Miss Buncle’s Book
By D.E. Stevenson
Barbara Buncle finds herself in a bit of a financial pinch and must come up with a way to generate some income. She could raise chickens, but she doesn’t like chickens, so even though she has no imagination, she decides to write a book. In the fictional town of Copperfield, which closely resembles her own village of Silverstream, Miss Buncle writes the only thing she can. Under the pen name of John Smith, she writes about what she knows, life in her village. The characters are thinly veiled depictions of her neighbors. When the book becomes a hit, all manner of trouble erupts.
I loved this book. It is witty and fast paced, completely enjoyable. The characters are lovable, except for the ones we are not supposed to love, and the tale is superbly crafted. I enjoyed the idea of a book within a book. It was a light-hearted, effortless read full of subtle humor. We are not sure if Miss Buncle is extremely intelligent, or if she is completely oblivious.
Even though the characters in Miss Buncle’s Book are mirrors of her novel’s characters and the names switch back and forth, this story is never confusing.
I listened to this book on my older kindle and it was interesting enough that the text to speech voice did not distract or tire me as it usually does. I did not need to switch from listening to reading. Kindle voice and I went to the end of Miss Buncle’s Book together, which ended the way a book is supposed to, with a satisfying conclusion.
This book was originally published in 1934 and reissued in 2009. Because of this it is effortlessly authentic to the time.
If you like cozies, you may like this one.
This book was fun to read.
One note on the cover art, some editions have a picture of an old grey haired lady on the cover. That is not Miss Buncle! If you come across that cover, don’t let it deter you from reading.
An interesting fact is that D.E. Stevenson, also known by her married name of Dorothy Emily Peploe, was first cousin to Robert Louis Stevenson.
Issues of concern
Miss Buncle writes about her neighbors as she sees them, but with a sense of naiveté. There are two characters who are suggested to be lesbians. The novel Miss Buncle writes unveils all manner of scandal in the minds of some villagers, but Miss Buncle seems unaware of this. Miss Buncle’s Book is categorized as a clean read.
I can’t remember who recommended this book. If it was you, please drop me a line!
Another easy to read cozy I reviewed is The Sweetness At The Bottom of The Pie by Alan Bradly.
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