Colin Dexter

Riddle of the Third Mile

""...appears to be more about the puzzle than the people who populate it. ""


The thought suddenly occurred to Morse that this would be a marvellous time to murder a few of the doddery old bachelor dons. No wives to worry about their whereabouts; no landladies to whine about the unpaid rents. In fact nobody would miss most of them at all. By the 16th of July the Master of Lonsdale was concerned, but not yet worried.

Dr Browne-Smith had passed through the porter's lodge at approximately 8.15 a.m. on the morning of Friday, 11th July. And nobody had heard from him since. Plenty of time to disappear, thought Morse. And plenty of time, too, for someone to commit murder.

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As I continue chronologically on my journey through Morse's cases, I have realised Dexter was wonderful at constructing deviously clever plots for his famous and irritable detective. Morse is hardest on himself and seems to stumble to the wrong conclusion before alighting on the real solution. Another thing I have noticed is how there always seems to be a busty woman amongst the proceedings and how someone's alibi appears to include the fact they were in the local theatre watching a 'dirty film'! This does date these books, but the Morse novels are highly entertaining. This one, although enjoyable, does tend to stretch the imagination and feels as though it stretched Dexter himself as it does slightly seem to unravel towards the end. 'The Riddle of the Third Mile' is entertaining, but this appears to be more about the puzzle than the people who populate it. I can't say anymore without spoilers, so I leave it up to you to read and find out for yourself. Not one of Dexter's best cases to spring from his fertile imagination.

Reviewed By:

Chris Simmons