Dexter, whose series of 13 novels featuring the cantankerous opera loving detective were also adapted into a long running British TV series, passed away at his home in Oxford, England on Tuesday (21Mar17).

His death was announced in a statement given to the BBC by his publisher, MACMillan.

"With immense sadness, MACMillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning," the statement read.

Dexter set his Morse novels in his home city of Oxford, with beloved British actor John Thaw taking on the role in the TV adaptation.

After Thaw died in 2002, the original Inspector Morse series, which ran between 1987 to 2000, was permanently discontinued.

Dexter did participate in two spin-off adaptations however, Lewis, which followed the career of Morse's detective partner Robert Lewis, and Endeavour which showed Morse's beginnings in the police force in 1960s Oxford.