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Miss Pym Disposes

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  5,424 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
To Lucy Pym, author of a best-seller on Psychology, the atmosphere at the college where she is lecturing is heavy with tension. Beneath the so normal surface run sinister undercurrents of rivalry and jealousy. Then comes tragedy. An accident? Or is it murder? Respectable, law-abiding Miss Pym discovers some vital evidence - but should she reveal it?
Paperback, 238 pages
Published August 18th 1998 by Touchstone (first published 1946)
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Apr 18, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it

First published in 1946, this novel isn't a conventional murder mystery and doesn't feature Tey's detective Inspector Alan Grant. Rather, the Miss Pym of the title serves the function of detective, without actually being one - either amateur or professional - at all. Rather, she's a high school teacher turned best-selling author of a pop psychology book who visits an old friend who is now the principal of a women's physical training college. Miss Pym becomes interested in the lives and personali
Oct 14, 2010 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By this point in my reread of Josephine Tey it's more than clear that she did not write ordinary books. The cover blurb clearly gives out that Disposes is a murder mystery, but the story is in no rush to do anyone in. And that is brilliant, and cruel. We are introduced to Miss Pym, and become friends. It didn't take long at all to come to care about her – still surprised and honestly delighted at her completely unanticipated fame and relative fortune, at her still-new ability to go wherever and ...more
Dec 11, 2015 Tijana rated it it was amazing
Ludo zabavna knjiga. Nominalno, ovo je krimić, ali zločin se desi tek negde na tri četvrtine knjige i odmah je jasno (čitaocima, ne pripovedačici) ko je počinilac - ali ne zbog nekakvih gusto posejanih nagoveštaja nego zbog motivacije likova koja je vrlo brižljivo razrađena u prethodne tri četvrtine teksta.
U međuvremenu možemo da uživamo u:
a) retko zabavnoj junakinji - gđica Pim je usedelica koja je bukvalno slučajno napisala bestseler iz oblasti popularne psihologije, retko duhovita (često na s
Faith Spinks
According to the cover of the book "Josephine Tey is one of the best known and best loved of all crime writers." She is "the classic mystery writer." Yet I had never heard of her or her books before this recommendation, and by halfway through the book I was still waiting for a crime to happen and the biggest mystery to me was why I was still reading.

I think your impression of any book you read has a lot to do with your expectations ahead of ever turning that first page. I had been recommended th

This is not so much a murder mystery than a 'psychological' study of the inhabitants of a women's Phys. Ed. college in post war Britain by Miss Pym, a visiting author of a successful pop psychology book. Having said that, there is a crime committed but it comes very late in the book and the main concern seems to be not in the solving of the crime (although it is solved) but with the moral issues surrounding it.

Tey herself attended a PE college and taught it before becoming a writer so it is fami
Burgundy Rose
Jan 07, 2013 Burgundy Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is excellent and utterly different from anything I've read before. The psychological study is minute, the humour sharp and quotable, the characters detached yet devatastingly human. I don't know what to call this insofar as this is as much a character study of various female students in the forties as it is a mystery novel that advocates applied psychology and body language reading to solve crimes. It is a good whodunnit (though I'd guessed the final twist, it was still quite smart) but it' ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Josephine Tey is not as well known today as others from the Golden Age of mysteries, which is a shame.

This is not one of her best works, but none of her works is less than "good." I won't repeat the plot; others have done that. I would not compare this work with "Gaudy Night." Other than the fact that it takes place in a school, there is no comparison, and even the school setting is not the same. What it does compare with, very strongly, is Agatha Christie's "Cat Among the Pigeons," which was p
Morgan Gallagher
Oct 04, 2013 Morgan Gallagher rated it did not like it
If this had been the first book I'de ever read, by Josephine Tey, I'd never had read another one. The reader should be aware this is not representative of her usual work.

It was, in terms of language, well written, although missing some of Tey's usually faultless description. The characters were very well drawn, one of Tey's greatest strengths. However the narrative... oh, the narrative! Editors failed Tey in allowing this one to pass. For a whodunnit it takes FOREVER to get to the crime. And I m
Apr 26, 2014 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
Wow, just wow! I thought Daughter of Time was the masterpiece. Now I'm not so sure. What a loss that this incredible wit and writer of the most subtle social psychology aware mystery crossover was gone so quickly. No plot summary here. Girls and young women being full humans with barely any love interest in the mix at all. Tey was 80 years ahead of her own time. At least. Oh yes, it does plod- uphill all the way. It was very good when I was almost 30, better when I was just past 50 and great now ...more
Jamie Collins
This is a nice little story, although it isn’t much of a mystery, certainly not to the extent that the blurb on the back cover implies. The “fatal accident” doesn’t occur until well into the last half of the book, and is not hard for the reader to see through. This is sedately paced and mildly amusing, and it notably has an almost entirely female cast.

According to the brief bio of Tey, also on the cover, she “worked as a physical trainer before publishing her first novel in 1929”. That apparentl
tom bomp
May 13, 2016 tom bomp rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I've gone back and forth on my thoughts of this a lot. First, it's not a traditional mystery - the thing doesn't happen for ages and there's very little detecting. There's a few instances of nasty casual racism just randomly dropped in. The "main" story is... weird.

I liked the writing and characterisation a lot - they're very good for a genre novel. I liked that the characters were almost all women. I found the description of life in a physical education college surprisingly interesting. I felt
Nov 15, 2015 Poonam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read only one another book by Josephine Tey, it was Daughter of Time. I thought it was very impressive work of research and logical reasoning about Richard III. Jospehine Tey is one of the pen names of a very private Scottish writer, Elizabeth Mackintosh.

Miss Pym Disposes, evidently, is inspired by author's own experience of attending a Physical training college, which is same as Leys where the plot of the book is set. Characters are built with love and care and plot is made to thicken s
Invited by an old school friend to give a lecture on psychology at a girl’s athletic college, Miss Pym - one of the most approachable fictional mystery-solvers that I’ve ever read – discovers a sinister undercurrent to the driven but seemingly normal surface life of the girls and staff. If Miss Pym is hardly a ‘detective’ in the usual sense, the crime itself is also almost beside the point of the novel; for much of the book, we see hardly any hint of anything amiss at Ley’s, and are content to s ...more
Feb 15, 2011 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty, sharp, and very well-written. Tey is less interested in writing a mystery novel than in using the conventions of the mystery novel to examine time, place, and character. And to throw out a few questions. How much do we really know about other people? Is it possible to read character on the face and in the body? And where are we to find first causes? The attempt to assign responsibility and to understand the causation of human behaviour is fruitless; in this story, Miss Pym is able to to t ...more
Bonnie G
Jun 03, 2012 Bonnie G rated it it was amazing
I took this book to England with me and it was the perfect choice! The setting is a girls' school in a British small village, much like the ones I experienced. Miss Pym is a charming character that I used to follow faithfully, then forgot about. I like Tey's stories because they hold a mystery, but you don't realize what the mystery is until you have met and known all the characters. I think this book's main event didn't occur until 2/3rds into it. Then Miss Pym defies the logical denouement for ...more
Jul 06, 2016 Carbaes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reseña completa en Fábulas estelares.
La señorita Pym y sus disposiciones han resultado ser una auténtica sorpresa. Me esperaba una novela al uso a lo Agatha Christie y al final ha sido todo muy psicológico, gimnástico y entrañable.
Ann Sloan
Jan 12, 2014 Ann Sloan rated it really liked it
Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by Elizabeth Mackintosh, a Scots author best known for her mystery novels. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English grandmother. She was born in Inverness on 25 July 1896.
She published her most successful novels in the 40’s - The Franchise Affair (1946) and Brat Farrar (1949).
She was an intensely private person; she shunned photographers and publicity and gave no interviews to the press, was deeply reserved, and was “proud withou
Mar 16, 2013 Danielle rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
This novel should not really be called a "mystery"--it is, I suppose, in a way, but ultimately, it is a comedy of manners with a mystery to tie it all together.

I like quiet books--books that are about concerned with somewhat boring subjects; books that aren't all action and climaxes and blood and gore. I think that when an author can take an ordinary subject, a quiet topic, an almost sleepy matter, and make it not-ordinary, not-quiet, not-sleepy: therein lies the true writer's talent. Life isn't
Mariano Hortal
Qué absurdo me suele parecer el esfuerzo de algunas editoriales con elogiar los autores que publican poniendo a parir los que sacan otras de similares características; aquí Hoja de Lata viene a decir que todo el Detection club era muy convencional en cuanto a tramas (sigh) y claro, Tey era la más original con respecto a todo el club; lo cual demuestra un desconocimiento importante por su parte que se solucionaría con conocer un poco de la obra de Berkeley, Sayers, Bentley, Crispin y compañía, ad ...more
Lady Shockley
Jul 19, 2016 Lady Shockley rated it really liked it
Miss Pym Disposes is not a conventional murder mystery, no matter what the blurbs tell you. Miss Pym, the surprise successful author of a pop psychology book goes to Ley's school at the request of her school-friend Henrietta, where she is to guest lecture the young women. Intrigued by the students, their youth and vitality, she extends her stay, helping out here and there. While proctoring a final exam, she foils a possible cheater, which leads to a rather shocking turn of events.
Jeff Miller
Apr 19, 2013 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it
Really 4.5 stars.

In some ways it reminded me of Dorothy Sayers "Gaudy Night" in the setting. Although quite a different book where it is not towards the latter part where the mystery unfolds and becomes more of a mystery novel. With a writer of this talent it is amazing that a mystery book could be like this and you just hung on the story of the various observations through the eyes of Miss Pym. Quite amusing and parts that had me laugh out loud while also dealing with serious moral matters.

Gabi Coatsworth
Feb 09, 2015 Gabi Coatsworth rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
An odd book. I'd never read anything by Josephine Tey and thought I should. It takes place in a training college for female gym teachers, for a start. That's odd, and so is the fact that the chief protagonist is the author of a book who goes to visit the college and stays on for a couple of weeks because she likes the girl students. Just saying. Nothing about this book was convincing. I may try something else by her because she must have developed her very good reputation for some good books, su ...more
Free download at Project Gutenberg Australia

A quite enjoyable reading for a Saturday afternoon.

5* The Daughter of Time
4* The Franchise Affair
3* The Singing Sands
4* Brat Farrar
4* A Schilling for Candles
4* The Man in the Queue
4* To Love and Be Wise
3* Miss Pym Disposes
Jan 14, 2012 Yune rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I wouldn't recommend this as an introduction to Tey's works; it's only my second, and I came away disquieted although I could see all the strengths that shone through in the other one that I read (The Franchise Affair). That said, it's sort of marvelously invasive into your thoughts after you've turned the last page and set the book down. I've concluded that the author isn't a mystery writer, as she's sometimes called, but rather someone deeply interested in human reactions to criminal situation ...more
Those wanting a traditional mystery will be disappointed with this book, which is less about the mystery than Miss Pym. Fortunately I find Miss Pym fascinating. An ordinary woman who became famous by writing a scathing critique of current psychological mumbo-jumbo which was only discovered by accident, when we meet her she has somehow become convinced that makes her an expert in psychology. I suspect she would have scoffed at this idea when she was unknown, but once discovered she seems to have ...more
Bruce Gargoyle
Miss Pym Disposes is easily the most unusual murder mystery I have yet read. This is due, in great part, to the fact that the murder doesn’t actually take place until fully three quarters of the book has gone by. I know for a fact that it is fully three quarters, because my handy Kindle “percentage read” guide told me so. And when it does, it is not immediately apparent that a murder has occurred. And once this does become apparent, there are only a very small handful of people that could concei ...more
Rachel Crooks
Aug 26, 2012 Rachel Crooks rated it really liked it
Miss Pym Disposes was a comforting mixture of the elements of other fun mystery books of the time. Like Harriet Vane in Gaudy night, Miss Pym also visits a girls shool and discovers that all is not as it seems. Like Miss Marple, Miss Pym also discovers more about people's characters because of how they remind her of other people she has known. Like a Barbara Pym novel, this book was full of witty asides that made every sentence delicious.

Usually I am bothered when authors copy each other - such
Mar 07, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
This book would have never hit my radar, but my Goodreads friend, Jane, read it and enjoyed it. That was enough for me. Good call, Jane. I ejnoy books set in the first half of the twentieth century in England and this one is no exception. Miss Pym inherits just enough money so that she can leave the teaching profession and follow her other interests. After reading numerous books on psychology, which she find silly, she writes one herself that, surprisingly enough, becomes a best-seller. On the b ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: england
Josephine Tey has a lovely way with words and knows her way around a complex sentence. Her gentle wit makes all of her books a delight to read. In this novel, the main character Miss Pym is a retired teacher whose best seller on psychology has made her a celebrity and supposed expert on "reading people." Life as a celebrity author in London turns out to be rather dull and predictable and she thoroughly enjoys getting to know the lively young students at Leys College when she travels there as a g ...more
Margaret Sullivan
Dec 04, 2013 Margaret Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Lucy Pym, best-selling author of a book on psychology (though she is not a psychologist), arrives at a physical training college for young women, where her school friend is headmistress, to give a lecture. She likes the college and the girls, and ends up staying on past the lecture, observing the relationships between the girls and the staff members and some outsiders. One of the girls is killed--is it an accident, or the result of jealousy, ambition, or something else?

Josephine Tey is just the
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover update needed 2 21 May 25, 2015 09:27AM  
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Josephine Tey was a pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh. Josephine was her mother's first name and Tey the surname of an English Grandmother. As Josephine Tey, she wrote six mystery novels including Scotland Yard's Inspector Alan Grant.

The first of these, 'The Man in the Queue' (1929) was published under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot , whose name also appears on the title page of another of her 19
More about Josephine Tey...

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“She would go away deep into the green and white and yellow countryside, and smell the may and lie in the grass and feel the world turning on its axis, and remember that it was a very large world, and that College griefs were mild and bitter but soon over and that in the Scale of Things they were undeniably Very Small Beer.” 2 likes
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