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The Bad Quarto (Imogen Quy Series #4)

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The campus of St. Agatha's College, Cambridge University, is steeped in history. One particular building, however, has a history that most would rather forget—-a tower that has drawn several students to their death. Much discouraged by the authorities, it is a college tradition for students to try their luck jumping the gap between a window and a pediment—-nicknamed Harding's Folly—-and the gap has recently claimed another victim, a glamorous and controversial Shakespearean ...

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2007 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 245 p. Audience: General/trade. (W6C)

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Overview

The campus of St. Agatha's College, Cambridge University, is steeped in history. One particular building, however, has a history that most would rather forget—-a tower that has drawn several students to their death. Much discouraged by the authorities, it is a college tradition for students to try their luck jumping the gap between a window and a pediment—-nicknamed Harding's Folly—-and the gap has recently claimed another victim, a glamorous and controversial Shakespearean scholar.

Imogen Quy (rhymes with "why"), college nurse and amateur sleuth, is surprised that such a brilliant man would take such a foolish risk. But tragic accidents do happen—-or was it an accident? One undergraduate is so convinced of foul play that he takes it upon himself to confront the suspected murderer by mounting a production of the "bad quarto"—-a shortened, pirated script—-of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Wise, compassionate Imogen, who has been described as "sharp as needles and soft as butter," has just the right mixture of involvement and detachment to sort out what really happened in the most literate and compelling academic mystery since Dorothy L. Sayers's Gaudy Night.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Debts of Dishonor

"If you like gentle, well-written, old-fashioned English mysteries, this one is right up your alley." —-Reviewing the Evidence

A Piece of Justice

"Gracefully written, inventive, and intriguing. A must for lovers of the British academic traditional." —-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A mystery as intricate and finely constructed as one of the hand-sewn quilts so central to the story." —-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Wyndham Case

"It is in every way superb." —-Chicago Sun-Times

"A leisurely, literate style, an intriguing clutch of academic eccentrics, a clever puzzle, and a sharply intelligent sleuth whose gentleness sets her apart from the hard-edged aggressions of her fictional contemporaries—-all in a refreshing debut in the Sayers tradition." —-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Publishers Weekly

British author Walsh, praised for her seamless work completing two posthumous works by Dorothy Sayers (the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries Thrones, Dominationsand A Presumption of Death), demonstrates her mastery of the modern academic mystery with her fourth whodunit (after 2006's Debts of Dishonor) featuring nurse Imogen Quy, who serves unobtrusively but effectively at the fictional St. Agatha's College of Cambridge University. Quy witnesses the final moments of John Talentire, a college fellow who topples to his death while daredevil climbing a building. The death appears to be an accident until one of Talentire's friends uses an amateur staging of Hamlet—the obscure, shorter version known as the Bad Quarto—to dramatically imply that another fellow murdered Talentire by untying his safety rope. Quy sleuths amid the vicious world of modern Shakespearean scholarship to put the pieces together in a manner that would do Harriet Vane proud. Both Sayers fans and lovers of traditional fair play should embrace this excellent read. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal
When a research fellow plummets to his death and an undergraduate confronts the suspected murderer, college nurse Imogen Quy can't help but sleuth around in her third academic mystery set in Cambridge University. Walsh lives in Cambridge, England.-Ann Kim Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312354091
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Series: Imogen Quy Mysteries Series , #4
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Paton Walsh, whose work includes the Booker Prize-nominated novel Knowledge of Angels, took up the mantle of Dorothy L. Sayers with her New York Times bestselling completion of the Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, Thrones, Dominations, followed by A Presumption of Death. She is also the author of three previous Imogen Quy mysteries: The Wyndham Case, A Piece of Justice (which was shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award), and Debts of Dishonor. In 1996 she received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    wonderful amateur sleuth academic whodunit

    Imogen Quy serves as an effective college nurse at St. Agatha's College, Cambridge University. However, her serene academic world is shook just as she is about to bike home for the evening. A stunned student calls for her assistance. She finds college fellow John Talentire dying with her realizing it is too late for him as blood pours everywhere. Apparently following what the locals dub Harding¿s Folly from a previous human dive, John fell off the side of a tower that he was climbing. --- At a BAD QUARTO production of Hamlet, the Kyd Society players imply that Talentire, a Shakespearean researcher was murdered when his rope was loosened. Unable to neither mind her business nor forget the sight of all the blood as John died, Imogen quietly makes inquiries to what has been officially considered a tragic foolish accident only to find the Shakespearean scholars being Lady Macbeth stock that has the Bard turning over in his grave. --- Using the shortened Hamlet as a reason to investigate, Jill Paton Walsh provides the audience with a wonderful amateur sleuth academic whodunit. The scholars are quite a crew with Imogen realizing any of them seem capable of unethical behavior yet pondering who would kill to do so as she is convinced someone murdered Talentire. Imogen keeps the tale focused as a magnificent central character whose investigation provides a spotlight on the backstabbing rival fellows. (See DEBTS OF DISHONOR). --- Harriet Klausner

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