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Silent World Quinn a Form Spl Paperback – 1 Sep 2008

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Morse had never ceased to wonder why, with the staggering advances in medical science, all pronouncements concerning times of death seemed so disconcertingly vague. The newly appointed member of the Oxford Examinations Syndicate was deaf, provincial and gifted. Now he is dead ...And his murder, in his north Oxford home, proves to be the start of a formidably labyrinthine case for Chief Inspector Morse, as he tries to track down the killer through the insular and bitchy world of the Oxford Colleges ...

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It was a fine summer afternoon in the south of England. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa13568f4) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0ae0f90) out of 5 stars Another intriguing Inspector Morse mystery! 27 Oct. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another one of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse mysteries. The main character, Inspector Morse, and his sidekick, Sergeant Lewis, tackle another murder mystery. This time of a deaf man, recently hired to work for the Foreign Examinations Board in Oxford. Everyone seems to be a suspect, but as usual Lewis' non-challant remarks and Morse's sharp mind, solve the mystery - a complex who-dunnit. I believe that this book is one of the earlier Inspector Morse mysteries, since some characteristics of Morse are not in-line with that is known so far. For example, Morse is a well educated man, with interest in classical music, Latin, history and The Times crossword puzzles. However, in one scene, Morse does not know what Darjeeling is. There are also other discrepancies: Morse drives a Lancia in this book, which I find very inappropriate, him being a snobby Enlighman. Morse's usual vintage maroon Jaguar is more in-line. Other than those little discrepancies, the book was yet another good exercise for the mind and an enjoyable read. The Oxford setting still always takes me back to those college days, when I used to roam around Oxford myself.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65e11b0) out of 5 stars A bit too clever and, thus, contrived 10 Aug. 2013
By Macburger52 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my least favorite Morse mysteries (my least favorite is "The Wench is Dead"). The main problem I have with this story is not in the telling of it or the characters, but the overly complicated and far-too clever plot. It's as if Dexter got too clever for his own good in this one...especially when he has to spend the last 15 pages explaining what happened amidst all the convoluted details. Still worth reading, however, for anyone who likes Morse.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa318d024) out of 5 stars "My weakness is guesswork. I leap to conclusions, often wrong." 20 Sept. 2006
By Mary Whipple - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Written in 1977, this is the third of the thirteen-novel Inspector Morse series. Here Morse is not so well-developed as he becomes in later novels, when the reader of the series has more background to draw from, but he is still a fascinating character--a single man, a huge fan of crossword puzzles, a beer-lover, and a committed student of classical music, who is also crotchety, impatient with his less educated assistant (Sgt. Lewis), and unwilling to give up on a case until all the pieces fit perfectly.

Here Morse and Sgt. Lewis are called to Oxford to investigate the murder of Nicholas Quinn, a profoundly deaf man who worked on the university's Examinations Board, developing the tests to determine future entrants to the university. Security breaches have occurred and copies of the test may have been sold in the Middle East. No one knows whether Nicholas Quinn was involved, and if not, who was. Most importantly, who killed him, and why?

As Morse investigates the case, the private lives of the various dons and their secretary are revealed, and when Monica, the secretary, is attacked and injured, she arouses Morse's finer feelings (a "rescuing" trait of Morse which continues to develop in later novels with other "damsels in distress"). With none of the players exactly who they seem to be and questions arising as to when, exactly, Nicholas Quinn died, Morse pursues numerous dead ends and actually arrests several innocent people.

Written fully ten years before some of the best of the series, this novel is fun to read as a Morse curiosity, but it is still a well-developed mystery. Morse's character is obviously still evolving--he makes a lot of mistakes which need to be corrected-- and his relationship with Sgt. Lewis is still "in process." The famed red Jaguar has not yet appeared--Morse drives a Lancia here--and his diabetes and his love of scotch whisky are still unknown to the reader. Morse is a man of integrity, however, and he is committed to finding the killer--his character and methods to be fully developed by the author in future novels. n Mary Whipple
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0a69c6c) out of 5 stars One of the best in the series 13 Nov. 2012
By Michael K. Smith - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third novel in the immensely popular series featuring DCI Morse -- I almost said "featuring John Thaw," so heavily is the character identified with that actor's portrayal of him -- and it nicely maintains the pace of the first two. Morse is smug, arrogant, self-satisfied, and elitist, but he also has the sort of brain meant for putting subtle clues together and coming up with the right answer. Although it sometimes takes him a couple of attempts to get there.

Nicholas Quinn is a young academic who has recently been hired as one of the four examiners in the employ of Oxford's Foreign Examinations Board. The Board is a semi-private syndicate that administers and grades tests in English language and history to students overseas, a demonstrated competence in English being mandatory in today's international business world. This is especially true in the Arab Gulf states, where there are piles of money to be made by those who get the contracts. But the Board is also dependent on its reputation for integrity in its testing and for security in protecting those tests from subversion, and when Quinn is found murdered by cyanide, it doesn't take Morse long to wonder if perhaps Quinn learned something he wasn't supposed to know. Because the dead man was also almost totally deaf and was a very talented lip-reader. You can see where this is going, can't you? And it doesn't help the police that almost everyone who knew Quinn is arguably a suspect. But while Morse likes to play his little games, even if it really annoys the hell out of the more stolid Sgt. Lewis, he does finally get there, and the journey to the solution is a highly enjoyable one, with ready wit, well-drawn characters, and a plot intricate enough to hold your attention.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa318d198) out of 5 stars Colin Dexter and Lateral Thinking 12 Sept. 2010
By John F. Rooney - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In "The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn" (1977) Colin Dexter is at it again building a scaffolding for one of his ingenious and infuriating Inspector Morse mysteries. No wonder that a poor dumbfounded mortal like Sergeant Lewis follows in his wake as Morse stumbles on toward his solution while making all sorts of missteps along the way. Only a crossword puzzle master like Dexter would create such a maze and provide the reader with so many brambles, red herrings and miscues.
Nicholas Quinn, very deaf, is hired to become one of the staff of an Oxford group that makes up examinations for foreign students. Quinn has learned lip reading in order to survive in his profession, and it's the lip reading that ultimately dooms him. At first the hiring committee was reluctant to hire Quinn, but he was championed by a chemist named Roope. Quinn is poisoned, and another of the staff members is murdered.
As usual timing and alibis are crucial in a Morse mystery. This one revolves around the various times that suspects took trains and attended a certain movie house. Coincidence plays a great part in a Dexter plot. It's a wonder that Morse doesn't get in trouble with the public accusations of guilt and the later retractions he has to that make. His brilliant deductions are often the result of sheer luck rather than his keen intelligence.
As usual Morse is attracted to one of the female suspects, and he becomes very jealous of her when he finds that she is fooling around and even calls her a tart. Certain women get turned onto him, but nothing ever seems to come of it so Morse subsists on his Classical music, his pints of beer and an occasional scotch.
When Morse interrogates suspects, he sometimes lies to them in order to gain information. Morse is brilliant but can make unbelievable gaffs. It's fun to watch the verbal sparring between the pig-headed Chief Inspector Morse and the commonsensical Lewis.
There is a very complicated solution in this one which numbs Morse's listeners with its intricacies, and it'll be a numbing experience for the reader as well. As usual Morse keeps coming to the wrong conclusions until the very end. If killers really came up with schemes as elaborate and intricate as Dexter dreams up, our detectives would have be Mensa-types to capture them.
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