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The Wyndham Case
Jill Paton Walsh
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The Wyndham Case (Imogen Quy #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  268 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
The library of St Agatha's, Cambridge, houses an unrivalled and according to scholars, uninteresting collection of seventeenth century volumes. It also contains a dead student. Tragic and accidental, even if gossip hints that Philip Skellow had been engaged in stealing books rather than acquiring knowledge when he'd slipped. Only Imogen Quy, the university's nurse, has dou ...more
Published June 15th 1993 by Minotaur Books (first published 1993)
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Jul 31, 2015 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery and will look for more by Walsh. I knew this author first as a writer of books for children and young adults, and I was delighted to find that she has been writing for adults for quite some time.

This mystery takes place in Cambridge, England, where the librarian of the Wyndham Library at St. Agatha's College, Cambridge, discovers a the body of a student lying on the library floor when he opens up one morning. College nurse Imogen Quy is called to the scene by th
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
When a Cambridge student is found dead, is it just a tragic accident or is something sinister afoot? Stars Carolyn Pickles.
Jan 24, 2016 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wyndham Case” is an enjoyable surprise but I mulled over outcomes and behaviours that had no believability. Someone who was nabbed declined police involvement, because property was retrieved. I relate to cherishing an item but if someone stole it, let alone imprisoned me: that creep is going down! There were several creeps of varied severity. I don’t know English law of 1993 but none were penalized as seriously as their actions demand. Would police dismiss mismatching clues, because they ha ...more
I hadn't read any of Jill Paton Walsh's Imogen Quy series, so thought I'd give this a try. I found the first chapter arcane. While I read and re- read detective fiction set between the two world wars, I do expect Oxford in the 1990s to have changed just a little. I did, however, get into the spirit of it and enjoyed the working out of the mystery. I'd have liked a bit more moral struggle in a number of the characters. It is not easy to accept Imogen's friendship with Roger, for example. He is so ...more
Simon Mcleish
Apr 17, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in February 1999.

The fictional St Agatha's College, Cambridge, has two libraries, a normal academic library and the Wyndham Library. This was endowed in the seventeenth century by an eccentric opponent of Newton's scientific ideas, and was stocked with books arguing against him. Not only that, but money was left to provide for the examination of the library stock once a century by someone unknown to the curator, to ensure that the contents would never change.
The Wyndham Case is Jill Paton Walsh's debut mystery novel. Starring Imogen Quy (rhymes with "why"), a part-time nurse who sees to the needs of the fellows and students of the imaginary Cambridge College of St. Agatha's, the mystery begins with the death of Philip Skellow, a scholarship student who was not much liked by his fellow students. Teased and scorned, he was often alone...and that is how he died--alone in the Wyndham Case, an eccentric library, and apparently in the act of robbing the l ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book - interesting characters, an intriguing mystery and a wonderful sense of place. A Cambridge undergrad is found dead in a special library, locked, of course. How did he get in and how did he die? These are just the first questions for Imogen Quy, college nurse. This may sound melodramatic, but the story is very well written and held my interest right till the end. Even after the truth about the death comes out, there are still several loose ends to tie up.
Cyn Mcdonald
I had a hard time believing that this was set in the 1990s and not the 1940s -- Cambridge must be truly timeless. Imogen Quy seems out of time as well -- she is supposed to be 30ish but acts like a rather older lady. It was an adequate mystery, although I do prefer the critical clue to be something that the average reader might be expected to know. I liked it well enough to hunt for the second book in the series.
S Dizzy
Jul 23, 2016 S Dizzy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for Ms. Walsh's own series because she did so well with Dorothy L. Sayer's LPW series. Alas, it not to be....very laborious reading. And I don't think I really connected with Imogen Quy...did I even like her? I don't know. I'm disappointed that I actually purchased this book, granted, it was a used book in very good condition. Now I must give it away. Anyway, the dialogue was stilted and read like a movie script. (recall Maise Dobbs) Admittedly, some allowance, even some drudger ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Jill Paton Walsh writes follow up books to the Dorothy L Sayers Peter Wimsey books. They always sound quite interesting but the one time I tried Dorothy L Sayers I couldn't stand Wimsey, so I didn't really want to read a follow up. But this is a book featuring characters of her own so I thought I'd try it. I'm not sure if that makes any sense really, but that's how it was anyway!

This is a fairly old fashioned type of mystery even though it was written in the 1990s. Imogen Quy is the college nurs
May 16, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this four stars because I found the setting in the university very true to life and I liked the set up of the various characters... Cosy mystery and I look forward to reading the rest of the series
I saw this at the library and thought, why not? She's writing the new Peter Wimsey books and I've been enjoying them so I wanted to see what her other ones were. Enjoyable. I'll read more.
Helen Smith
Felt strangely old fashioned to me (also somewhat arch) though written in the Nineties and with no evidence of being set at a significantly earlier time
Lucy Barnhouse
Jun 22, 2016 Lucy Barnhouse rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I enjoyed the tone of this mystery well enough, and the heroine very much, but the "whodunit" itself was disappointingly transparent, the motives and characters not as complex as I might have wished.
Andy Plonka
Aug 15, 2015 Andy Plonka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I normally don't like amateur sleuths but Imogene Quy is truly a piece of work. This is an great mystery
Edana Cichanowicz
Dec 12, 2014 Edana Cichanowicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic British mystery set in Cambridge. Bliss!
Jackie G
Jul 05, 2014 Jackie G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see why the author is the heir to Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series. I really enjoyed this mystery, especially the protagonist.
Jun 02, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting introduction to Cambridge University nurse Imogene Quy who helps solve the case of the murder of an undergraduate found in a pool of blood in a special literary collection. The collection is special because it is so full of outdated information that it brings funds to the College in which it resides.

The characters are all very well drawn, even the minor ones and the story moves along to a good conclusion. I look forward to the nest in the series.
Jan Duthie
Very enjoyable opener for the series. Look forward to the rest
Feb 23, 2008 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2008-list
Not one of Jill Paton Walsh's best books - it is fussy at places, wraps up too neatly at the end, and her main character seems to be a transplanted fifty something set in the body of a thirty something for development (and sequel?) purposes. In the book's defense, the plot is quite clever, and its allusions to Dorothy Sayers laudatory rather than redundant.
This was OK, really. Imogen Quy, Cambridge school nurse, is your standard sensible puzzle-solver --- part modern Maisie Dobbs (the intuitive, sensitive soul) and part younger Isabel Dalhousie (the comfortable, secure matron).

The mystery was of the body-in-the-library type, and good enough of its kind.

I may go for another Quy in future.
Pamela Hedges
Sep 21, 2014 Pamela Hedges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and engaging story with unexpected twists. Imogen Quy as the resident nurse in college makes for an unusual detective, but uses her deep understanding of people and compassion to avoid making unfounded or stereotyped leaps to wrong conclusions.
Oct 17, 2008 Carolynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The first Imogen Quy mystery. And it's about a body in a library! No, not the famous Miss Marple story, but a story much better written and more intriguing, with nuanced characters and rich details about Cambridge University.
Oct 09, 2012 Mysteryfan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I liked her Sayers continuations well enough to read more of her work. This was a rather clever book. In the end, the worst damage was done by someone playing a prank and setting the wheels in motion.
May 23, 2008 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really enjoyable mystery set in Cambridge. I might have missed some of the mystery parts, but I totally knew where to find the missing book as soon as it went missing.
Apr 05, 2013 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
A far-fetched legacy to a school of a set of books treasured only by the deceased with a complicated set of conditions leading to murders.
Michele bookloverforever
Apr 29, 2011 Michele bookloverforever rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
set in an English university. a body is found in the library. it appears to be suicide but isn't. I did not care about the characters or the plot.
Sonia Gensler
A decent mystery -- the first of three by Jill Paton Walsh, who went on to write three Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane novels (& maybe more?).
Mar 12, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-mighty-girl
I figured it out way too early, and I really wanted to shake our heros until they realized the major plot points. Ah well!
Alison Forde
A bit Morse-ish, murder mystery set in a Cambridge University College with the detective being the college nurse Imogen Quy.
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Jill Paton Walsh was born Gillian Bliss in London on April 29th, 1937. She was educated at St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St. Anne's College, Oxford. From 1959 to 1962 she taught English at Enfield Girls' Grammar School.

Jill Paton Walsh has won the Book World Festival Award, 1970, for Fireweed; the Whitbread Prize, 1974 (for a Children's novel) for The Emperor's Winding Sheet; The
More about Jill Paton Walsh...

Other Books in the Series

Imogen Quy (4 books)
  • A Piece of Justice (Imogen Quy, #2)
  • Debts of Dishonor (Imogen Quy, #3)
  • The Bad Quarto (Imogen Quy, #4)

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