I've been really busy, so this slender book took me a much longer time to read than I expected. And not because it wasn't good, because it was good. Quite good.
This is my fourth Tey - I've already read Brat Farrar, The Franchise Affair & The Singing Sands. What a sadness it is that she died so young. I'm directly in the middle of her oevre - I've read four and have four left to read.
Miss Pym is not my favorite of the bunch - that honor goes to Brat Farrar. But there hasn't been a Tey that I disliked, although I was least impressed by The Singing Sands. I'm going to have to give that one another chance, though, now that I've warmed to Tey so much more.
I really liked this one. The setting at the school was delightful, and the characters of the Seniors were drawn with perspicacity laced with generosity. Like Tigus, I loved Nut Tart. Tey captured that moment in life when school is ending and youth is moving onto, and into, its future. The anticipation, the desperation, the uncertainty, the sense of standing on a precipice.
Did Miss Pym do the right thing? That's a question that remains. I tend to think not, because her decision absolved a character who is dangerously unbalanced. Perhaps if Tey had lived longer, a sequel would have required Miss Pym to reckon with the consequences of her decision.
I'm reminded of Hickory Dickory Dock, or even Crooked House, a little bit here. Who takes responsibility for the next victim. And the victim after that? Because if there's one thing that Agatha Christie teaches us, it's that a murderer who has gotten away with it doesn't stop at one - especially when the murder is cold-bloodedly motivated by gain.
Anyway, great read!