Fizzyatry: The Black Dream by Conyth Little (1953)

Agatha Bunson is a woman troubled. A cleanliness freak (or suffering from OCD as the new stuff of fizzyatry would diagnose it), she just can’t stand her sloppy, dirty cook, Em. The only thing is that she can’t throw Em or the general handyman Fred out as her father’s will stipulates that she has to take care of them. Not that he left Agatha a lot when he died: just the house and a little cash. In order to make ends meet, Agatha has taken in tenents: the busy doctor. Allen Gremson with his efficient nurse, Mirrie; the interior decorator, Julia Rost; the stationer Appelby. Then there is Em’s nephew, Will who is often in the house.

When the novel opens, Agatha is trying her hardest to get Em out of service because though the latter is an excellent cook, her cleaning habits do not come up to Agatha’s standards. She also gets a new tenant, Dr Christine Hereser who unknown to Agatha, was once engaged to Allen and soon sparks go flying. But Agatha has more troubles in store than merely a slatternly cook or bickering tenants, she has the habit of sleepwalking, and of late, things have become worse. However, even she is taken aback when she finds Em dead on her rocker. Did she hate Em so much to kill her? Agatha doesn’t want to be confined so she puts Em, rocker and all, in a closet. But Em wants a proper funeral and so writes a note to Agatha. Is Agatha crazy or is there a devious game being played? Inspector Lewis, recently promoted, investigates and gets into Will’s hair as he gets too close to Mirrie.

I enjoyed the book with its bickering lovers and shady tenants but not to the extent that I enjoyed The Black Lady. Which is your favourite of the Little mysteries?


First Line: Miss Agatha Bunson found herself polishing the stair rail rather too vigorously – and realised that she was thinking of her father again.

Publication Details: 1953. London: Collins (The Crime Club), 1953.

Pages: 192

9 thoughts on “Fizzyatry: The Black Dream by Conyth Little (1953)

  1. This sounds very funny. This author (pair of authors?) is hit or miss for me. I will have to look for a copy. I hope it isn’t hard to find.

    Liked by 1 person

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