Have you read Miss Buncle's Book by DE Stevenson and its sequels?

netla

I was going through the Persephone Books catalog and looking for something lighthearted to read to follow up Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day. Among the books I spotted was Miss Buncle's Book by DE Stevenson, which seems to be a lighthearted comedy (about a spinster who writes a novel based on the inhabitants of the small village where she lives). There are two sequels: Miss Buncle Married and the Two Mrs Abbotts. If you have read any of them (but especially the first), can you recommend them?

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yoyobon_gw

Thanks for that idea Netla ! I just ordered a copy of the first Buncle book on Amazon and look forward to enjoying it.

Bon

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vee_new

Netla, I haven't read any of them but see they are very popular on the Amazon site. I have tried to order the first one from the library . . . but they don't have any of the titles available. No surprise there!

Edited to add: I have just checked at the library website under 'Authors name' and they DO have a copy of D E Stevenson's Miss Bunkle's Book . . . but I'm not allowed to borrow it. Go figure . . . as you say in the US.

Instead, and after going through the Persephone list, I have ordered (again from the library) something by Sylvia Townsend-Warner and another by Mollie Panter-Downes.

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annpanagain

I remember the name with a smile so probably read it with enjoyment many years ago. Not sure about having read the sequels.

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rouan

I have read all three of them. The first one is my favorite but the other two are decent reads.


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annpanagain

My library is able to get the first two books and I can buy the third from Book Depository if I can't source it locally. I recognised the title but don't recall if or when I read the first book. It will be good to read something amusing!


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netla

Than you for the comments. Considering the responses, I think I will go and order at least the first, maybe all of them.

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sheri_z6

I've read all three, and I agree with Rouan, the first is the best, but the other two are also quite nice. It's always nice to revisit book friends and find out what happened after. I enjoyed them all and I hope you do, too.

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merryworld

I just finished the first one and really enjoyed it. Delightfully escapist!

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annpanagain

Of course, I got the second book first! So I have been waiting for the first one to arrive to read in order. I am told it will be at my library branch next week.

As I notice that some RP'ers still don't have libraries open, I can hardly complain about the service we are getting. Possibly it was out on loan in a far-away library in our huge State! Our home postal service is being cut to twice a week to free up postal workers who are overwhelmed with parcel deliveries from i'net orders and it isn't even Christmas yet!

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salonva

This is so funny- I just read it! I also had heard of it, and tried to get it in ebook form from my library. It seemed to not have the e version at all. I tried again and was able to get the first one which I just finished yesterday. It was terrific. I am pretty sure that about a year ago I did read something else by D E Stevenson ( a small book- hard copy). Someone on another site I frequent sent me the other 2 books in epub format which I can read on my chromebook. ( I prefer kindle for being able to read anywhere but honestly where am I going these days so chromebook works).

If anyone wants, if you message me I can try to email you the 3 Buncle books.

As an aside, it reminded me very much of the Mapp and Lucia books which I read probably 25 years ago and adored as well.


Edited to add, the book I read was The House of the Deer. It was cute, but nothing as good as the Buncle book. I notice it wa really at the end of her life.

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yoyobon_gw

I'm almost finished with Miss Buncles Book and must say I am thoroughly enjoying it. It was published in 1936 and I find the books from that time are so good.

One of my other favorites from that era is With Malice Toward Some by Margaret Halsey.

Also really liked I Lost My English Accent and Trousers Must Be Worn both by C.V.R. Thompson

I'd also add Down The Garden Path by Beverley Nichols.

Not sure if it was published in this era but another favorite is Great Mischief by Josephine Pinckney. An eerie, odd tale to be sure !

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annpanagain

I have just finished Miss Buncle's Book and have a spoiler question.

The doctor's wife signed documents that she was John Smith to get her abducted twins back but later the people who forced this confession are still looking for John Smith. Have I missed something?

The doctor and his wife don't appear to have done anything about the abduction to the people responsible either!

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annpanagain

I agree that the second book isn't as riveting, although there were less characters for me to sort out! I skip-read quite a bit towards the end. It seemed rather episodic, like it was meant for a popular woman's magazine series.

It helped that the first book was in Large Print which aided my current poor eye sight.

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salonva

I have only read the first one so far, and I loved it. I have found that I am often pretty bad at recalling specifics in the stories I read, and unfortunately, I tried to think of the answers to your questions and can't remember enough!! (Sometimes even while I am in the middle of a book I will try to remember how such and such came to be, and I don't always know). I thought something happened where they realized that Dr Wife was not the author and they went back to the drawing board to find John Smith.

Hopefully someone else with much better recall will clue us in.

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vee_new

I still live in hope that I might be able to get this book from our library. As we only have limited opening I made a point of speaking to a librarian a few weeks ago when picking up a book I had ordered. She checked the catalogue and said the book is within the 'system' so shouldn't have been marked as 'unavailable' and she would see where the problem lay. Nothing so far so I might have to phone on one of the days someone is in the building.

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annpanagain

Vee, don't read this spoiler!

Salonva, I have re-read the chapters and the only explanation I can find is that the doctor's wife was going to tell her husband about the kidnapping.

That was an opportunity for another chapter, which wasn't written, so I have made one up for myself where the doctor spoke to the instigators of the plot and threatened them with the police if they didn't destroy the documents, signed under the threat of not getting her twins back, by his wife. He told the two women his wife was not John Smith. That was why they were still looking for him.

They never told the rest of the people who had been at the drawing room meeting (a very funny chapter in the book!) so they still thought the doctor's wife was John Smith and shunned her.

In the book, the truth comes out when the second John Smith book is published with details of the kidnapping and clues to the author.

I read so many mystery stories that I expect loose ends to be tidied up, even if I have to do it for myself!

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salonva

Very cool Ann~ And, @vee_new-- I was able to get the first book from the library on kindle, but they do not have the others. Someone on another forum was nice enough to email me the ebook versions ( not kindle) which I believe anyone can read on computer or phone. If you are interested, let me know and I can try to email it to you ( or anyone else for that matter). It worked for me! and I am saving the next 2 for a later date.

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vee_new

I've had to give up on Miss Bunkle. The library has lost its only copy as the unfortunate lady has probably been purloined by a customer and there is no chance of then buying a replacement copy and I am too mean to spend £17 plus postage on a second hand paper-back (how can they ask so much?)

Salonva, thank you for your kind offer but I don't know if an ebook version would make the journey across the Pond because of copyright restrictions etc.

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netla

I ordered the first book from BookDepo and a different publisher, since I liked the cover art on it better than the one from Persephone. The order went out on November 10th, and I have received news that it has arrived and is somewhere in the depths of the mail depot. In the meantime I discovered that I have the eBook version, so I read it and found it funny and enjoyable enough that I am going to order book no. 2. I hope I'll receive it before Xmas.

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yoyobon_gw

I am currently enjoying Young Clementina also by DE Stevenson.

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titian1 10b Sydney

I have read everything by DE Stevenson that I've been able to get my hands on - and that is a lot! I especially love the ones set in Scotland.

If you enjoy DE Stevenson, you may also like books by Lucilla Andrews. They are not humourous, but well written and very interesting. She was a VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) during WWII in England, and went on to become a nurse. Most of her books revolve around nursing..

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Diane Brakefield

Hi Trish, you got me to reading Miss Buncle and I read the whole series, plus about everything else DE Stevenson wrote. I passed all these books on to our friend flowersaremusic on the Roses Forum. I purchased all my books from Amazon. Looking back, I think I loved the first book in the Buncle series best. diane

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titian1 10b Sydney

Me too, Diane.

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Rosefolly

Inspired by this conversation I have downloaded an ebook of Miss Buncle's Book from our local public library, though I have not yet read it. I also dowloaded and read Eva Ibbotson's The Secret Countess. I found it pleasant and readable, but for me it is probably not a read-again book. Long ago I read DE Stevenson's The Young Clementina, and I liked it enough to read it again a decade later. However I've tried a couple of her other books and couldn't get into them.

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titian1 10b Sydney

Rosefolly, The Young Clementina is one of my favourites by her. Another is Amberwell. Miss B's Book is very light and fluffy, not that any of her books could be called heavy.

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Rosefolly

I haven't tried Amberwell. Perhaps I will give it a try. Thank you!

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Carolyn Newlen

I started Miss Buncle's Book last night and find it delightful. I hope to finish it tonight and have the other two downloaded from the library (14 days).

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Rosefolly

I've completed Miss Buncle's Book and enjoyed it. My library does not have very many, but I've requested a couple more. I'll let you know what I think once I've given them a try.

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Carolyn Newlen

After completing Miss Buncle's Book, I have read Miss Buncle Married and The Two Mrs. Abbotts and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I do agree that MBB is the best.

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