I've been working on a story set in the 30s, which means immersing myself in books set and/or written during that period. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across D.E. Stevenson's Miss Buncle's Book (1934), the story of a woman in such desperate financial straits that she decides her only hope for income is to write a novel. (Ha ha!) Miss Buncle can only write what she knows, however, and this means showcasing the extravagant foibles of her own neighbors. Lo and behold, the book is a runaway bestseller, and the residents of Silverstream are aghast. How long can Miss Buncle maintain her anonymity once the villagers turn vengeful?
Miss Buncle's Book is laugh-aloud funny, sweetly romantic, and nearly impossible to put down. If you need more convincing, check out these reviews from Dear Author and Book Snob.
GREAT NEWS! The e-book can be yours for only $1.99 from Barnes & Noble or Amazon! It's also available from Audible.com.
If you prefer an actual book in your hands, the 2012 paperback edition from Sourcebooks is absolutely gorgeous.
For tea I decided on good old fashioned scones with jam and butter. (Tis a pity no one sells clotted cream in this town.) You'll find the scone recipe here. Instead of cutting the butter in, I used an old trick I learned from Iveta -- I melted the butter and then poured it into cold milk, which forms little butter flakes that mix well with the flour. Unfortunately, I didn't let the butter cool long enough, and perhaps that's why the scones didn't rise enough. Or maybe my baking powder is old? In any case, the scones were flat-ish but still very tasty.
For tea, I chose Twining's Everyday blend, which you can purchase online from the Twining's USA shop -- "A refreshing cup of tea for any time of the day."
If all goes as planned, next month's "Tea and a book" will come to you from England!
[Cross-posted at Livejournal]