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The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse, #6)
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The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse #6)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,111 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
Inspector Morse isn't sure what to make of the truncated body found dumped in the Oxford Canal. He suspects it may be all that's left of an elderly Oxford don last seen boarding a London train days before.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 30th 1997 by Ivy Books (first published September 14th 1983)
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James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it liked it
The sixth book in the Inspector Morse series is, indeed, a riddle. The author, Colin Dexter, also had a passion for crossword puzzles, and he's created here an intricate puzzle that ultimately borders on the convoluted. The case involves an Oxford don named Browne-Smith, a bachelor, who goes mysteriously missing after being lured to London by the promise of exotic sex. Shortly thereafter, a body is pulled from a river. The corpse is wearing a suit that belonged to Browne-Smith, but it's missing ...more
Bionic Jean
The Riddle of the Third Mile is the sixth book in Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse series. It dates from 1983, and is not, I fear, one that will linger in the memory. It is chiefly interesting for the back story it reveals about Morse himself, who is now 52. Most of chapter seven is devoted to Morse reminiscing, and an explanation is given following up hints from previous novels. Yes, Morse had attended Oxford as a student. He was an exemplary student and gained a first in "Classical Moderations ...more
5 hours 40 mins Read by Michael Pennington

Description: A dismembered body is fished out of the Oxford Canal--only the torso remains and Morse and Sergeant Lewis are up to the challenge. As if often the case, Oxford University is involved. A don has disappeared, leaving about a plethora of clues. It's the long and winding road down the halls of academe for the Thames Valley police and the trail bounces back and forth to London and some of its seedier spots. The scenario seems set with an opening
Susan Johnson
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite Morse novel yet. My book club is reading them in order and I think they have been getting better and better. This one was a tricky one involving 4 different men and it was incredibly difficult to keep the men straight for me and Morse. I didn't see the ending coming which is good in a mystery book. I recommend it for Morse fans.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, crime-fiction
An intricate plot with almost no relationship to real crime or human behaviour, a skilled exercise in puzzle and pattern.
Andy Plonka
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: src
A clever mystery but Dexter spends too much time directly telling the reader the guts of the plot rather than leaving clues so the reader can figure it out on his own.
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This one is so complex, you might have to read it twice. My favorite quote can be found at the beginning of chapter 35: "During the few minutes that Lewis was away, Morse was acutely conscious of the truth of the proposition that the wider the circle of knowledge, the greater the circumference of ignorance." Turns out to be a most elegant adaptation of Albert Einstein's "As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it."
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, british
3 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed this 6th book in the Inspector Morse series, not just for the mystery but also because we get a bit more background on Morse and Sgt. Lewis has a much bigger role than in any of the previous books.
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Morse a Master Detective, November 7, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: The Riddle of the Third Mile (Inspector Morse Mysteries) (Mass Market Paperback)
"The Riddle of the Third Mile" is my 3rd Inspector Morse mystery and absolutely not my last. The creative genuis behind Morse is Colin Dexter, an author among authors.

This mystery involves a family of 3 brothers. John Gilbert being the youngest and the twins, Albert & Alfred. The story or first mile begins with the deat
Rob Smith
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2014
I really like Dexter's writing style and the characters he creates. This selection of the adventures of Inspector Morse provides more background of Morse's origins and, for me , that's the best part of the book.

The rest is a convoluted mess. Body parts, various people who are part of the college and not part of the college and are the body parts and aren't the body parts and I just wanted to part with the whole thing.

Seems to me Dexter stretched hard to get this book to work. There were many ot
Mar 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Claude Auchinleck

This tale of a dismembered body found in a canal, and its links to three brothers in the Battle of El Alamein of World War II, is too thinly plotted to be truly pleasurable. But Oxford-educated Morse and proletarian Lewis are perfection together, men made happy by simple things: booze, opera, crossword puzzles, and sexy ladies (Morse); stolid domesticity and those moments when he unexpectedly satisfies Morse in some way (Lewis).

Each chapter is preceded by a charming epigraph:

In which we have a
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2012 rated it liked it
An otherwise excellent mystery, complete with a convoluted plot and great writing, with one big problem: obscene content. Though I wasn't expecting it to be squeaky-clean, it really went overboard on the profanity and sexual references. If such content bothers you, you should probably read something else.
Paul Secor
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Colin Dexter's writing and the character of Inspector Morse, but the plot of this novel was so convoluted that it seemed almost too complex for even Morse to sort out.
Four stars, in spite of the plot, because it's Dexter and Morse.
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Still don't really like Morse (most of the time), but this was a really intriguing mystery, I enjoyed the way it was put together, even though I occasionally got lost about who was where.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Roundabout kind of way. In a way, it's very old-fashioned, if you know what I mean. Bachelor detectives and oh-so-many clues here and there. I'm not that impressed with this book.
Will McGee
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: british, mystery
My first book of Colin Dexter's about his legendary detective Inspector Morse was one I chose basically completely at random from like, 3 or 4 in a bookstore. Inspector Morse is asked to keep an eye on a missing college professor, and shortly thereafter a dismembered body turns up in a canal, and the body is wearing the professor's clothes. Of course, it's more complicated than it seems at first, and in fact, it turns out to be SUPREMELY complicated, which is my main gripe with it. I might have ...more
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars????? There should be ever so many more stars.
I've read many, many Inspector Morse novels. I mean - really - who doesn't love Morse? For all his weaknesses (and sometimes negativity) he's just the most likable guy. But this book I had never read. And I was blown away.
Now I know how they were able to do the 'Endeavor' series. THIS is the book that gives you the background into Morse's prior life. And a sharper look into the relationship between Morse and Lewis.
This book is written a
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
After seeing many Inspector Morse shows, I looked forward to reading one of Colin Dexter's books. "The Riddle of the Third Mile" was an early book, and a disappointment. The plot was confusing, Morse's character was rude and egotistical, and Lewis was adoring to a fault. On the positive side, the language was often clever and incisive.

It turns out Colin Dexter wrote later books as the TV series was being produced and molded his character to fit the TV interpretation. John Thaw's character was eg
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
6/10, Così così
è il primo Colin Dexter che leggo e credo di non aver iniziato col piede giusto, mi dicono che gli altri sono meglio. So che è un esperto di enigmistica ma spero non incasini sempre le vicende in questo modo perché a forza di complicare le cose per vedere quanto siamo furbi, diventano poco credibili. Le storie e anche le illuminazini del commissario più intelligente della letteratura gialla. Peraltro qui mi pare che... (view spoiler)
Dell Taylor
My rating: 2.5. This was written in a totally different style than the other Morse books I have read, and I really didn't like it as well. The one thing it did have going for it is that we find our more information about Morse's time at Oxford and why he left. I really liked getting this information! Even though Dexter seemed to have stumbled on this one, I enjoyed another episode in the Morse canon.
I want to like these books a lot more than I am. It's paining me to say it, but the More Morse books I read, the more convinced I am that the TV series is better. Yes, I suppose I have to turn in my library card. No more reading for me. The plots are good, intricate, or perhaps too intricate sometimes, and there is something about Colin Dexter's writing style that doesn't click for me.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Book # 6 Oxford mystery challenges the best of jigsaw puzzlers abilities by mutilating half of the puzzle pieces into pieces-perhaps to better grasp the genius rapid firing brain cells of our beloved irascible Inspector Morris . Steady Lewis remains his pillar of stability and clarity per usual . A mystery beyond ' whodunit' as this episode is also a whoisit.
Holger Haase
Pretty enjoyable read for the most until the last 20 or 30 pages when it gets bat shit crazy. Totally bonkers and convoluted solution that requires a hell of a lot of sense of disbelief on so many different levels (character/plot developments etc).
Joe Mossa
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it

i enjoy these novels but have a hard time following the plot but he gives summaries along the way and reminds us of who was murdered and why. it is a bit gruesome with the headless corpse with no hands and one leg. they find the leg in the river etc.
P B Starling
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Riddle of the third mile

Excellent sixth book by Colin Dexter . I have watched every epoide of Inspector Morse and all the DVDs look forward to reading the next book by Colin Dexter
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I got hooked on the Endeavor and Lewis TV series. Thought I would try reading about Morse. Loved it.
So convoluted that I had ceased to care by the end.
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, fiction
Convoluted murder mystery that begins with a limbless, headless, unidentifiable corpse, and an increasing list of possibilities for its identity.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
One of the more confusing Morse mysteries.
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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
More about Colin Dexter

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“It is strange to relate (for a man in his profession) that in addition to incurable acrophobia, arachnophobia, myophobia, and ornithophobia, Morse also suffered from necrophobia; and had he known what awaited him now, it is doubtful whether he would have dared to view the horridly disfigured corpse at all.” 6 likes
“During the few minutes that Lewis was away, Morse was acutely conscious of the truth of the proposition that the wider the circle of knowledge the greater the circumference of ignorance.” 4 likes
More quotes…