Miss Pym Disposes

Miss Pym Disposes

by Josephine Tey

Hardcover(Large Print Edition)

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Overview

Miss Lucy Pym, a popular English psychologist, is guest lecturer at a physical training college. The year's term is nearly over, and Miss Pym — inquisitive and observant — detects a furtiveness in the behavior of one student during a final exam. She prevents the girl from cheating by destroying her crib notes. But Miss Pym's cover-up of one crime precipitates another — a fatal "accident" that only her psychological theories can prove was really murder.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786217786
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 04/28/1999
Edition description: Large Print Edition
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 5.76(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Josephine Tey is considered one of the greatest mystery writers of all time. She died in 1952.

Customer Reviews

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Miss Pym Disposes 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is kind of odd that I should be the first to write a review about this wonderful little mystery. It is not that the plot is deep or the mystery confusing in middle, but it is the way Tey has written the book. Fluid flow.Unputtable.Highly enjoyable.Expect the bits of racism common with writers' of her generation, the rest is just superb narrative and I must tell you all to read the book.It is a diffrent genre of mystery alltogether.
LectorsBooks More than 1 year ago
Reading something by Josephine Tey has been on my “to be read” list for a while – I’m a huge fan of other Golden Age mystery authors and she is ranked up there with Sayers, Christie, Allingham and Marsh. It’s been a few days since I read this now, and I’m still trying to decide if I liked it. It is very different from a standard murder mystery, in fact, if I hadn’t read the blurb (which I think gives away too much), I wouldn’t have realized I was reading a murder mystery. You’re more than two thirds of the way through the book before anything unpleasant happens. However, despite that, it was an enjoyable read. Miss Pym, the heroine, is a quirky but fun character, and the occasional humorous non sequitur reminded me a little bit of Douglas Adams' humor. The setting in a women’s college and some of the themes throughout the book reminded me quite strongly of Gaudy Night (published in 1935 – just over a decade earlier), though it didn’t feel like a knockoff, just familiar. As I said earlier, I’m not entirely sure that I liked it. I would certainly rank it below the other four authors previously mentioned. It didn’t follow the normal conventions of a mystery, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it did take some recalibrating. I think I would read more Josephine Tey, but I’m in no hurry to run out and get another one. If I may borrow from the collegiate world, I would rate this as Golden Age Mysteries 201 - after you've investigated the subject in Golden Age Mysteries 101 (Sayers, Christie, and so on) and want to explore further, this would be a good step. *This review originally appear at Lector's Books*
ccayne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tey writes beautifully. The portrait of the boarding school is priceless and all the characters are finely drawn. I didn't like this as much as Brat Farrar but it certainly had its own charms.
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miss Pym Disposes is the second book by Josephine Tey that I have read and she is rapidly becoming a favorite mystery writer. She produces a well written, tightly plotted story that although slightly dated and with the inclusion of a couple of throw away racial comments that grated, held my attention throughout. Set in the isolated world of a Women¿s Physical Training College, Miss Pym, as a current best seller of a book on psychology, arrives as a guest lecturer Meaning to leave the day after her lecture, she succumbs to this insulated world of young women and eventually stays through to the end of the year and the graduating exercises. She enjoys getting to know and becoming attached to some of these young women. She also enjoys the sense of belonging and she experiences.Rather than a full blown mystery or whodunit, this book examines moral questions and a person¿s responsibility to pass on evidence, even if it is extremely damaging. Miss Pym makes her choices based on her belief in psychology and on what she feels is the right and just thing to do. Whether she is correct or not, the reader is left to judge.This book is by no means a fast paced action thriller, instead we are gently led through the last days of the term and the impact that certain decisions have on everyone. Great characterizations help to move this book along and keep it interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed Miss Pym Disposes.
MusicMom41 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m not sure this qualifies as a mystery although all books by Tey are generally categorized as mystery. This is a novel about a somewhat lonely, likable English woman who was a French teacher until she wrote a book on psychology (generally just using common sense to refute some the ¿learned opinions¿ being bandied about) and accidentally became a celebrity. She is invited to be guest speaker at a girls¿ Physical Training School where she becomes involved with several of the girls lives. When she decides to ignore and cover up an infraction of one of the students she sets in motion a chain of events that that has far reaching repercussions. When I went through my ¿Josephine Tey phase¿ many years ago I couldn¿t get into this book and so hadn¿t read it. From a more mature perspective this may be one of her best ¿ and that¿s saying a lot from my memory of how much I liked the others.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well observed Tey, with the odd setting of a women's physical training college. A typical Teyian format, in that the crime does not surface until near the end, and most of the action consists in understanding characters and how they interact.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book but, if someone specifically wanted a mystery, it probably wouldn't occur to me to recommend it. Why? Well, the book is 235 pages long, the mystery doesn't occur until page 179, and the majority of the remaining pages aren't focused on attempts to solve it. Instead, the reader is given the opportunity to watch the responses of the individuals, to participate in their reactions to adversity and their struggles of conscience. And that is the strength of this book. The "mystery" is just a vehicle; what Josephine Tey has really crafted here is a study of characters and she's done it extremely well. They seem real enough that you feel you've met someone very much like them at some point in your life.When all is revealed at the end, it all seems right, both to Miss Pym and the reader, because we've all come to know these people and have some understanding of their desires and their capabilities.Definitely recommended.
krsball on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My favorite Josephine Tey book. Her writing is great and the plot is character driven. LOVE this book. One of my favorite things about this book is that it took me chapters to figure out when it was set--masterful writing.
JonRob on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read this for ages, and enjoyed it more than I expected to; the setting of a women's physical training college is well-drawn, as are most of the characters. It's rather hard to credit Lucy Pym's fame as the author of a book on psychology, but if you overlook that she's a likeable sleuth, and her problem in dealing with her findings are probably the best part of the book. One oddity is that, although the book was first published in 1946, there is no mention of the war, which makes one wonder if it had been written pre-war and only published some years later.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a rather odd sort of mystery, as for most of the book there is no mystery at all. Miss Pym, a pop psychologist, spends a week in residence at a girls' school. Much of her time is spent getting to know the students, and noticing how bucolic and normal everything seems to be. Then, one girl is terribly slighted by the headmistress, and it becomes clear to the reader that something terrible is about to happen. That something terrible happens near the end of the book. What appears to be an accident might be something more sinister, at least it seems so to Miss Pym. This is really a backwards sort of book. Most of the book is spent studying the characters, before there is any hint of nefarious activity. What I found most interesting about this book was that it provided a look into a competitive girls' boarding school. Without giving too much away, I was never able to figure out why the headmistress made the decision that she did. The slight on which the whole mystery turns was essentially inexplicable.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Josephine Tey is one of my favorite authors, and though this novel isn't as well-known as her Daughter of Time or Brat Farrar I still consider it a standout and one of my favorite mystery novels.Like Dorothy Sayer's mystery Gaudy Night, this novel is set at a women's college--but not the rarefied Oxford of Sayer's Harriet Vane. This is set at Leys, a British college of "Physical Training" with subjects like gymnastics, ballet, kinesiology, anatomy, diet and hygiene. Lucy Pym is a the bestselling author of a pop psychology book and a visiting lecturer and friend of the headmistress. She remarks to a student from Brazil, Teresa, known as "The Nut Tart" that she sees the students as normal and healthy. But Teresa, as an outsider, has a different view, and that's the first hint we get there might be more to this bunch. (And incidentally--one example of Tey's deft storytelling is that she uses idiom and syntax to indicate Teresa isn't a native English speaker instead of using the usual hard-to-comprehend phonetic spellings and elisions that make a foreign speaker come across as an uneducated moron.)One review complains the novel is "plodding," and Tey certainly takes her time in this one. Nothing much happens through three-quarters of the book. This isn't a suspenseful novel, but more a psychological study. Most mysteries start with a murder, then add one or two by the end, with Clues(tm) along the way. Here it's more that the subtle clues of character are what builds up to the tragedy. Action packed this is not.This is one of the most memorable mysteries I've ever read, to a great extent because of the twist at the end. And yes, in a puzzle piece Agatha Christie sense, it's a good twist, but the impact of it for me was so much more than that of any Agatha Christie I've read, because of the consequences and because of how in its way it's so subversive of the whole tidy cozy mystery genre and amateur sleuthing. The title takes on a rather significant meaning at the end.
eleanor_eader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 simply wallow in the amiable guest¿s pleasant reception by the girls, and to join her in her character assessment of them. In the end, the character of Miss Pym, as well as the girls, is tested.The charm of the setting and characters would have made this story an instant favourite, but I also deeply enjoyed the prolonged, relaxed lead-up to the crime; we are immersed in the world of the girls¿ studies and career concerns so that when the curiously unlikable and duplicitous Rouse is given the opportunity of a prestigious teaching post over the more natural choice of the brilliant Innes, the impact is properly felt by the reader as much as by their confused and outraged peers.It¿s a lovely work of crime fiction despite the unchallenging plot, with a sort of frothy girl-school good nature and underlying human nature that make an interesting mix, and Tey¿s writing style is delightful. Its isn¿t close to the brilliance of the gripping The Daughter of Time, but it has so much charm of its own that I enjoyed it thoroughly nonetheless; it would have been an easy five-star rating, if not for the casual racisms thrown in here and there. I have, in the past, rated books with five stars despite this bias against even `era-appropriate¿ turns of phrase, but in all honesty, they spoiled my enjoyment of this book a measurable, if small, amount, and I¿m choosing (both arbitrarily and pointlessly) to reflect it, because if my enjoyment wasn¿t perfect, I can't really justify rating it as though it was.
catherinestead on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For a crime novel, the crime is a very small part of the book. It takes place very near the end, and there is little in the way of investigation. The bulk of the book involves the titular Miss Pym - a psychologist or sorts, and a former teacher - visiting a physical training college for girls, and getting to know the staff and students, and becoming a part of the community. The characters - not just sketched but sustained in detail through the books - are very strong.First published in 1946, it's very interesting as a period piece: the atmosphere and attitudes of the period are displayed in detail, although it seems more 1930s than 40s, and I am curious to know whether it was written before or during the war and only published after. There's a lot of detail on the structure and functioning of the college which reflects the author's own experience. The plot is, I think, the weakest part. Or possibly the strongest, depending on how you look at it. There is a lot of deliberate vagueness and ambiguity, and those who like to know exactly whodunnit, and how, and why, will be disappointed. Those who like things a little less clear cut may find it very intriguing. The decision-making - of the college principal throughout the book, and of Miss Pym in certain places but particularly at the end - is also interesting. The title plays on the phrase "man proposes, God disposes", and Miss Pym certainly does a lot of the disposing - playing God, if you like - throughout the book. The arbitrary decisions of the principal (and one decision in particular) also fit into this theme. Miss Pym herself discusses this with another character at one point: how and why should people make decisions? Should they take a course of action to help one person, knowing another could be harmed - or do they allow the first to be injured to keep the other safe? It's really not much of a crime novel. But it is a passably interesting novel on the theme of ethics.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
don't worry! No spoilers, just a small synopsis ahead.Miss Pym Disposes, by Josephine Tey, is one of those books that sneak up on you at the end, and sort of catch you unprepared for the ending. It is a very good book, and Josephine Tey has never let me down. The basic plot is this (I can't say too much or it will wreck it for anyone who may want to read this book): Set in England, at a woman's college that specializes in physical training, Miss Lucy Pym, a specialist in Psychology, has come to be a guest lecturer. While she's there, a very unpopular student is awarded with a prize job that everyone thought should go to the student who was the smartest and most well-liked of all of the graduating seniors. Even Miss Pym realizes ther's been some kind of weird mistake in this placement; she had caught the student cheating on a final exam. This girl ends up dead, mysteriously, and the killer leaves behind only one clue, but her death is ruled "death by misadventure." Miss Pym is the finder of the clue, and she wonders what she should do: should she tell the headmistress, or keep her findings to herself and let "God Dispose?" I really can't say more, because I don't want to ruin the book - suffice it to say that there is a twist and taht it comes up out of nowhere.I would recommend the book; be aware that Josephine Tey died in 1952, so the action takes place a long time ago, and thus is not a modern mystery. However, I think the message in the story is a propos to our current time, so it makes for a good read.