Before his signature red Jaguar, before Inspector Morse, there was the rookie Constable Morse. Endeavour Morse is the low man on the force returning to Oxford with no track record and his future on the line.
It's 1965, and a 15-year-old Oxford schoolgirl, last seen waiting alone in the rain at a bus stop on early Sunday morning, has disappeared and is presumed dead. The hunt for Mary Tremlett draws rookie Detective Endeavour Morse, the conflicted young detective on the verge of resignation, back to the university he'd suddenly left only a few years before. Stuck between town and gown, he is patronized by his arrogant old rival, now ascending the ivory tower, and scorned by a DS contemptuous of the "college boy." Only the former opera diva Rosalind Stromming, wife of an Oxford tutor with a murky connection to the missing girl, can offer him solace as he tries to navigate a hostile supervisor, the ghosts of his past, and a mystery that deepens with another tragic death. Discredited and at a dead-end, the solitary and cerebral Endeavour drives his first Jaguar, drinks his first pint and, to the sublime strains of opera, fights for the truth as he forges the identity that will someday become Inspector Morse.