Bunch Courtney is back. “In Her Defence” is the second book in the series, following on from “Winter Downs” winner of the Arnold Bennet Prize. As a great fan of Bunch’s it’s great to be immersed once more in the world of 1940s England. In war time, the role of women is changing and Bunch can use this to her advantage when on market day in the local town she witnesses the death of a young Dutch girl. The victim has obviously been poisoned and when Cecile, an old friend of Blanche’s, reveals that her father has recently died in similar circumstance, Blanche is keen to investigate. Teaming up with Inspector Wright the pair follow a complex paths of clues leading to an expected resolution.
“In Her Defence” is a great read. The book is tightly plotted. The period details give a depth and the author is not afraid to explore some of the darker sides of patriotism in times of war, when anyone who is the slightest bit different from the norm is immediately seen as a threat. The relationship between Bunch and Wright is developing in a highly satisfactory way and I am very much looking forward to seeing where that goes next. Bring on Book 3.
On Saturday friend and fellow writer Jan Edwards held a book launch for her latest Bunch Court detective novel at our local library.
Of course you can’t have a launch without cake, so Jan and I set to baking. Her cakes were all gluten free and totally wonderful. My muffins went down well too but anyone with a gluten intolerance was advised to avoid them as I had used normal flour.
289g plain white flour
1tbs baking power
½ tsp salt
115g caster sugar
6tbs sunflower oil
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Method: Preheat oven to 200/Gas 6
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Lightly beat eggs, then beat in milk, oil and lemon rind. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently do not over-mix. Spoon mix into muffin cases. Bake for about 20 min until well risen and firm to the touch. Leave in tin for 5 min then transfer to wire rack and leave to cool.
Decorate with water icing/butter cream, or anything else you fancy. For the launch I used water icing and sprinkles to give a retro look.
Sit down with “In Her Defence” a cup of tea/coffee and