Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Imogen Quy Memories

Grantchester, England, near Cambridge. I used the rental bicycle for transportation all the time -- no car!
Jill Paton Walsh has written a series of pleasant mystery stories about Imogen Quy, a nurse at a fictitious college at Cambridge University in England. The Bad Quarto, which I read recently, has a fairly implausible plot, but I didn't mind that. I am fond of Imogen, the nurturing and very intelligent amateur detective who figures out who did what to whom and why. More than the murder mystery and its solution, I loved the local details about Cambridge. They reminded me of our experiences there when Len was attending a workshop at the Isaac Newton Institute -- a non-fictitious institution within Cambridge.

In the course of the novel, Imogen went to Grantchester near Cambridge, she bicycled from her home to the college, she passed by Marks and Spenser downtown, she visited nearby Angelsey Abbey, she had reason to watch houseboat-barges and college rowing societies on the river, she drank beer in pubs, she attended a student theatrical performance, and she saw the cows on Stourbridge Common. We did every one of these things! Imogen buys and cooks food for herself and others, as I had to do, carrying my shopping (as the English call groceries) in the basket of my bike -- just like her. Who wouldn't love a book that awakened so many pleasant memories!
Stourbridge Common near the apartment where we lived for a couple of months.
The cows are allowed to graze there from April through some time in the autumn.
Houseboats and a punt on the river Isis, Cambridge, England.
A trip in a houseboat plays a role in The Bad Quarto.
Our visit was prior to the invention of digital photography, so I have only a few photos from our stay: these few are the best illustrations of the memories from The Bad Quarto.

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

I need to add these to my mystery series queue. They sound wonderful -- what's not to love about a mystery set in Cambridge? I'll have to keep an eye out.