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?There are many mentions of tea and coffee through this book. People meet. Tea or coffee is shared. Confidences are exchanged.
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.
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)I told you it was easy.
boiled egg, chopped
sweet pickle relish
Mix ingredients to taste.
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.