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The Bad Quarto (Imogen Quy, #4)
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The Bad Quarto (Imogen Quy #4)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  225 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
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 Hard ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published February 22nd 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 01, 2012 Nikki rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, crime
I've read Jill Paton Walsh's continuations of Dorothy L. Sayers' work, so when I spotted this in the library, I was curious enough to pick it up. It's the most recent in a series, unfortunately, but that doesn't get in the way too much -- though there's a definite woodenness about the central character Imogen, which might or might not have been helped by reading the previous books.

Walsh's choice of detective is an interesting one. Shades of Harriet Vane are made painfully obvious by the referenc
Apr 29, 2007 Sharon marked it as to-read
Shelves: mysterythriller
reviewed by the Times-Dispatch; 4th in Imogen Quy series; academic in tradition of Dorothy L. Sayers

Jul 19, 2017 Susan rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book the most of the four, although they were all good. This one has the underlying theme of Hamlet - a college group is putting on a production based on the bad quarto, which is considerably shorter than the better-known version. The other theme is climbing - a group that tries to climb all the inaccessible places in Cambridge. When a young man falls to his death it is deemed an accident, but his friend disagrees. The friend ropes in the Hamlet group - the Kyd Players - to put on ...more
May 31, 2017 Susan rated it it was amazing
I gave it a five if for no other reason than the rant against those that want to remove Shakespeare from the curriculum of high schools and universities. Well said Ms. Walsh! Well said.
Meg Lynch
Mar 17, 2017 Meg Lynch rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this -- a non-tedious murder mystery in an academic setting.
Patricia Uttaro
Oct 29, 2013 Patricia Uttaro rated it really liked it
I was browsing a few weeks ago among the fabulous displays done by the Lit staff at the Central Library and happened across a familiar author writing in an unfamiliar genre. Jill Paton Walsh has been one of my top 10 favorite young adult authors ever since Ellin Chu made me read A Parcel of Patterns years ago. Imagine my surprise and delight when I fouund that she’s now writing mysteries for adults.

The Bad Quarto is the latest in her Imogen Quy (rhymes with “why”) series. Imogen is a nurse at St
Mary Ronan Drew
Feb 23, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing
The last and best of Jill Paton Walsh's Imogen Quy (rhymes with Why) mysteries revolves around the Bad Quarto of Hamlet, a book that is much shorter than the play as we know it, that contains no dumb show before the play within the play, and that makes a perfect vehicle for a Cambridge student named Mottle to accuse a professor of murdering his friend Talentire.

Imogen is the college nurse at St Agatha's and when the lodgers in her old family house ask her to help with The Kyd Players, a universi
Mar 06, 2011 Stven rated it really liked it
An excellent short mystery novel set amongst the thespians and academics of Cambridge University. As it is not quite formulaic in its progression from unsettling death to explanations, a certain charm of unorthodoxy is added to the more immediately apparent charms of the company and traditions of the English. "The Bad Quarto," I learned, is the scholar's term for that early edition or draft of Shakespeare's play Hamlet which is seldom seen, but for whose rough virtues a case is here made within ...more
St. Agatha's nurse Imogen Quy is faced with a problem. Make that many problems, from a student with a bad temper to a room that attracts Cambridge's reckless night climbers to a dear friend who is very sick. She doesn't need to get involved in her lodger's dramatic group, that needs to put on a very specific production to please a wealthy undergraduate who's willing to bail them out of a financial tight spot. While I love all the Imogen Quy books, it does irritate me when there's clearly one que ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Michale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paton Walsh brings Imogen Quy back to life in this, her latest book in the series. Unlike the third book in the series, this rendering of Imo is spot-on. Her loves and motivations make good emotional sense, and tie in perfectly with the delightful mishmash of a Shakespearean mystery. "The play's the thing," she quotes, and I had to pull out my "Hamlet," although I have only my Folger Library edition from high school, not the "bad quarto" of the title. Paton Walsh refers repeatedly to Sayers' "G ...more
Cherry Williams
Jan 25, 2014 Cherry Williams rated it it was amazing
A wonderful murder mystery series written by the author selected to continue writing the Dorothy L. Sayers books. Our heroine is a college nurse in England, akin to Mary Roberts Rinehart's Miss Pinkerton, another wonderful book which should be on Kindle. Intricately plotted, textured with culture and literary references, Jill's characters make me feel like I'm in a scene where Inspector Morse has just stepped off stage. You care what happens to the people, become engrossed in the plot while at t ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Sep rated it it was amazing
I have greatly enjoyed Jill Paton Walsh's continuation of Sayer's Peter Wimsey series. When I found "The Bad Quarto", part of Walsh's Imogne Quy series, I was eager to check it out. It is a complicated mystery full of interesting characters and even more challenging moral questions.

The Bad Quarto in the title refers a collection of some of Shakespeare's plays that were illegally cribbed and are therefore much shorter than the originals. In the book a Bad Quarto version of "Hamlet" is put on by
Kirsty Darbyshire
Oct 08, 2012 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
The first in this series was ok, I found the second unexpectedly great, then the third seemed to be unavailable. That seemed curious as the others are on Kindle, but the reviews of the third seemed to think it wasn't as good, so I skipped straight on to the fourth. A decent story; I like the classic Cambridge college style of the mystery brought into the present day world. There's something a bit anachronistic about it but it is enjoyable. It's a pity it seems to be the final entry in the series ...more
Oct 10, 2012 Luanne rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the references to the Shakespearean play and to how it was staged. The parallels between the play and the mystery being investigated were also intriguing. I like the character of Imogen Quy, and I love Jill Paton Walsh's writing. Her continuations of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries are still my favorites. The Imogen Quy mysteries are above average, but they are not on the same level at all with the Wimsey books, IMHO.
Oct 06, 2008 Carolynne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: CLM, Bethany
Shelves: mysteries
Imogen Quy becomes involved with a group producing a version of Hamlet. Unfortunately a wealthy donor is calling the shots, including playing the title role himself. When the play is performed for an audience, the reason for his insistence is made abundantly clear, and it leads to another literate, entertaining mystery for Nurse Quy to solve. Wonderful Cambridge setting--it almost makes me forget I broke my shoulder there!
Yay for Jill Paton Walsh!
Apr 22, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok
I started this and soon realized that I needed to read "Hamlet" before proceeding. I did that, but then parts of the book were blindingly obvious, so that was a pain. The story felt very disjointed. It converged, of course, because it's a mystery, but it wasn't a tight plot. Overall, not a good effort from JPW.
Karin Jacobson
Feb 12, 2008 Karin Jacobson rated it really liked it
This book isn't great literature and it isn't a very mysterious mystery--but it's fun. The book includes many of my favorite elements: a likeable woman detective, a British university setting (Cambridge), and lots of urban climbing. I'm sure I'll be reading more Imogen Quy mysteries--probably soon.
Sep 26, 2012 Katharine rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
An enjoyable read with a good sense of place and an interesting mystery though the heroine does seem too good to be true at times. There's also a bit too much of an academic discussion of an aspect of the plot which seems rather clumsily tacked on.
Jan 14, 2015 Toto rated it it was ok
Although the idea of the nightclimbers of Cambridge spoiling a college production of Hamlet is a good one, the rest of the plot is not. Imogen Quy is a dullard as a sleuth as well as a character. Everyone, from age 20 to 70, sounds alike. Writting is dull dull dull.
Maureen Keillor
Oct 16, 2013 Maureen Keillor rated it liked it
Neat little mystery, a delectable blend of "Gaudy Night" and Maisie Dobbs set in Cambridge. Fascinating historical info about Shakespeare's "Hamlet," as well as a theme of the limits of scientific "experts" and an interesting peek into academic rivalries.
Andy Plonka
Mar 18, 2014 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
I haven't read any of Walsh's books for adults and, since this is the 4th in the series maybe not the best place to start, but I learned a bit about Shakespeare and a bit more about Cambridge. The mysterious element was the plus to the equation.
Jan 12, 2011 Gray rated it really liked it
Always uncomfortable when the detective makes decisions about justice, totally ignoring the courts.
Les Wilson
Jan 03, 2015 Les Wilson rated it liked it
I didn't find up much of DLS's style I this book. Still not a bad read.
Aug 25, 2012 LP rated it liked it
Ultimately unsatisfying conclusion to the mystery, but all the incidental stuff about Cambridge academic life (and narrow boats on the canals!) was interesting.
M. White
Jun 14, 2016 M. White rated it liked it
An interesting English mystery in the tradition of Dorothy Sayers.
Feb 04, 2008 Vicki rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
One of my favorites in this series. There's not much of a mystery, but some of the images she evokes are lasting.
Ellen Ramsey
Sep 29, 2010 Ellen Ramsey rated it really liked it
Not as intriguing or as satisfying a book as A Piece of Justice, but definitely an interesting book.
Mar 27, 2016 H.K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I was bored throughout most of this novel. Kinda liked the story but it was too boring to keep me interested in even continuing. But I did, just to put a closure to it.
Anne Hosking
Anne Hosking rated it liked it
Jan 02, 2014
Elaine rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2015
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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)
  • The Wyndham Case (Imogen Quy, #1)
  • A Piece of Justice (Imogen Quy, #2)
  • Debts of Dishonor (Imogen Quy, #3)

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