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The Secret of Annexe 3 [Hardcover]

Colin Dexter
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1987

Morse sought to hide his disappointment. So many people in the Haworth Hotel that fateful 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 celebrations. So the murder inquiry in the festive hotel had a certain appeal.

It was a crime worthy of the season.

The corpse was still in fancy dress. And hardly a single guest at the Haworth had registered under a genuine name . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr (Nov 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312010893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312010898
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 302,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford.

Product Description

About the Author

Colin Dexter has won many awards for his novels including the CWA Gold Dagger and Silver Dagger awards. In 1997 he was presented with the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding services to crime literature. Colin's thirteenth and final Inspector Morse novel, The Remorseful Day, was published in 1999. He lives in Oxford. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read 2 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always, and Inspector Morse mystery is a good read. This one had a slightly easier plot line with fewer characters, making it easier to follow and guess possible solutions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extra-marital affair with a twist 16 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
This is probably the funniest Inspector Morse mystery I have read so far.

What do you do if you are caught with your pants or your knickers down in an extra-marital affair?

Well, you have really two options. You can either kill your partner or you can kill your lover. This is roughly the story of this book in a nutshell. The actual murder takes place in the annexe of an Oxford Hotel but the option chosen is only revealed towards the end of the book. Although the people involved in the plot stay at the hotel under assumed names, Chief Inspector Morse works out the real name of the person at the centre of the plot and even though he explains his line of argument to Sergeant Lewis I found that argument a bit hard to follow. But the identification of that person does help him a lot towards solving this mystery.

A third option would of course have been for the person at the centre of the plot to get rid of both partner and lover and the book gives the impression that that is an option which may have been seriously entertained but whether this is indeed the case is again not revealed until the very end of this book.

Similarly to his other Inspector Morse novels I found this book a real page turner. I would assume that the purpose of these novels is not to write them in such a way that they can easily be adapted to television but rather to serve as enjoyment to the reader and I think Colin Dexter has again done an excellent job.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic English Detective Novel 21 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A classic Inspector Morse mystery concerning the murder of a guest staying in the annexe of an Oxford hotel over the New Year period. The fact that all the guests were in fancy dress for the party on the night of the murder only complicates matters considerably.
This novel could almost be used as a text-book on how-to-write-a-whodunnit by budding crime writers. Once again Colin Dexter's legendary skill in planting clues for the reader is on display to the full - he loves using clues planted in lists and in incongruous looking letters. By using a fancy dress ball he reverts to the old dictum of the Father of Crime, Edgar Allan Poe - Q. How do you hide something best? A. By placing it right before your eyes. A brilliant and hellishly devious criminal puzzle, outsmarting all but the great detective (of course!).
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By Leigh
Format:Paperback
A 4.5 star read, my first by this author. Superb character development. Juxtaposed against each other, the contrasting and deeply developed characters of Morse and Lewis (in many ways one as different from the other as the day from the night) and their unfolding relationship with each other are a delight to read. The characters and their interplay are cleverly and very skilfully developed through witty and sharp dialog and well written spells of internal monologue.

The characters dipped periodically into other minor characters' POVs and hopped through minor characters' heads unnecessarily, for which I take half a star off. These dips into and hops through POVs should have been edited out. I also wondered why one party of the pair was not arrested as accessory to the crime at the end, but allowed to go free because the author seemingly have a soft spot for this person. This would not happen in real life in England.

A few more minor mistakes: The police have master keys to any house in England and do not have to break down any doors. Every lock in England is manufactured or sold so that a set of master keys available to the police can open any door. Furthermore, no suspect can be questioned without first been given the Miranda warning, or their prosecution will fail. Also in a murder investigation generally the senior officer will lead the interviews.

The writing is superb and literary - at a level perfect for a mystery. The plot is layered and complex so that it keeps the reader guessing and on the edge of the seat all the time, but it is somewhat contrived at times. The prose as well as the plot is intellectual and cultured and the characters so deep that it got one really emotionally involved. A little humor makes one laugh out loud.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking story! 2 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love Inspector Morse books - Mr Dexter pens an excellent read! Thank you Mr Dexter for taking the time to produce such an excellent novel!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read 10 Sep 2013
By Emma
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Colin Dexter is one of my favourite authors, and he does not disappoint with this book. A truly gripping read - could not put it down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot to say about paperback book 13 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was in excellent condition and delivery was very prompt. As an addict to Dexter's Morse and as a 75 year old I can only requote the introduction to chapter one of this book. " The pomp of funerals has more regard to the vanity of the living than to the honour of the dead" I wonder if a similar statement could be made about births and marriages.
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