Tey was mostly overshadowed in her lifetime by making the mistake of writing mystery novels around the same time as Agatha Christie. I first picked up a Tey book a few years ago (it was The Franchise Affair) and was somewhat surprised that Tey was kind of a best kept secret. And then I read Miss Pym Disposes and was disappointed. Of course, in my super scientific sample size of two, this just leaves Tey at a wash.
Miss Pym miraculously wrote a book about psychology, without ever having any training. Because writing books about a subject you know next to nothing about it apparently super easy in Tey’s world. So Pym gets slightly famous, as famous as you can get for writing a book on psychology, I suppose. A old school chum (yes, this is the type of book where “chum” fits right in) invites her to give a guest lecture at some strange college (maybe it’s a British thing, but the college is basically learning medical theory and then doing a lot of gym classes?). Miss Pym, once settled somewhere, apparently attaches herself to places like a barnacle because somehow a guest lecture and an overnight stay turned into a two week vacation for her. So the meat of the book is all about being British at college where every class is gym class. Eventually, someone finally dies (no, not of boredom) at around page 182. Of a 244 page book.
Of course, calling it a death is a bit generous, as the victim limps along, barely clinging to life, like us readers, for another ten pages or so. Then Miss Pym figures out who-dun-it. And decides, in her infinite wisdom, that the murder victim was smug, not very pretty and may have cheated on her final exams, so really, there’s no need to bother with justice over her death at all. What’s one dead, arrogant cheater with weird eyebrows worth anyways?