By Nancy Atherton
Published April 2012
This is book #17 in the Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective Mystery Series. It’s a really cute series and I like to jump into it now and again; although, the series title is a bit of a misnomer. While Aunt Dimity is on the other side of the veil, she’s not actually the detective. She likes to give out advice and sometimes send Lori Shepherd, who is the main character, off on quests.
In this installment, a new neighbor has moved into the village of Finch. That’s cause enough for excitement, but soon Lori finds out the new resident is not Amanda Thistle, as she claims. She’s a world-famous artist named Mae Bowen, who has her own fanatic fan base that seem to think she’s a spiritual guru. This could spell trouble for Lori’s small town, which is famous for nothing and that’s exactly how its residents like it. But Amanda/Mae hasn’t just moved to get away from her followers, she’s tracking down clues that point to an ancestor from Finch, who might be Mistress Meg, a witch from the seventeenth century.
These novels are really cute and fun. They are cozy mysteries but I’ve yet to read one with a body or a death, unless you count Aunt Dimity and she died off stage before the series started. The problems seem huge, in part because Lori is a busybody (as is the rest of the town) and has a tendency to sensationalize most everything. Enter Aunt Dimity, with her down to earth advice and reassurances, to talk Lori off whatever cliff she’s teetering on. I never really noticed how high strung her character was until this novel; perhaps it was all the talk of witches and misconceptions about them. Regardless, everything is wrapped up satisfactorily with the help of several memorable townspeople and Lori’s family.
While this was not my favorite novel in this series, it was nice to fall back into something lighthearted that didn’t hit me over the head with current social issues. If you need a break as well, you might want to check this series out. The problems are small (although, perhaps not to those involved), the characters are quirky, and I always want to find a small village to live in after I read one of these novels. However, I recommend starting with the first and second books in the series. The first book (Aunt Dimity’s Death) is necessary to set up the relationship between Lori and Aunt Dimity. The second book (Aunt Dimity and the Duke) is just really fun and my favorite thus far.
3.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+
Until next time, thank you for visiting.