The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
|The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn|
Cover of the first edition
|Series||Inspector Morse series, #3|
|5 May 1977|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Last Seen Wearing|
|Followed by||Service of All the Dead|
The Oxford Foreign Examinations Syndicate runs school exams in the Persian Gulf and other places with a British connection. The Secretary Dr Bartlett and Mr Roope, a chemistry don and a member of the committee, disagree about the appointment of a new member of staff. Roope gets his way and Nicholas Quinn, a deaf man who lipreads gets the job.
When Quinn is found murdered in his maisonette all the staff are under suspicion. There is Bartlett, his deputy Ogleby and the attractive Monica Height, who has liaisons with some of the others - especially young Donald Martin. Strangely, nearly all of them, including Quinn, appear to have tickets for The Nymphomaniac at Studio 2 in Walton Street on the afternoon of the murder. When later Ogleby is himself found murdered, a neat drawing of Quinn’s ticket is found in his diary.
Morse tries to deduce which of the others is the murderer but keeps getting it wrong. An intrigue involving wealthy Arabs and prior knowledge of exam papers is clearly the cause, and Quinn had found out about it and paid for it with his life.
Colin Dexter's stylistic device of introducing each chapter with either a genuine or fabricated literary quotation was first used in this book and was maintained throughout the rest of the series.
- 1977, London: Macmillan ISBN 0-333-21626-1, Pub date 5 May 1977, Hardback
The novel was adapted as the second episode of the Inspector Morse TV series in 1987, guest starring Barbara Flynn as Monica Height, Michael Gough as Philip Ogleby, Clive Swift as Dr Bartlett, Anthony Smee as Roope, Roger Lloyd-Pack as Donald Martin and Phil Nice as Nicholas Quinn. The adaptation remained faithful to the source material, the only noticeable changes being the omission of much of the material prior to Quinn's murder (the television version begins with him already employed by the syndicate), a subplot concerning Bartlett having a schizophrenic son, and the film the characters viewed being changed to Last Tango in Paris.
In 1996 the BBC Radio 4 play The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (dramatised from the novel by Guy Meredith) had John Shrapnel playing Morse and Robert Glenister as Lewis, with Richard Pasco as Dr Bartlett, Meg Davies as Monica Height, Stephen Critchlow as Donald Martin, David Timson as Philip Ogleby, John Hartley as Dr Roope and Chief Supt. Strange, Lyndam Gregory as Sgt Dixon, and Roger May as Nicholas Quinn. The play was directed by Ned Chaillet.
- Bishop, David, The Complete Inspector Morse: From the Original Novels to the TV Series London: Reynolds & Hearn (2006) ISBN 1-905287-13-5
- Bird, Christopher, The World of Inspector Morse: A Complete A-Z Reference for the Morse Enthusiast Foreword by Colin Dexter, London: Boxtree (1998) ISBN 0-7522-2117-5