Book Review| Miss Buncle’s Book

Miss Buncle’s Book

By D.E. Stevenson

Miss Buncle's Book









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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Shall I Compare Thee

Recently, I went to a writer’s conference. Since I am having some trouble with my eyes and have not gotten my eyeglass prescription quite right yet, my eldest son drove me. He is not a writer. He writes computer code, but that’s about it. His reading selections tend toward technical nonfiction, the Bible, and a little Sci-Fi.

We were chatting with a writer and I asked her what she wrote. The boy had no idea what Rom Com meant. It kind of rhymes with Comic Con, but he knew they were not otherwise related.

Later he asked me, “What did she say she writes?”

“Romantic Comedy.”

“”Oh,” he says. “Like A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Even though Shakespeare basically invented the genre, for some reason his answer tickled me to no end. Maybe I was fatigued, but for whatever reason it struck me funny.

“Well,” he said, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the only romantic comedy I can think of, except for The Taming of The Shrew.”

I promise, this guy has sat through some chick flicks, but apparently they didn’t cut the mustard.

Maybe all some guys need is Shakespeare. You know, a man could do worse than to borrow from The Bard. If your fella could sing Sonnet 18 to you at a key moment, it would impress.

Old fashioned is still romantic.

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Meeting the Governor

It’s not every day you get to meet the governor, but last week I did. I listened to him speak to a smallish group, wishing my daughter could be in the room. This is an important man.

He was very personable. I enjoyed his talk immensely and told him so. I got to shake his hand and have my picture taken with him. Right before the picture was snapped I wished I had worn something else, but was pleased just the same thinking about how I could say to my friends, “Guess what? I met the Governor!”

Here it is week later and I didn’t mention it to a soul. It’s been a hectic week. We are trying to get ready for a trip my daughter is taking. Performances are involved, so there are practices, costumes to get ready, hotel reservations to make, the list goes on. One of the boys is sick with some sort of virus again. It has been raining quite a bit lately and my car sprung a leak. A good six inches of water collected in the bottom of the trunk before we noticed it. There has been some upheaval in other areas of life as well. I think the most disrupting thing has been the addition of a new puppy to our family.

He is an eight week old mixed darling who came to us needing medical care and grooming. Now that he is feeling better we have discovered he obviously has some ADHD heritage. While our new pup Thunder is a joy, like some of the human boys in this family who also have ADHD heritage, he is an exhausting joy. He is going to be l a r g e. It is imperative that he learn commands like ‘down’ as soon as possible. Anyone who has ever had a pup knows there is a massive time investment in the cleaning and scooping areas as well. So I’ve been busy. Too busy to think about name dropping at all.

Yesterday my hands were in a sink of dirty dishes and I was day dreaming about being a famous novelist someday. Perhaps people would line up just to shake my hand and smile at me. That’s when I remembered meeting the Governor. If I ever do get famous I will certainly not be as important or vital as he is, and I had forgotten all about my big moment of meeting the governor.

Should my day in the spotlight ever come and my head start to swell, I will remind myself that people might have other things on their minds besides thinking about how great I am. Like getting on back to the house in hopes there won’t be extra puppy messes to clean up.