Originally Posted by Stitchawl
Although interesting to learn, (and there's no doubt that it is,) how does using a word like "dolichocephalic" improve the quality of the story? Or the flow of reading? To me, it seems that it would be an interruption, and serve no particular purpose... in 'this' case, anyway.
It's just Colin Dexter's writing style. His books are full of that sort of thing: in the books, Inspector Morse (like Dexter himself) is a fan of crosswords, and often puzzles over crossword clues he can't solve. It's one of the reasons that I enjoy Dexter's books, but they probably wouldn't be so enjoyable to someone who didn't like having their vocabulary challenged in that way.