Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Miss Pym Disposes

Just worked my way through this 1948 novel by Josephine Tey, whom my dad always praised.  It is the first mystery novel in which (spoiler alert) no crime occurs until the novel is maybe 85% done.  Instead, we have our heroine, a somewhat dowdy spinster, hanging out in girl's academy somewhere in verdant England, enjoying crumpets and tea and even other baked goods, while getting to know the students and speculating on their characters.  Much consideration is given to their faces, similar to Tey's other novel, The Daughter of Time, in which our hero lies abed in hospital pondering a portrait of Richard III, while digging into historical documents and writings about the same and working towards a solution to a centuries old mystery about the guy and his purported cruelties.  I could, truth be told, not push my way through that one.

I was in fact pulled through this one as much by the mystery of when something was going to actually freaking happen as by anything else. And the shortbreads and whatnot.  But I did, and, in the end, blood was spilled, so it was not entirely for naught, and there was at least at least a healthy brace of quaint diction, just to keep the brain fresh.

But it's not her best novel.

No comments: