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The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Inspector Morse #3)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,673 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Nicholas Quinn is deaf, so he considers himself lucky to be appointed to the Foreign Examinations Board at Oxford, which designs tests for students of English around the world. But when someone slips cyanide into Nicholas's sherry, Inspector Morse has a multiple-choice murder. Any one of a tight little group of academics could have killed Quinn. Before Morse is done, all t ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 7th 1978 by Pan (first published 1977)
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The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, the third novel about Inspector Morse, moves outside the Colleges to an independent organisation - The Oxford Examinations Syndicate - which runs exams for overseas students. The eponymous Nicholas Quinn is a recently appointed employee, though the decision by the committee had only been made after some disagreement, which hinged on the fact that he was profoundly deaf.

The novel centres round the small group of people working at this establishment, where ther
4 stars
This is my third Colin Dexter and am very glad I started reading this series.

The story begins when Nicholas Quinn gets appointed (not unanimously - because though he is qualified, he is deaf) as an administrator to Oxford's Foreign Examinations Syndicate. Before long into the book, Nicholas is murdered. Chief Inspector Morse and Lewis are on the case to figure out who from the closed group of Quinn's colleagues could be the murderer.

As the case progresses, it is interesting to see how M
Jan 20, 2010 Yngvild rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, detective
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn is the third of thirteen Chief Inspector Morse detective mysteries by Colin Dexter. It is a story to read in a single sitting, because the plotting gets into quite a tangle. If I put it down, I forget who claimed to be where with whom. I have a picture of the author with sticky notes all over his office trying to remember what each character had said and where they were supposed to be.

I have enjoyed every one of Colin Dexter’s novels. He never assumes his reade
Jul 06, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
In this 3rd book of the Inspector Morse series, for the first time Morse reminds me of the PBS character played by John Thaw. He is less fumbling, although still capable of being wrong, and relies on his intuition less.

Certain aspects of the murder seemed obvious, yet Dexter kept me guessing until the end. (view spoiler)
Apr 14, 2017 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
Fun, but I'm finding that the books (this is my third) are even more full of red herrings than the television series.
Jill Holmes
Apr 22, 2013 Jill Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the neat features of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse mysteries is the key role the City of Oxford (and its university and many colleges) plays in the stories. Oxford is not simply the jewel in the crown providing beautiful imagery of spires, gently flowing rivers, and peaceful gardens. It is a complex machine processing thousands of students (and many thousands more who--literally--would kill for the chance to study there and including thousands of dons, administrators, and behind-the-scen ...more
Nisha Singh
Sep 23, 2014 Nisha Singh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst detective stories that I have ever read in my life!! Mr. Colin Dexter, your time should have been better invested doing something you were actually good at instead of writing mumbo-jumbo like this. God! I wish I never had read this utter gibberish in the first place.
Nothing is coherent in this book. Hell, there's not even a clear motive. Quinn is murdered because he could lip-read!! This is a detective story of a kind that has no motive at all. There are HUNDREDS of suspects and
Katherine Clark
Maybe 2 1/2 stars if I want to be kind. This was my third and last book by Colin Dexter. I have given it a shot, gang. I would love for someone to explain to me why these are interesting books. I don't see it. This was the best of the three, but man did it lose me at the end. In many ways, these are Golden Age mysteries with all sorts of sleight of hand to explain away the murder/crime. I hate that about GA books, and I hate it in Dexter too. I do not like Morse. I've read other mysteries with d ...more
Mar 19, 2015 N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars again for another of Dexter's work because I simply love author's writing. After reading few of Dexter's books I have this feeling that author has this tendency to lose himself a bit toward the ending. Everything was going great until Dexter put that final twist (second final!)in the story toward the ending; the one big blunder by Morse. Other than that I loved everything about the book; the story, the plot, the humour and the characterisation.

Morse seemed like Hercule Poirot at times
Dan McNeeley
Jul 24, 2013 Dan McNeeley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of the three Morse books.On the whole, I really like the series. Morse comes across as a real person, making mistakes in deductions, jumping to conclusions, and so forth. The biggest reason I wanted to try these books was to get more details about Morse to compare them to the Masterpiece Mystery show "Endeavour" which is Morse as a young detective. Some of the details are there, but I may have to read a couple more to get the kind of stuff I'm looking for.

The plots are pretty convol
John Dodds
I first read Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels 20 years ago as and when I could find them in the library. I'm now reading then in chronological order.

I enjoyed much of The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn. Three chapters from the end it was a four-star book for me, but the complex and artificial denouement - "telling" not "showing", took the edge off it for me.

Still a good read, and I do recommend it, but not top drawer.
Lizzie Shannon-Little
Feb 26, 2016 Lizzie Shannon-Little rated it it was ok
I am getting deep into detective fiction for some reason at the moment.... just happened... this perhaps wasn't the best one I have read. Seemed a little vague on details - motive for second murder especially, but also some of the character movements. However, great writing style learning for me generally in Dexter and James recently, for holding things back from the reader and twisting the plot in unexpected ways.... plus they are short! 50 books this year might be doable! More in the pile. :)
Jasmiina F
Sep 29, 2015 Jasmiina F rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

I've never watched Morse on TV, so I didn't have any expectations before I started reading this. The mystery was somehow too confusing in my opinion, but Morse is an interesting character, though a bit annoying sometimes. My favorite character was Quinn, who seemed like a good person. Maybe I'll try some other books from Colin Dexter someday.
Jan 18, 2017 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I have always loved Morse and did enjoy this story, but had worker out the killer early on, I have a feeling a may have seen it on tv :-).

Dec 08, 2016 Naazish rated it it was ok
It's fantastic if you want a book which will get you sleepy, I didn't quite follow or enjoy the plot.
Sean Keefe
Aka "The one with the syndicate".
An easy to read piece of fluff which falls down a bit at the denouement if you think too hard about it. Still, it's Morse, permanently pissed, porn pursuing Morse (way more hardcore than he was on tv), and I still think of John Thaw when I read him. A nice distraction for a couple of hours.
Jan 11, 2017 Yadira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Leído para el reto de Retos Lectores, un género que nunca hayas leído (sub-género en este caso, Campus Mystery Novel).

El miembro de una organización que se dedica a administrar exámenes de inglés para extranjeros es asesinado. Le toca al inspector Morse y a su sufrido asistente, Lewis, descubrir al culpable. Entre interminables cañas, cachos, sospechas de corrupción y estudiantes árabes que salen muy bien en sus exámenes.

Cuando leo una novela vieja, trato de ubicarme en la época y no juzgarla co
Mar 30, 2013 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

Silent World of Nicholas Quinn

4.0 out of 5 stars Hearing-only one of our senses, July 6, 2013

This review is from: Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (Audio CD)
The mystery begins with a cocktail party for the very well educated of Oxford. Among those attending are Nicholas Quinn. Nicholas has a hard time communicating with the rest of the crowd due to his deafness. His hearing aid seems to be giving him more trouble than it's worth...and then he observes two people
Dane Cobain
Mar 24, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morse is back, baby! It’s pretty natural for me to be a Colin Dexter reader, because I’m such a huge fan of both Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dexter isn’t as good, but he’s still pretty damn good – he has the same attention to detail that the other two writers had, but he does occasionally slip into cliche. Still, with no more Conan Doyle to read and precious little Christie, I can’t help but love his work.

This book focuses on the murder of a deaf guy called Nicholas Quinn, who wo
Nov 15, 2013 Edgar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters in this novel, based in Oxford, remind me of my own days miscast in academia, working amongst a group of idiosyncratic individuals. But Morse, the detective, is the character with the most foibles in the book. A heavy drinker – like Rebus in Ian Rankin’s novels – he is a recognizable human who makes mistakes, though his hunches in the end do solve the novel’s mystery. I like the author Dixon’s approach to this character. His famous fictional detective makes plenty of false assumpt ...more
May 04, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli, favorites
Per me è il numero uno dei "giallisti", questo Dexter. Si fa letteralmente fatica a mettere giù il libro e ogni capitolo è un nuovo colpo di scena. Morse prende delle cantonate pazzesche, torna sui suoi passi, viene smentito, ma risolve comunque un caso veramente intricato, degno di un appassionato di enigmistica. Quale appunto è l'autore. L'ambientazione inglese di fine anni '70 è oltremodo affascinante e tra impermeabili zuppi di pioggia autunnale e case dai soffitti nani con cucina sul retro ...more
Nov 26, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it
Inspector Morse's 3rd investigation into murder amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford, proves to be a really tough conundrum for the less-than-dynamic duo,Morse & Lewis, to unravel, which baffles honest & worthy Sgt. Lewis to the very end,& draws the self-satisfied Inspector Morse deeper into his own increasingly apparent human foibles & failings.The titular protagonist,Nicholas Quinn, a deaf academic, plying his trade in the examination-board 'business',is betrayed by his lip-re ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
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Christine Blachford
This third book in the Inspector Morse series took on a slightly different form to the previous two. The detective was still particularly obtuse with giving away any details, and I do still wonder how Lewis manages to put up with him - doing all the work and being kept in the dark for so long.

But the start of the story was different, in that it focused on the set up for far longer than others. It wasn't until Chapter Five that the titular hero made his appearance. It was a pretty complex setup a
Bev Taylor
Jan 09, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the oxford examinations syndicate oversees exams in foreign countries as a way of extra funding - and of course to improve education

their newest recruit is nicholas quinn who is profoundly deaf but excellent at lip reading

then he is found dead from cyanide poisoning. who and why?

morse and his side kick r called in to investigate and what a motley crew they find within the syndicate. not one normal one among them!

then another body is found ......

just surprised that they did not follow up the
Bill Rogers
Feb 01, 2015 Bill Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nicholas Quinn is the newest employee of the Syndicate which administers British-style school examinations to foreign students who wish to enter British universities. He is deaf, but as in so many cases, strengths and weaknesses are opposite sides of the same coin; as a lip reader, he has ways of gaining information that are closed to other people.

He is also frightfully honest and decent. This combination proves fatal, and Inspector Morse is called in.

Being Morse, he heads off down several dead
Simon Mcleish
Oct 02, 2015 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
"Lewis sometimes felt that Morse was quite unnecessarily coarse." (end of chapter 7)

Re-reading the Morse novels from the start, it was surprising to me to see so much sexism and downright unpleasantness - like Life On Mars, but without the veneer of disapproval. Nicholas Quinn starts of well in this respect, by not being about the disappearance of young women, and also gains by not having anyone fall in love with Morse - whose unpleasantness was toned down a great deal in the TV adaptations. But
Geo Forman
Those British academics.......... tsk, tsk

The Syndicate of Oxford makes the annual entrance exam for applicants. Wealthy Arabs want their children to have a superior education. The next thing you know, some of these fellows are lining their pockets in exchange for providing test answers.

But then a vacancy opens up on the board and the new fellow on the block discovers the scheme. He is very deaf but his lip reading skills are so good people quickly forget about his handicap and a couple conspira
Jul 18, 2013 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having started with the first, this is the third Inspector Morse mystery I have read. I am warming up to the character--can't say I really like him yet. But I am becoming more and more a fan of the mysteries. In the last book I was annoyed at the seemingly endless solutions Morse kept coming up with that were each in turn proven wrong--until one turned out to be right after all. With the third novel, either I have developed more patience, or Mr. Dexter was getting better at it--I'll leave it to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Norman Colin Dexter was an English crime writer, known for his Inspector Morse novels.

He started writing mysteries in 1972 during a family holiday: "We were in a little guest house halfway between Caernarfon and Pwllheli. It was a Saturday and it was raining - it's not unknown for it to rain in North Wales. The children were moaning ... I was sitting at the kitchen table with nothing else to do, a
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Other Books in the Series

Inspector Morse (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Last Bus to Woodstock (Inspector Morse, #1)
  • Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
  • The Dead of Jericho (Inspector Morse, #5)
  • The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)
  • The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse, #7)
  • The Wench Is Dead (Inspector Morse, #8)
  • The Jewel That Was Ours (Inspector Morse, #9)
  • The Way Through The Woods (Inspector Morse, #10)
  • Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories

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“There's always time for one more pint. - Chief Inspector Morse” 13 likes
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