Let R be a d-dimensional Cohen–Macaulay (CM) local ring of minimal multiplicity. Set S := R/(f), where f := f1,. . .,fc is an R-regular sequence. Suppose M and N are maximal CM S-modules. It is shown that if ExtSi(M, N) = 0 for some (d + c + 1) consecutive values of i ⩾ 2, then ExtSi(M, N) = 0 for all i ⩾ 1. Moreover, if this holds true, then either projdimR(M) or injdimR(N) is finite. In addition, a counterpart of this result for Tor-modules is provided. Furthermore, we give a number of necessary and sufficient conditions for a CM local ring of minimal multiplicity to be regular or Gorenstein. These conditions are based on vanishing of certain Exts or Tors involving homomorphic images of syzygy modules of the residue field.