Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Funeral Urn

(Join in the Tea Tuesday party at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.)


Funeral Urn is a 1976 mystery novel by June Drummond. Ms. Drummond was born in 1923 and died in 2011. You can read an obituary here. She was prolific, writing 30 novels during her career. This is a slight novel at 160 pages and a quick and easy read. I picked it up at a used book store because I had never heard of the author. She doesn't have a Wikipedia entry. I can't find any of her books still in print.

from the back of the book:
Margot Wootten discovers the village of East Amber, in Suffolk, entirely by chance; she happens to run out of gas there. Wandering in the churchyard, she finds a strange tombstone: a funeral urn filled with flowers and leaves, all of them poisonous. Why is Bess Tuckett, who died sixty years ago at the age of nineteen, commemorated in such a cruel fashion?

Margot, who has her own reasons for feeling embittered with life, begins to explore Bess's story. What she uncovers is the story of a community more cruel than any one murderer could ever be.
There are many mentions of tea and coffee through this book. People meet. Tea or coffee is shared. Confidences are exchanged.

Favorite quotes:
If desolation marked the way, there was hope for her yet.
....
I believe it's the present that explains the past, not the other way about.
This particular work is interesting, nicely written, with characters that invite an emotional response. It's not great literature; and I can't say it's intellectually satisfying as a mystery, as too much seems to be guessed at by the protagonist and presented as fact; but it's a perfect read for a summer afternoon on the patio.


and speaking of the patio... It's a perfect place to read. And eat. And on this day I had a little salad plate and some Bigelow Lemon Lift tea and enjoyed the beautiful late afternoon sun. I remember when I found out that some people put mustard in their tuna salad. Or onion. I use a quick and easy recipe that includes neither:
canned chunk white tuna (packed in water, not oil)
boiled egg, chopped
sweet pickle relish
mayonnaise

Mix ingredients to taste.
I told you it was easy.

For the green salad I just use mixed greens and add some tomato, some chopped raisins (or any other chopped dried fruit) and some chopped walnuts.

I don't make anything complicated, and I don't make anything that has a kajillion steps or that requires a bunch of different ingredients. I don't enjoy the actual fixing enough to do that when the food will be gone in less than an hour. I like the quick-and-easy recipes just as much. And that gives me more time on the patio. With a book.


30 comments:

  1. I wondered where you post was going to take me...maybe some new drinking vessel!
    I am with you on the simple preparations of food. No point messing with it for hours as it doesn't last long...other than cake of course!
    Hugs
    xx

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    1. yes, cake! That's different lol Happy T Tuesday :)

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  2. An easy read, a good salad, weather that allows all this to take place on the patio. Sounds like a perfect summer afternoon.

    Darla

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    1. You're right. It doesn't get much better than that :)

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  3. A good book and yummy treats and the perfect place to enjoy them all...looks and sounds just perfect!
    The "present explains the past" quote is really good...
    It is always fun how tea (mostly) enters into any book or show about the UK (Australian and NZ too actually)...
    tea is the great equalizer and fixer no matter the circumstance :-)
    Happy T Day to you
    oxo

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    1. "tea is the great equalizer and fixer" I love that sentiment :)

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  4. Your salad looks really delicious but sorry i can't eat mayo or vinegar as I am allergic, but I do use mustard and lemon juice with garlic and oil. really yummy. Thanks for sharing and I love your place to relax it looks so inviting.

    Hugs Eliza

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    1. I've had tuna salad with mustard, and it was a shock. lol. Not bad, just different. I love it that recipes can be changed to suit, especially where allergies are concerned.

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  5. LOL! I don't use mustard but i would add onion.. :) Sounds like a wonderful read. My nose is in a Stephen King book ..The Shining.... and i have the sequel waiting in the wings....Doctor Sleep....Happy T Day!! Hugs! deb

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    1. I've known people who add onion or celery for a bit of crunch. I haven't read The Shining, tho it's on my list. I didn't even know there was a sequel. Thx! :)

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  6. That salad looks really yummy. Sitting outside reading is a favorite activity of mine. I don't seem to have or take the time to do it much anymore.

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    1. I should take more advantage of my patio. Now that I'm paying more attention to the plants I'm out there more.

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  7. that's a lot like the way I make tuna salad, but without the egg. I admit to sometimes using onion when I get ambitious enough to chop up a bit! The book sounds fun...and reading outside with a nice cup of tea sounds wonderful! happy T day!

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    1. There are so many different ways to make it. Variety is the spice of life :)

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  8. This sounds like a lovely read for a late afternoon tea. I'm with Eliza, though. I'm also allergic to mayo and vinegar, so I use Ranch dressing. I do add onions at times, though. Yours sounds equally yummy (except for the mayo, of course).

    Thanks for sharing the book and your late lunch (and recipe) for T this Tuesday.

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    1. A book on the patio. It was sweet :)

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  9. When the weather is nice (spring and fall only) I do enjoy sitting on the patio with a good book. Interesting about the poisonous bouquet....??? Grin

    Since DH started catching tuna on his fishing trips I will only eat fresh tuna, preferably grilled and or smoked. I guess I have become a Tuna Snob.......LOL But I do use your recipe for chicken salad, but I do use onion and a dash of mustard and sometimes chopped tomatoes.....:oO when available: like in the fridge!

    Thanks for the visit. Happy T-day

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    1. Yes, the idea of a spiteful headstone was creepy. Oh! Fresh-caught grilled tuna. So nice. I make do with canned, but, oh, yours sounds like the better plan.

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  10. The perfect place to enjoy a fab meal and a good book--yeah!
    Happy T-Day!
    xxx
    Susi

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    1. Yes, fun is where you find it :) Happy T Tuesday!

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  11. YOU can be the first to write the Wikipedia entry on June! Someone has to do it, right? And thanks for your tuna salad recipe, I had never thought of adding the egg. Kind of interesting. I add mayo, a bit of mustard and relish too to my tuna, as well as fresh dill. Love that dill! Happy crafting!

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    1. I couldn't find enough about her online to make a Wikipedia entry. Well, unless I just copied the informative obit I read. That's probably frowned upon, I imagine... Happy T Day :)

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  12. Looks like a perfect meal for an afternoon on the patio. Our patio is in the sun until late in the day when I am usually not free to just sit and read, but you make it look and sound so appealing, I may drag a chair into the shade!

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    1. We are lucky to have a north-facing patio up against the house. We have some shade out there all day. It's nice :)

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  13. I love mysteries but have not read any novels by Ms. Drummond. Your lunch looks delicious.I too love quick, healthy and easy recipes.
    Have a great week
    Susan

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    1. I think she's not readily available. So many fine books are out of print. Happy T Day :)

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  14. LOL! when I saw "funeral urn"...
    Lemon teas are always good.
    Happy T-Day! :)

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    1. I agree! The title is eye-catching lol

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  15. No mustard in my tuna salad but I do add onion if no celery on hand. Pickle relish yes. Makes all the difference. I do love a book that describes food and eating. English novels abound with these scenes, it sems to me.

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    1. It seems so to me, too. Those breakfasts, and dinners, and teas out on the lawn.

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