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The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983)

by Colin Dexter

Series: Inspector Morse (6)

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8462619,083 (3.69)26
The thought suddenly occurred to Morse that this would be a marvellous time to murder a few of the doddery old bachelor dons. No wives to worry about their whereabouts; no landladies to whine about the unpaid rents. In fact nobody would miss most of them at all... By the 16th of July the Master of Lonsdale was concerned, but not yet worried. Dr Browne-Smith had passed through the porter's lodge at approximately 8.15 a.m. on the morning of Friday, 11th July. And nobody had heard from him since. Plenty of time to disappear, thought Morse. And plenty of time, too, for someone to commit murder...… (more)
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English (24)  Danish (2)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
2. The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter. The sixth of the Inspector Morse series. When a body, with all the identifiable parts missing, is pulled from the Oxford Canal, Morse and Sergeant Lewis are sent to figure out who it is and who put it there. The investigation takes them from the offices of Oxford University to the most seedy London clubs, and along the way they discover the pockets of the university where bitterness had been stewing for years.
This investigation is atmospheric, sometimes complicated, and also fun due to Morse's extreme crabbiness and arrogance. ( )
  mstrust | Jan 3, 2021 |
This sixth book in the Inspector Morse series was good, but I did have a hard time following it at times. As always, the writing and the characters fascinated me, so overall, it was a good read. I need to pay closer attention to the details. I didn't figure this one out either. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Sep 10, 2020 |
The Riddle Of The Third Mile (1983) (Insp. Morse #6) by Colin Dexter. A young man dies in WWII in a tank fire during a fierce battle. His brother, himself wounded, tries to save him but is ordered away by an officer, himself wounded.
Years later that officer, Browne-Smith, now a Don at Lonsdale College, Oxford, goes off on a jaunt into the seedier side of London and is not seen again. A torso is found several days later in a nearby river and Morse and Lewis are on the case.
This is a story of revenge, jealousy to a degree, and unspoken hatred. Misconceptions abound amount the victims and their cadre, and of course Morse has his own misconceptions, But in all he does brilliantly. Even as the bodies pile up, and he deals with a killer toothache, he manages to steer a course that, while not true, is good enough.
There are many facets that can prick those who must work and live together, as in the case of a college full of Dons (Professors to us yanks). And academics can be just as mean-spirited and spiteful, or even far moreso, than your average set of workers.
In a way this, like many a Morse novel, feels claustrophobic to me. All pent up within the ivied walls as it were, the regular world passing them by as minor differences escalate rapidly into issues of life and death. Almost feels like being quarantined during a pandemic. But how would we know that? ( )
  TomDonaghey | Apr 13, 2020 |
Weakest in the Morse series so far, with a convoluted and not really believable plot. Saved only by some great lines. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
This is another cunningly constructed mystery, plenty of red herrings, so many that we lose sight of others who have disappeared, in our focus on one person. Eventually Morse gets help from a surprising quarter, which throws a very different light on his investigation.

These books are superbly read by Samuel West, and there's a literary quality to them that is rarely found in crime fiction. ( )
  smik | Dec 8, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
St. Matthew 5, 41
Dedication
For my daughter, Sally
First words
There had been the three of them—the three Gilbert brothers: the twins, Alfred and Albert; and the younger boy, John, who had been killed one day in North Africa.
Quotations
"Don't underestimate yourself, Lewis -- let me do it for you!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The thought suddenly occurred to Morse that this would be a marvellous time to murder a few of the doddery old bachelor dons. No wives to worry about their whereabouts; no landladies to whine about the unpaid rents. In fact nobody would miss most of them at all... By the 16th of July the Master of Lonsdale was concerned, but not yet worried. Dr Browne-Smith had passed through the porter's lodge at approximately 8.15 a.m. on the morning of Friday, 11th July. And nobody had heard from him since. Plenty of time to disappear, thought Morse. And plenty of time, too, for someone to commit murder...

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