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A Lighthearted Quest (Julia Probyn #1)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  55 ratings  ·  13 reviews
When Julia undertook to find her cousin, Colin Munro, last heard of sailing a yacht off the north coast of Africa, the quest seemed lighthearted enough. But, before she had finished, she was involved with Moorish antique dealers, a Belgian woman archaeologist, Purcell, the enigmatic barkeeper, and American airman, the saurian Mr. St. John, and numerous other characters cha ...more
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published (first published October 1956)
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Mar 04, 2013 Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Arpita
This is the first book I have read by Ann Bridge but it won’t be the last. Written in the 1950s it is set in French administered Morocco and is the first of eight books to feature female sleuth Julia Probyn. Julia, who is a delightful character, sets out to find her cousin Colin who has been missing for some time but is believed to be in Morocco. Her quest brings her into contact with a number of interesting characters as well as throwing a good deal of light on the explosive political issues th ...more
Like the title implies, this is a fizzy, delightful little missing-person mystery. When her childhood friend Colin cuts off all contact with his family while out of the country, Julia Probyn is drafted to find him. Using her occupation as a journalist as a cover, Julia soon sets sail for Morocco. Upon her arrival, she's surprised and frustrated to find that none of the people who would be expected to know his whereabouts are willing to tell her anything -- his bank and the consulate included. Ho ...more
A note on the title – most cover images and librarything/goodreads details for this novel have it listed as The Lighthearted Quest – but the kindle edition is entitled A Lighthearted Quest.
This is the third Ann Bridge novel I have read, having previously enjoyed her possibly more well-known novels Illyrian Spring and Peking Picnic I leapt at buying the first three or four Julia Probyn novels when they were being offered very cheaply on kindle recently. A Lighthearted Quest is the first of the J
This is the first book I've read by Ann Bridge, and I enjoyed it very much! I will definitely be reading more by this author. I'm quite happy with this new-to-me discovery. Bridge's descriptions of different locales are lovely; the reader gets a good sense of being in Casablanca, Tangier, and Fez at a particular point in time. The portrayal of the ex-pat culture (British-French-American) in Africa is intriguing and interesting from an historical standpoint, though I have no idea how realistic it ...more
I discovered Ann Bridge through the Kindle Daily Deals. When I saw that her books were published by Bloomsbury Reader, I knew they would be good. Julia Probyn, the young journalist/amateur detective, is energetic and adventurous. In this first installment of the series, she takes off for northern Africa to find her cousin, who hasn't been heard from in 9 months. She visits several famous cities--Casablanca, Fez, and Tangier among them. Bridge has a strong gift for evoking sense of place. Her des ...more
Kathy H
Interesting descriptions of Casablanca and Tangiers circa 1950. The author is terribly elitist and eurocentric. It was the mind-set, I guess, of the day, but makes one cringe in 2014. The ending is weak, generally an easy, well-written 1950's era 'cozy mystery'.
This was an enjoyable, light read. Bridge's writing was very good and I liked her characters - particularly Julia, the main character, who travels from England to Morocco to help her family track down her missing cousin.

There was a little too much travel description in the book for me; I wanted to get back to watching Julia unravel the mystery. And parts of the book are quite dated by now, with some descriptions of "Arabs" and Jews that would be considered offensive today. Still, there was not
I'm glad I took a chance on this rather obscure series when it showed up on the Kindle Daily Deal. Julia Probyn is a delightful character. She travels to Morocco to find her cousin and ends up involved with a large cast of sometimes helpful and sometimes shady characters. The mystery had a nice depth to it and I loved the descriptions of 1950's Casablanca, Tangiers and Fez.

I picked up the first four or five books on sale so I'll be looking forward to more of Julia.
The first in a series of books in which Julia Probyn is the main character. Light, enjoyable story about a young woman searching for her cousin. The trail takes her from 1950's Britain to North Africa -- Morocco, in particular. Lots of fun characters -- some well-drawn, some much vaguer and one more than a little typecast! Along the way she displays a talent for getting information out of others and, almost more importantly, linking bits of knowledge together.
Paul French
The first in Bridge's Julia Probyn series of spy novels - I know her China based writing but thought I'd try these and I do actually rather like them - this one is a nice tour through North Africa too
Julia, an English journalist, is asked to visit Casablanca to find a missing heir. Beautiful, smart and politely mannered, Julia explores post-WWII Morocco as she unravels the mystery.
Sep 21, 2012 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catie by: Carol Kerry-green
Thoroughly enjoying this so far, thank you Carol for the recommend!
An early Bridge. Not her best
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Mid twentieth-century novelist [real name, Mary Anne O'Malley] who began by exploiting the milieu of the British Foreign Office community in Peking, China, where she lived for two years with her diplomat husband. Her novels combine courtship plots with vividly-realised settings and demure social satire.

She went on to write novels which take as the background of their protagonists' emotional lives
More about Ann Bridge...

Other Books in the Series

Julia Probyn (8 books)
  • The Portuguese Escape
  • The Numbered Account (Julia Probyn #3)
  • The Dangerous Islands
  • Emergency In The Pyrenees
  • Episode at Toledo
  • The Malady in Madeira
  • Julia in Ireland  (Julia Probyn #8)
Illyrian Spring Peking Picnic (Virago modern classic) The Portuguese Escape The Numbered Account (Julia Probyn #3) The Dangerous Islands

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