Title: Service of All the Dead
Author: Colin Dexter
Page Count/Review Word Count: 328
The first thing to mention here is that this book is one of the Inspector Morse books, and indeed we get to hear a lot from the great detective here. Lewis, his faithful accomplice, doesn’t get as much of a look in until halfway through, but when he does come in, his part is triumphant and he’s the perfect sidekick.
What’s interesting to note is that the story line follows the church, and whilst I’ll admit that I’m a life-long atheist, I still found it interesting to take a look behind the scenes at the clergy, and it’s clear that Dexter did his research.
It’s a decent enough mystery, but it doesn’t stand above the other Morse books for me. In parts, it was a little complicated, with some characters posing as other characters and murky motives that I didn’t fully understand at the end of it. I wasn’t sure if it was actually enough to explain why someone would become a multiple murderer.
But I read through it quickly enough – I got from start to finish in a couple of days. It’s a gripping story that keeps you powering through and there are plenty of characters to choose from, and it’s interesting to see Morse get up to his usual tricks. There are also a couple of references to his lack of a first name – throughout the series, it’s never revealed, which is an interesting little quirk.
And the good thing about Colin Dexter’s books is the way that you can read them out of order without losing anything. Honestly, I have no idea which order you’re actually supposed to read them in, but that’s one of its unique benefits. That also means you can skip this one and read one of the better books, then come back to it later on.