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The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse #7)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,493 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Much too early on New Year's Day, a grumpy Inspector Morse is summoned to investigate a murder at the Haworth Hotel. The victim is still wearing the Rastafarian costume that won him first prize at the hotel's New Year's Eve party; his female companion and the other guests in the annexe have vanished. It's a mystery that's a stretch even for Morse. But with pit-bull fervor ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 27th 1997 by Ivy Books (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,316)
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James Thane
A New Year's Eve costume ball at an Oxford hotel ends unhappily when the grand prize winner is found murdered in his bed in the hotel annex the next day. Complicating matters is the fact that most of the guests and the staff as well imbibed rather heavily at the party and their memories of the evening aren't all that an investigator might wish. And further complicating matters is that the other five guests who were staying in the hotel annex, including the victim's wife, have all fled the scene, ...more
The Secret of Annexe 3 is the seventh book in Colin Dexter's "Inspector Morse" series. We are now at the midpoint of the series, and Morse is firmly fixed in his irascible curmudgeon role. He is now 54. One minor character says he is "distinctly brusque and hostile" on her first encounter with him. Another describes him as "disturbingly strange, this man with the hard-staring, startling eyes - eyes that reminded her of the more fanatical politicians… that seem uncommunicative or unseeing, eyes ...more
This was nice to read after a gap of fourteen months after Inspector Morse's previous book.
Morse's character progresses a bit in this one. ... which was interesting. :)

The story by itself was also very good indeed.
Now, onward to Book 8, in a few months. :)
Apr 03, 2013 Gabby rated it it was ok
This is not an easy book to rate. On the one hand, Dexter is very good at describing details, and his humor is evident from the start. On the other hand, he gets too arrogant for his britches. I got the impression there isn't a huge amount of difference between Dexter, the author, and Morse, his sometimes insufferable detective. In any event, this is not a straightforward mystery. There's lots of deviations from the plot that don't come off as red herrings so much as devices merely to confuse th ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Fiona rated it it was amazing
I'm on a Colin Dexter jag at the moment, thanks to a generous gift of an entire box of Dexters and PD James....
I love the TV Morse series, but, Dexter's books are rich in vocabulary, interesting observations, and quotes from the Classics.
Dexter is not like Christie. You pretty much know who did it from the's the slow unravelling of how, why..and Morse's thinking that winds you into the story.

Yes, I'm a die-hard mystery lover; it is my brain-candy. and Colin Dexter is endlessly satis
Susan Johnson
Jan 11, 2014 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it
Inspector Morse is finally starting to grow more likable. He is not as bumbling as in his earlier books and not quite as lecherous. He does make a date with one of the witnesses and you would really hate him to go cold turkey. The murder takes place at a hotel's New Year Eve's Eve party. While the story is middling, Lewis and Morse's relationship makes the book enjoyable.
Dec 14, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, british
Although I found this mostly enjoyable, the solution was pretty convoluted. I need to mull it over...
Dane Cobain
Jun 13, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it
To a certain extent, you know what you’re getting with a Colin Dexter book. Here, we follow Inspector Morse as he investigates a murder that took place on New Year’s Eve at a hotel. The hotel had recently undergone some redevelopment, and so some of the guests were staying in a small annexe off to the side of it. Morse is tasked with finding out what happened inside the titular third annexe, and rest assured that there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.

The characters are good enough,
May 24, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-england
I've been reading an occasional Colin Dexter re-release, and this one especially makes me feel a little uncomfortable. The cumulative effect of his books is a shade misogynistic. Of course, we all know that Morse is a delicate genius, but the women in these books tend to be hard, unexpectedly coarse, totally under the influence of often brutal men...At any rate, the body found after the New Year's gala is unidentified, so the first task is finding out which of the happy couples at the revelry ar ...more
Bill Leigh
Feb 26, 2016 Bill Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Morse. He is one of the great English fictional detectives. The stories are set in Oxford, probably around 1980. But in some ways it feels much earlier - more like the 1950's. It's a pre-politically correct England where detectives regularly go to the pub at lunch time, have several pints of beer and then drive straight to a crime scene. The plots are are as intricate as a spider's web and are heavily laden with lust and seediness and, often, loneliness. But it's the brilliantly developed ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli
Sembra quasi che con il passare degli anni l'ispettore capo si sia deciso a scambiare qualche muso lungo e grugnito con un buon numero di battute argute e addirittura qualche guizzo allegro; che riesca persino a trovarsi entro fine carriera una compagna che sappia tenergli testa? Certo è che di cantonate continua regolarmente a prenderne, seguendo un filo narrativo che appare ormai quasi prevedibile. C'è però una novità: stavolta, per la prima metà del libro, Morse e Lewis sono praticamente tras ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Neena rated it it was ok
My first Dexter book with low rating. Beginning was dragging and very tedious. For more than half part of book Dexter kept beating around the bush; tedious details of surroundings, hotel rooms etc. It seemed Dexter did not have much to write so kept writing about everything else except the things that needed to move the story forward. the weakest book in series so far!
Aug 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing
I love Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series, and this entry is no exception. The plots are complicated and twisting, filled with red herrings and (often several) false solutions. The real draw for me in the series, however, is the beautifully written main characters: the exceedingly literate Oxford-educated, opera-loving, crossword-solving Chief Inspector Morse, and his salt-of-the-earth, long suffering Sergeant Lewis.

Read by................... Michael Pennington
Total Runtime.......... 6 hours 42 mins

Description: 'Morse sought to hide his disappointment. So many people in the Haworth Hotel that fatal evening had been wearing some sort of disguise - a change of dress, a change of make-up, a change of partner, a change of attitude, a change of life almost: and the man who had died had been the most consummate artist of them all...' Chief inspector Morse seldom allowed himself to be caught up in New Year celebra
Jul 30, 2009 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
After seeing almost all of the Inspector Morse series on television, I decided to try reading my first Colin Dexter book; online reviews were fairly negative, but I decided to risk it. They were right. Morse was more openly lecherous, Lewis bore almost no resemblance to Kevin Whately's sidekick at all, and the plot ... yeah, I'd say "lame" fits.
Rob Smith
Jan 09, 2015 Rob Smith rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2015
This Colin Dexter entry in the Inspector Morse series is as well written as the rest I've read. Great writing with a way overblown narrative. This book needed severe editing to create a great book. Dexter's writing makes the journey through this mired story worth the trip. But great writing doesn't excuse poor story construction.

The best parts of the book, as usual, are when Morse is involved. Unfortunately, Morse is missing more than usual. Much is written about everything else that is excessiv
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
Jan 19, 2014 Charlotte (Buried in Books) rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Thermann
Jan 17, 2016 Maria Thermann rated it liked it
My least favourite of the Inspector Morse murder mysteries, The Secret of Annexe 3 takes place at New Year. The body of a murdered man is found in the annexe of the Haworth Hotel, an establishment that organises New Year's parties and 3-day breaks that have proven very popular with guests. One dead man dressed up as a rastafarian, however, is less than impressed, despite winning the best costumed guest competition the night before his untimely demise.

In a hotel where nobody seems to have given
Anirban Das
Apr 17, 2014 Anirban Das rated it it was amazing
THE SECRET OF ANNEXE 3 by Colin Dexter is the seventh instalment in the Inspector Morse series of crime novels. Morse is called from his recess to investigate the murder of a man dressed up as a Rastafarian in the Haworth Hotel. The hotel hosting its annual New Years fancy dress ball had guests dressed up in one form or the other, with the murder victim dressing up like a Rastafari. No sooner does Morse start looking into the case, than he is hounded by the fact that most of the guests, who chos ...more
An Odd1
Sep 30, 2012 An Odd1 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Thomas Bowman finds a letter incriminating his wife Margaret for adultery. Inspector Morse must connect him to the body of a
Rastaferian-costumed first place winner killed in a hotel annexe
(addition) after a New Year masquerade. He won first prize, and
left black actor grease-paint prints on ladies' light colored clothes.

If boyfriend Edward Wilkin's pub audience gave him an alibi, how could his Rastafarian band-mate Winston Grant be at the scene either? Eating little, Muslim avoiding pork, is n
Jul 17, 2014 Ellen rated it it was amazing

The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse)

More involved with every page, June 1, 2013

This review is from: The Secret of Annexe 3 (Inspector Morse)

I am a huge fan of Inspector Morse & Lewis or should I say Colin Dexter.

Why are you such a huge fan of this series you may ask?

...because the author has me involved from the first page on and it is no different in this entry, "The Secret of Annexe 3".

John Binyan, the proprieter at Haworth Hotel is planning a gala event to include a costume part
Nov 08, 2014 Rogerio rated it liked it
A murder occurs during the New Year's Eve hotel reunion. Agatha Christie style, Chief Inspector Morse and Lewis are in charge of solving the mistery. They are typical investigators with alcohol problems, crosswords and Lewis is as faithful as a dog. In both this and Death is now my neighbour, the English is of good level with some Latin. Annexe 3 is a more standard thriller with a few other stories crossing the plot as well as a glimpse into Morse personal life.
Mar 22, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This one had so much going on, and there was far more guesswork and fancy than police procedure throughout. I guess I prefer the stories where they really follow the process. It was definitely a mystery, and I didn't see all the turnings. But this one had too much convolution for my taste. A good mystery but I didn't care for it. (Also the only installment they didn't make into a tv episode, I think).
-Un buon giallo-
Un giallo classico, con protagonisti simpatici ed una trama ben pensata e sviluppata.
Un omicidio in un hotel, la notte di Capodanno, ad una festa in maschera. Persone che scompaiono, tracce sulla neve che non ci sono, storie che a poco a poco vengono a galla. Un giallo che incuriosisce e piacevole da seguire.
Posso dire che il mio primo Dexter mi ha soddisfatta.
Nov 15, 2015 Ben rated it it was ok
Shelves: c20-novels
Tempting to give this Morse novel, the second I've read, 3 stars for its readability and, I don't know, it's good naturedness. But it doesn't deserve it, really, and it seems it is generally regarded as one of the weakest in the series. Might be worth dipping next time into one of the two Morse novels Dexter won prizes for - The Wench is Dead and The Way Through the Woods.
Tanja Berg
Feb 07, 2016 Tanja Berg rated it it was ok
Shelves: murder-mystery, audio
This is an annoyingly deceptive little murder mystery where you think you know what happened and are waiting for Morse and Lewis to discover the truth you already know. Except you don't. Because the setting is the 80's, the story and technology are decidedly archaic. I like the Morse-Lewis banter as always, but that is pretty much it. Utterly forgettable.
incipit mania

Quando il vecchio morì non vi fu grande gaudio nei cieli, e neanche profondo dolore nella Charlbury Drive.....
Il segreto della camera 3
Nov 30, 2015 Winterwade rated it really liked it
Although, as usual, the mystery is engrossing, for me one central factor stretched plausibility somewhat (involving costume). That caveat aside, another solid Morse story- particularly satisfactory, I feel, for those already familiar with the character.
Cindy Grossi
May 27, 2014 Cindy Grossi rated it liked it
Picked this up at a yard sale or somewhere. Have never read this series. Quirky British detective with a sidekick and an extensive vocabulary. It was good enough for a vacation read. Wouldn't turn another in the series down, but won't be shaking the bushes looking for a prequel or sequel, either.
Nicola Furlong
My first audio version of an Inspector Morse Mystery, heard while ferrying and busing from Victoria to Vancouver.

Read by Kevin Whately, which was fun as he plays the long suffering sidekick Lewis on the TV version. I'm not sure if it was the adaptation, but I found the omniscient point of view disappointing and irritating. The story is told in past and present, with little dialogue and lots of hopping from one character's thoughts to another.

The plot was interesting enough and complicated by ma
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Audiobooks: The Secret of Annexe Three 1 22 Nov 22, 2013 11:44AM  
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Norman Colin Dexter, OBE (born 29 September 1930 in Stamford, Lincolnshire) is 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
More about Colin Dexter...

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