Sunday, April 27, 2014

Miss Pym Disposes

Miss Pym Disposes. Josephine Tey. 1946. 238 pages. [Source: Book I Bought]

Miss Lucy Pym is visiting an 'old friend' who is now a principal at a physical training college. The occasion for her visit is her successful bestselling status as an author of a popular psychology book. Her book is the new "it" book of the moment, Miss Pym gives guest lectures. The students of this college, particularly the juniors and seniors, take a real liking to her. They beg and plead and urge her to stay. So she postpones leaving. (I'm not sure her old college friend is as enthusiastic about keeping her around for the last few weeks of the semester until graduation or not. I'm sure by the end she's thinking: why oh why did I think it would be a good idea to ask her to visit!) It's a super busy time for all. One class is preparing to graduate; there is stress and distress as they prepare for finals and critiques. Some students will be placed in a new job before graduation, others will have to make their own applications after graduation. A really ideal job opportunity arises, and, for some reason this causes great rumbles on the staff and among students. One student is chosen over another. Almost everyone disagrees with the decision. Even Miss Pym is argumentative and opinionated. As graduation approaches the inevitable happens. Inevitable ONLY because it's a mystery book and there is the expectation that at some point a crime, probably murder, but at the very least attempted murder, will occur. This happens extraordinarily late in the novel. One of the graduating seniors has an "accident" that ultimately leads to her death. Miss Pym knows the accident was no accident, and she has proof. But will her proof ever be turned over to the authorities?! Will Miss Pym play god and decided that she has no ethical obligation to turn in the murderer--the girl she's convinced is guilty?!

Miss Pym Disposes is a strange little mystery. I found the academic setting interesting, at least in the beginning. But overall, I was not impressed with this one.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Suko said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Miss Pym Disposes. It would be interesting to read this book for the history of that time.

hopeinbrazil said...

I've got three Tey books coming in the mail. Hope they are better than this one!