Horse sense is the instinct that keeps horses from betting on men.— Josephine Tey
The most instructive Josephine Tey quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
The worst of pushing horrible things down into one's subconscious is that when they pop up again they are as fresh as if they had been in a refrigerator. You haven't allowed time to get at them to-to mould them over a little.
It was pleasant to talk shop again; to use that elliptical, allusive speech that one uses only with another of one's trade.
Weak people can be very stubborn.
You can't have a tin can tied to your tail and go through life pretending it isn't there.
The trouble with you, dear, is that you think an angel of the Lord as a creature with wings, whereas he is probably a scruffy little man with a bowler hat.
Nothing puts things in perspective as quickly as a mountain.
A man may own a ship, but unless he is captain of a crew he goes where the ship goes.
It is the utterly destructive quality.
When you say vanity, you are thinking of the kind that admires itself in mirrors and buys things to deck itself out in. But that is merely personal conceit. Real vanity is something quite different. A matter not of person but of personality. Vanity says, "I must have this because I am me." It is a frightening thing because it is incurable.
Lack of education is an extraordinary handicap when one is being offensive.
Truth is often terribly thin, don't you think?
The truth of anything at all doesn't lie in someone's account of it.
It lies in all the small facts of the time. An advertisement in a paper, the sale of a house, the price of a ring.
Truth isn’t in accounts but in account-books.
If you think about the unthinkable long enough it becomes quite reasonable.
Riches ... don't consist in having things, but in not having to do something you don't want to do. ... Riches is being able to thumb your nose.
After three days without one, the desire to read a newspaper vanished.
And really, one was happier without.
Letterwriting is the natural outlet of the "odds.
" The busy-bodies, the idle, the perverted, the cranks, the feel-it-my-duties ... Also the plain depraved. They all write letters. It's their safe outlet, you see. They can be as interfering, as long-winded, as obscene, as pompous, as one-idea'd, as they like on paper, and no one can kick them for it. So they write. My God, how they write!
I expect this is what death is like when you meet it. Sort of wildly unfair but inevitable.
That was the way with grief: it left you alone for months together until you thought that you were cured, and then without warning it blotted out the sunlight.
Fasting was good for the imagination but bad for logic.
It is not possible to love and be wise.
One would expect boredom to be a great yawning emotion, but it isn't, of course.
It's a small niggling thing.
He knew by heart every last minute crack on its surface.
He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it. He hated the sight of it.
There were people whose only interest in life was writing letters.
To the newspapers, to authors, to strangers, to City Councils, to the police. It did not much matter to whom; the satisfaction of writing seemed to be all.
Nothing in this world came out of satisfaction. Except the human race.
Most people's first books are their best anyways. It's the one they wanted most to write.
A thousand people drowned in floods in China are news: a solitary child drowned in a pond is tragedy.