Kribu's Reviews > Miss Pym Disposes

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey
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's review
Oct 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, read-in-2011
Read from October 15 to 17, 2011

This is one of those cases again when I can't quite decide how many stars to give... so it's above 4, but not quite 5, mostly because I only seem to give 5 stars these days to the rare books I get fannishly obsessed about.

I'd been hearing about Josephine Tey for a while now, but this is the first book by her that I've read, and I found it quite excellent. Not so much as a mystery, perhaps, but I rather think this wasn't the main purpose of this particular book - it was so much more a study of character, and people, and what makes people do the things that people do, and it was really excellent at that, especially with the way we, the readers, weren't told what is right and what is wrong, but were left to make up our own minds.

Lovely writing, too, and I was drawn into the world of this story, much like the titular Miss Pym was. The very English English of this period never fails to make me smile, and I enjoyed the characterisations a lot - what some authors would need many books for, Tey achieved in a few chapters here, creating a cast of characters that were almost all strong and interesting in their own ways.

I think I'll be wanting to read more of Tey after this.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Lisa (Harmonybites) She's one of my favorite mystery writers. And yes, she's more about writing novels with a mystery than mystery novels, and each of them feels really different. This one stood out to me for the twist at the end. Brat Farrar has I think her most appealing, sympathetic characters, and Daughter of Time is utterly unique. In it a present-day detective "solves" a real life historical mystery from his hospital bed. My biggest complaint about Tey is there are only 8 novels. Almost all are excellent and imo all are enjoyable.

Kribu That is really good to know (that they're almost all excellent; not that she only wrote eight), because I'm pretty sure I'll want to read more!

Lisa (Harmonybites) Kribu wrote: "That is really good to know (that they're almost all excellent; not that she only wrote eight), because I'm pretty sure I'll want to read more!"

I'd say Daughter of Time, Brat Farrar, Miss Pym Disposes and The Franchise Affair are excellent. Five stars or near.

Then To Love and Be Wise and The Singing Sands are very good indeed. Nearly as good as the above.

I think The Man in the Queue and A Shilling for Candles are merely "good"--they're her first two, but still worth reading.

You might want to read Brat Farrar next. Along with Miss Pym Disposes those are her only novels that don't feature her detective Inspector Alan Grant.

Kribu Thanks! Brat Farrar is probably the only one of the titles that I've known about for years, for some reason (hmm, now I'm wondering if it's possible we have it at home as a translation, because it looks too familiar somehow, like a vague memory, although I'm sure I haven't read it), so yeah, I might pick that one up as the next Tey book.

I'm always so happy when I read a book by someone new to me and enjoy it - and it's wonderful to know there's more to look forward to, even if it's not dozens of books.

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