NO STONE is left unturned in a new book which catalogues all the stories and secrets behind one of Oxford’s most prolific literary characters.

Fans of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series might be surprised to know that one of the many revelations in Paul Taylor’s Inspector Morse: A Literary Companion, is that Sergeant Lewis’ first name is in fact George. It was changed to Robbie for the TV series.

Published by Baker Street Studios, the guide is an A-Z, which includes samples of Morse’s handwriting, the exact location of Lonsdale College in Oxford and a timetable of the events leading to the demise of the Chief Inspector.

Doctor Antony Richards, publisher and personal friend of Mr Dexter, said: “I remember when Paul came to me with this manuscript it was just huge and he said he had gone through all of Colin’s books, there was just so much information.

“There was a photo for every single entry in the book. It is fascinating and the length of detail he went to to find these amazing gems of information is just unbelievable.

“It is definitely a guide to Colin’s books rather than the TV series, and it is a wonderful keepsake and almost memory of Oxford.”

Dr Richards said readers could get to know Dexter’s characters on a “much more personal level” on the page than from the TV series.

But he added: “You’ll find the Inspector is a lot darker in the books.”

In order to compile his companion guide, Mr Taylor went through the 13 Inspector Morse novels and the short story collection.

Mr Dexter began chronicling the life of the Chief Inspector in 1975, penning the last novel in the series The Remorseful Day in 1999.

The story of the highly-intelligent inspector who worked for Thames Valley Police in Oxford was then popularised by the television series starring John Thaw from 1987 to 2000.

Dr Richards, who set up the Inspector Morse Society around 20 years ago, said Mr Dexter, who is now 85, was thrilled with the new companion. He said: “We showed it to Colin and he called it ‘magisterial’ and a ‘splendidly researched companion to the life of the late Chief Inspector’.

“One of my favourite things in the book are the quotes. Colin would start every chapter with a quote from somewhere, sometimes he made them up, and Paul has gone through and found where they’ve all come from.”

The Literary Companion is £13.99 and can be ordered from any bookshop.

p It is also available via the Inspector Morse Society website, available at page.html.