Friday, 21 December 2012

Service of all the Dead by Colin Dexter

I picked up the Service of all the Dead by Colin Dexter published in 1979 for the books published in the first years of my life challenge. Service of all the dead had been sitting on my shelf for a long time along with other Inspector Morse books. Inspector Morse is one of my favourite detectives but I always keep picking up books from the library than my own shelves. Now to the story.

Holidays for our Inspectors are a rare thing. What do you think Inspector Morse would do on his long due holidays? Go skiing, or rest on a sun soaked beach? No. He goes to attend a service in a Church. And gets investigating two deaths on the church premises. One a murder and another a possible suicide, but is it also a murder? Harry Josephs was both poisoned and stabbed to death in the Church during a service. Some days later Lionel Lawson, the priest jumps off the Church. Did Lionel Lawson kill Josephs and commit suicide? Or did Lionel Lawson know something about Josephs' death and somebody helped him fall? How could Lawson kill anybody when the church was full and he was conducting a service? Is it even possible?

This is one of the earliest Inspector Morse books- the fourth one to be precise, and I don't find the usual wit or the meanness in Inspector Morse. I have read a few of the later books and found them all funny and intriguing. This book is intriguing too, a bit complicated, but could whatever was planned and done even possible, there seem to be too many holes for the plan to work. Some characters are introduced in the first few chapters and they all end up dead at the end of the book except for of course the killer. I didn't guess the killer. The title is very clever.

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