Tag Archives: cozy mystery

Series Obsession: Aunt Dimity by Nancy Atherton

29th July 2015

My reading has taken a distinctly different path since I complained about my “all cozy mystery, all the time” reading diet. However, reading about the Pacific War all the time could get a girl down, so for every nonfiction book or so, I throw in a cozy mystery.

My first experience with Aunt Dimity was Aunt Dimity & the Lost Prince back in 2013, and as fun as I proclaimed the series, it wasn’t until this year that I picked her up again. Since then, I’ve read six others, and Atherton’s latest, Aunt Dimity & the Summer King is no less charming. Aunt Dimity isn’t exactly a ghost, per se…but she does “speak” to Lori Shepherd through her notebook. For someone who really hates reading anything supernatural, Dimity’s presence doesn’t bother me. In fact, she is frank enough to often put Lori in her place when she needs it, something more cozy mystery heroines could use.

In Aunt Dimity & the Summer King, Lori’s beloved Finch seems to be in some kind of trouble. There are rumors of a developer coming in, changing the pastoral neighborhood (nosy neighbors and all!), and pricing out the locals.

But Lori can’t get any inside information. Upset about the possibility and distracted by family events and a looming birthday, Lori is thrilled when she meets her father-in-law’s eccentric neighbor Arthur Hargreaves. However, his name is mud with Lori’s neighbors over some ages-old feud between Finch and the adjacent village, of which Hargreaves is a part.

Lori (with Aunt Dimity’s ever-present help) is just the person to sort out such a mess and put to bed old grudges.

Aunt Dimity & the Deep Blue Sea was one of my favorites. Lori’s husband Bill receives a series of death threats. Scotland Yard believes it must be a former client (Bill is a family estate attorney), but to be safe, Lori and the boys are ferried to a remote island off the Scottish coast. The boys have their own bodyguard, as does Lori. But the island is harsh and unforgiving, proven when a human skull washes ashore.

A chance encounter with a family friend puts even more suspicion in Lori’s head, and with the evidence mounting, Lori is sure the island’s inhabitants have a secret.

More suspenseful than others I’ve read in this series, Aunt Dimity & the Deep Blue Sea would be a great entry into the series.

In Aunt Dimity & the Family Tree, Lori’s hair is on fire. She’s attempting to event plan and hire her father-in-law’s staff all at one time. When a local gets herself into trouble, Aunt Dimity offers up a plan that’s sure to work…if absolutely everything goes perfectly. But of course, in Finch, there is no perfect, but Lori is more concerned about Willis, Sr. and his new live-in staff. They’re a little too good at their jobs, and Lori worries they may be trying to hoodwink her father-in-law.

Dimity keeps her from jumping to too many conclusions, and she learns a lot more than she bargains for by the end of the day.

Aunt Dimity seems to be a well-loved series, as each time I mention it or post a book on Facebook or Goodreads, someone comments. There’s little violence here, but Atherton’s look at village life in the Cotswolds has me aching to visit.

*While Aunt Dimity & the Summer King was sent to me by the publisher for review, I have purchased the other Aunt Dimity books I have read and have given my honest opinion of each.

Review: Aunt Dimity & the Lost Prince

30th April 2013

pg1*This book was sent to me by the publisher, Viking Books, in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve heard it said that when the poet T.S. Eliot was writing The Wasteland, he chose February as the cruelest month, then changed it to April in revisions. If you ask me, he got it right the first time. As far as I’m concerned, February’s only redeeming feature is its brevity. If it were any longer, I would tear it from my calendar in protest.

Lori Shepherd is in mom hell. Her husband is in sunny Majorca, and she’s stuck inside with eight-year-old twin boys. Bad weather has shut down school, and the only thing keeping her sane is her neighbor, Bree Pym. Seeking refuge from paint fumes at her own home, Bree helps keep the boys entertained by suggesting a trip to Skeaping Manor.

Full of ghoulish exhibits, Skeaping Manor is…unique, and Lori leaves the boys to ogle shrunken heads with Bree and heads up to visit the silver only to find an enigmatic little girl in a pink puffy coat looking at a silver salt cellar. When the little girl, Daisy, tells Lori about the origin of the salt cellar and a lost Russian prince, Lori is struck by the little girl’s poise and sadness. So when she finds a pink coat like the little girl was wearing with a silver salt cellar in the pocket the next day at a charity shop, Lori thinks maybe Daisy was telling the truth. She’s even more curious when she finds out Daisy and her mother have left town without a trace.

With Aunt Dimity’s supernatural wisdom comforting her, Lori strikes out with Bree by her side, learning a little something about herself and the “lost prince” they seek.

This is my first go round with Aunt Dimity, and it certainly won’t be my last. I had no idea Aunt Dimity was otherworldly – she doesn’t quite seem to be a ghost – but I was a bit skeptical. No fear! Aunt Dimity & the Lost Prince was absolutely one of the most fun cozy mysteries I’ve read in a while, and I’ve already scoped out the ebook prices to see how many I can buy on payday. 🙂

Add it to your Goodreads shelf.