The Picaresque of Imagine Purple

Beth Fine


Docking about midnight, Imagine Purple is glad to be back on dry land! Our young sleuth has endured two life-threatening events recently. Although no longer seasick, Ima has not slept for two days. Unable to think clearly, she makes a seemingly harmless decision to travel awhile with the vamp, Vanna Belforte. Vanna, always on the lookout for an easy mark, has arranged for them to ride in a white, unmarked box van owned by Claude, a young, handsome French Canadian. After a near accident and a grilling border interview, Ima suspects she has fallen in with bad company. In spite of Claude's thick accent, Ima learns all about his organic farm operation in Maine. As he grows sleepy, she tries to keep him awake by chattering about her adventures. Even so, he turns the wheel over to her and joins the now-sleeping beauty Vanna. This shocking responsibility becomes a huge challenge to Ima, considering she has not used a stick shift since her high school driving course. Upon hitting a blinding fog, she struggles to keep the top-heavy vehicle upright and on the correct highway. A near accident and an inquisitive border agent start new spirals of trouble for Ima. Arriving to a quaint New England town, Ima and Vanna agree to rent an overly-rustic cottage and a 1940s classic car. These pose more danger than fun and relaxation. Vanna visits Claude's farm and has a frightful experience with a lady living there. Ima realizes that fear has seized the ever-petulant Vanna who now grapples with real and imagined ""vengeful spirits."" Ima begs Vanna to change her thinking as they use different ways to confront Mary Jane of Canton, Maine.

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