Saturday, September 25, 2021

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

 "Miss Pym stopped breathing and stared in unbelieving fascination. No really, did any college, however physical and hearty, begin the day at half-past five! Anything was possible, of course, in a community which had use for neither bedside table nor bedside lamps, but--half-past five!"
Miss Lucy Pym, bestselling author of a book on psychology, has come to Leys Physical Training College in England to give a guest lecture. She doesn't intend to stay long, but the fresh-faced vitality and enthusiasm of the girls intrigues her. And when the seniors invite her to Sunday tea, she agrees to stay a little longer, thinking to enjoy their wholesome society.
"But I remind you that it is their last term, this. And so everything is e-norrrmously exaggerated. Everyone is just the least little bit insane. If a student is frightened by nature, then she is a thousand times more frightened this term. ... It is not a normal life they lead. You cannot expect them to be normal."
And when a terrible accident happens at the college, Miss Pym finds herself in a terrible dilemma -- does she reveal to the headmistress her suspicions that it wasn't an accident after all, or does she keep them to herself?

The mystery part of this novel only comes into play the last sixty pages. The majority of the book concerns Miss Pym's interactions with the staff and the senior girls at the college, and her observations of their fears, hopes, and jealousies. Good thing I like that private college setting! And Lucy Pym? She's delightful. There is an old-fashioned feel to this one, which makes sense since it was published in 1947, but I didn't mind that either. It's an introspective novel, with more personal interactions than any real action, but it does have a nice twist at the end. This is the first Josephine Tey book that I've read (which makes it perfect to fill my Classic by a New-To-You Author in Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge), but it won't be my last.

Happy Reading!

 

38 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting. I like a book with an old fashioned feel every once in a while.

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  2. I love Tey's Daughter of Time and enjoyed A Shilling for Candles. I really should try this one as I see it mentioned so often. Glad you enjoyed this one enough to add Tey to your list! :)

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    1. I've always been curious about her books. I just wish my library had more of them.

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  3. reading Tey has been one of the highlights of my reading life... she's incomparable, imo...

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    1. I can see why you like her so much. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

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  4. I've read several of Tey's books and enjoyed them all, my favorite being The Daughter of Time but I haven't read this one. I'll have to add it to my list.

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    1. My library actually has The Daughter of Time, so I'll be able to check that one out. Hope you get a chance to read this one sometime.

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  5. I read this one a long time ago & I remember liking it, but then Josephine Tey is always pretty fun!

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    1. I enjoyed her writing, and all the humorous moments in this book. :)

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  6. I've not read this author before, but this book sounds great. Another one to add to my list. :D

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    1. Do you think we'll ever manage to read even half of the books on our lists? ;D

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  7. I think I would really enjoy this. Especially when I am in need of something totally different - I just love the sound of it.

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    1. It's a quietly charming book, especially if you like that private school setting.

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  8. Not sure what happened to an earlier comment...it never showed up, apparently. What I wanted to say was simply that Tey is another of those classic writers I've still not tried to read. This sounds like a pretty good place to start.

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    1. I'm glad your second attempt at commenting worked! I don't know what happened to your first comment either; sometimes Blogger gets weird. And this Tey book is a good one to start with, though I haven't read any of her other books to compare it with.

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  9. I've never read any Josephine Tey books and I don't know why! I love the sound of this one. So glad you enjoyed it so much.

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    1. I've never read any of her books before either. And I probably wouldn't have read her now except for Karen's Back to the Classics reading challenge.

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  10. So glad you liked this one! The Daughter of Time is also good and Bratt Farrar but my favourite Tey is The Franchise Affair.

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    1. I'll have to see if I can find a copy of The Franchise Affair.

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  11. I haven't read this one but it sounds like a delightful classic.

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    1. It was fun. Not quite what I expected, but I still liked it.

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  12. Strange that the mystery didn't happen until the last 60 pages. Sounds like a fun read, though. :)

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    1. I thought it was a little strange the mystery wasn't the main focus of the book, too, although Tey does focus on the girls and Lucy Pym who end up being very involved in the mystery at the end.

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  13. I just downloaded the Nicola Upson book starring Josephine Tey - An Expert in Murder. I think it sounds very interesting.

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  14. Have a beautiful day my friend.

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  15. I've not read anything by thus author but this sounds interesting. Plus, I like the college setting. :)

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    1. That's why I chose this book of hers to read first. I like that college setting, too. :)

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  16. Campus settings are usually enticing to me too. I have not read Tey yet either ... but she was quite a famous writer so I should try a mystery of hers ... The time period is good too.

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    1. I thought it was time for me to give her a try because she is such a well-known writer. And so many people recommend her books. :)

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  17. Somehow I've not read anything by Tey either even though I've read a fair number of classics over the years. This one sounds quite good and I'm always drawn to a college setting so that's an added bonus for me. :)

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    1. The setting is what made me decide to read this Tey book first. Plus, my library had a copy of this one. :)

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  18. Excellent review of a fun book. I love school settings so I really enjoyed this one immensely, and it was fun to remember it while reading your post.

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    1. The school setting was a lot of fun, wasn't it? And Lucy Pym was such a charming and humorous character.

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