Bill's Reviews > Miss Pym Disposes

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
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M 50x66
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Jun 04, 2011

really liked it

The first book I read by Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time, was many, many years ago. Only recently did I find out about this book and read it.
The story is set at Leys Physical Training College in an English village and the author attended a similar school in Birmingham, U.K. Miss Pym is a retired teacher who wrote a best seller on psychology and became a celebrity. The Head Mistress of the college is a childhood friend of Miss Pym's and invites her to visit for the graduation festivities at the school. The crime that provides the mystery does not take place until about three quarters of the way into the book. Prior to the crime we are introduced to the characters who consist of the staff and students at the school. The descriptions of the characters and their dialogue are well done and you get to know them quickly. There is also some well written description of the countryside surrounding the school.
The plot moves well and the crime, though unexpected, is a natural outcome of the preceding events. As in all good mysteries there is an end and then a final surprise twist to the plot which is the final ending. The plot contains a number of surprises but none of them are contrived. At the end Miss Pym holds a clue which would seem to solve the crime but she is conflicted about revealing it. This conflict is based upon her feeling for the people involved and her fear that the law will not provide justice. The final twist is a surprise to Miss Pym and left me with more questions about Miss Pym's decision.
This book is very well written. It is not only entertaining but thought provoking. Ms. Tey ( Elizabeth Mackintosh) was an excellent writer. She died in 1952 and her books have remained in print since that time. Even if you are not a mystery reader you should seriously consider reading this book and finding out for yourself.
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