2009: 154. Miss Pym Disposes

“A bell clanged.  Brazen, insistent, maddening.”

Miss Pym Disposes, Josephine Tey

      This is a classic mystery, written by one of the golden age authors.  Tey, who died young, wrote only a few novels, but she’s held out as a one of the great ones.  Previously, I’d read one of her books - Daughter of Time, in which her detective, Inspector Grant, is laid up in the hospital and uses the time to solve one of the great historical mysteries - the Princes in the Tower (and to acquit Richard III in the process!).  This is is more straightforward, and has nothing to do with her detective, but is nonetheless a grand psychological mystery, and was great fun to read.  Makes me want to find the rest of her novels!

       Miss Pym is a psychologist - or rather, she’s written a psychological book, and become an overnight sensation.  An old friend asks to come speak and at the college she runs (a college for athletic education - which seems sort of strange, but whatever, this is 1930’s Britain).  Miss Pym stays, and gets to know the students, and then gets all wrapped up in their lives - including murder.  I don’t want to give more away, as the fun is the characters, but it’s a clever little mystery with a wowzer ending.  And the atmosphere of what it was like to be in a girls college at the time is fun, too - shades of my very favorite book of all, Gaudy Night.

Date/Place Completed:  December 2009; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017