The locked library of St Agatha's College, Cambridge houses an unrivalled, and according to certain scholars, deeply uninteresting collection of seventeenth century volumes. It also contains one dead student. Tragic and accidental, of course, even if malicious gossip hints that Philip Skellow had been engaged in stealing books rather than acquiring knowledge when he'd slipped, banged his head, and bled to death overnight. Only Imogen Quy, the college nurse, has her doubts - until another student is found, drowned in an ornamental fountain...
The author of such acclaimed children's books as Gaffer Samson's Luck introduces an exemplary amateur sleuth in her fourth adult novel. Imogen Quy, who as a small child was taken to tea with E. M. Forster, is the college nurse at St. Agatha's College, Cambridge. Compassionate, intelligent and capable, Imogen (her last name rhymes with why ) is a kind young woman who believes in thinking things through. When a brilliant scholarship student is found dead in a pool of blood in Wyndham Case, a small library established by a 17th-century bequest, Imogen not only helps the police solve the case but also clears the dead boy of suspicion of theft. To do so, she weaves together threads involving a missing priceless book, a medical student drowned in a fountain, a professor imprisoned in a dungeon, feuding librarians, unrequited (and requited) love and a student on the run. In spite of a few frayed patches in the plot's fabric, Walsh produces a clear, sequential mystery, unmuddied by extraneous elements, whose intricate plot is resolved with surprising revelations in the final chapters--all related with precision, grace and a lovely sense of place.