The curmudgeonly cop was Colin Dexter's most famous creation and his best-selling novels were turned into British television's best detective series.
John Thaw played the opera and real ale-loving bachelor on the small screen until Morse collapsed with a fatal heart attack in an Oxford college quadrangle.
That was more than eight years ago but the series remains in a state of perpetual repeat on digital television, the DVDs still sell and an Inspector Morse Society thrives.
The author kept the audience smiling with remarks like: "My only claim to fame is making Oxford the murder capital city of England."
In only 33 episodes there were 91 violent deaths.
Mr Dexter explained that the inspector he created on paper was modified for the small screen, reading a page about Morse's successful sexual adventures to illustrate the point.
On television every attempt to woo women ends in sad failure.
But most of Mr Dexter's delightful and enlightening talk was devoted to classic English novels and poetry.
His love for the subject was displayed with charm, wit and the timing of a natural storyteller.
Assistance came from the veteran actor Gabriel Woolf, who read extracts with controlled passion from Gray's Elegy, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, AE Housman's A Shropshire Lad and Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
Mr Dexter described the latter as "our greatest novelist and this his greatest book".
In answer to questions from the audience Mr Dexter explained: "My inspiration for writing the Inspector Morse novels was a pint of Glenfiddick malt whisky a day."
Sadly, he recounted how his drinking and smoking days were over, following doctor's advice.
The size of the audience was disappointing for such an entertaining evening but did include Alastair Reed, who directed two of the television Morse films and lives near Taunton.
By Philip Welch