Nancy Atherton is the bestselling author of twenty-two Aunt Dimity Mysteries. The first book in the series, Aunt Dimity's Death, was voted "One of the Century's 100 Favorite Mysteries" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Despite its buoyant tone, this blend of fairy tale, ghost story, romance and mystery proves a disappointment. First novelist Atherton creates a potentially appealing heroine in bewitched and bewildered Lori Shepherd, but never places her in danger, thus sacrificing suspense. Recently divorced and newly bereaved by her beloved mother's death, Lori is scraping by as an office temp in Boston when she receives a letter from a Boston law firm informing her of the death in England of Miss Dimity Westwood. Lori is shocked because she had thought adventurous Dimity was her mother's fictional creation, the star of made-up bedtime stories. Courtly lawyer William Willis and his attentive son Bill inform Lori that Dimity left instructions that she and Bill go to her Cotswolds cottage to prepare a collection of ``Aunt Dimity'' stories for publication. They find the cottage haunted by the ghost of Dimity, who blocks their efforts to trace the secret of her WW II romance with a gallant flier. That all ends happily comes as a surprise to none but Lori. (Nov.)
Atherton's first mystery combines a strong sense of traditional English fare with an insistent gothic spirit. Suffering from her recent divorce, her mother's death, and an erratic income, Lori Shepherd receives notice from a prestigious Boston law firm that she must travel to England in order to meet the requirements of a will. While visiting her benefactor's ``haunted'' cottage with lawyer friend Bill, she uncovers important clues relating to a World War II mystery. Lightweight, nicely written material complete with a few heart palpitations.
Praise for Nancy Atherton and the Aunt Dimity series
"Atherton smoothly blends history, village life, and the otherworldly."--Publishers Weekly "Every scene is superbly crafted to perfection. Even if you have not read all the books in this series, I have not, you can enjoy and immerse yourself in this cozy mystery." --Open Book Society "I love the graceful style... the sense of tight-knit community, characters who aren't afraid to be themselves, and, the unique paranormal element...I only wish I had learned about this series earlier." --Gotta Write Network "In the realm of the cozy mystery, there are few series that can hold a candle to Atherton's Aunt Dimity series." --everydayebook.com "Atherton is a superb writer who brings a lot of charm and wit to her story." --Suspense Magazine "Always a charming read, the Aunt Dimity series is just right for when life gets too hectic and you need to slow down a bit." --Deadly Pleasures Magazine "Let Nancy Atherton and Aunt Dimity remind you of the reason you got hooked on books in the first place. I promise you will be scouring bookstores for more of the series after you give it a taste." --CrimeCritics.com