself.

The case itself was quite complicated. There was the question of whether the body that was identified as Reverend Lawson was actually the man it was supposed to be. Dexter is quite good at planting red herrings and so I felt like just when the story was going one way, it would swing round in favour of the other!

I’ve grown quite used to the way that bodies pile up in the Morse series. I remember once reading an article with someone from the police force who basically said that if Morse was a real detective then he would be taken off the case! The bodies really do pile up in this book.


I did enjoy the story, even though it was frustrating that I didn’t have enough information to solve it myself. It wasn’t a massively long read and so it kept me entertained without being too heavy going. I think that I might have seen the TV adaptation of this one at some point. Mr Click and I planning on watching the complete series in the future and I’m looking forward to watching them to see the differences between the book and TV.

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Let me know what you think. :-)