Aunt Dimity: Snowbound (Aunt Dimity Series #9) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Visit Aunt Dimity on the web: http://www.aunt-dimity.com



Lori Shepherd and the phantom Aunt Dimity have become one of the mystery genre’s most celebrated detective duos. In their latest adventure, a pleasant woodland stroll through the English countryside is rudely cut short by the blizzard of the century, forcing Lori to take shelter in Ladythorne Abbey—an old pile ...
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Aunt Dimity: Snowbound (Aunt Dimity Series #9)

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Overview

Visit Aunt Dimity on the web: http://www.aunt-dimity.com



Lori Shepherd and the phantom Aunt Dimity have become one of the mystery genre’s most celebrated detective duos. In their latest adventure, a pleasant woodland stroll through the English countryside is rudely cut short by the blizzard of the century, forcing Lori to take shelter in Ladythorne Abbey—an old pile still haunted by the presence of the madwoman whose prison it once was. But the abbey’s greatest secret is the priceless jewel it conceals somewhere within its cloisters—an heirloom that hides a treacherous past that Lori’s fellow guests can’t wait to get their hands on. Only Aunt Dimity’s indispensable wisdom can help Lori unravel a mystery that is  considerably thicker than the accumulating snow in this page-turning treat.





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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nancy Atherton's latest paranormal cozy, Aunt Dimity: Snowbound, is the perfect tale for a cold winter's night. When series heroine Lori Shepherd gets stuck at Ladythorne Abbey after a blizzard, she must turn to ethereal Aunt Dimity for help in laying to rest the ghost of past sins that haunt the abbey's cloisters. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101043967
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/26/2004
  • Series: Aunt Dimity Series , #9
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 66,857
  • File size: 250 KB

Meet the Author

Nancy Atherton
Nancy Atherton is the author of six Aunt Dimity novels: Aunt Dimity’s Death, Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed, Aunt Dimity Digs In, Aunt Dimity’s Christmas, and Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil (all available from Penguin). She lives next to a cornfield in central Illinois.
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Read an Excerpt

The holidays nearly killed me. While my clever lawer husband used work as an excuse to avoid all but the most pressing social engagements, I flung myself at Christmas with the carefree abandon of a lemming rushing headlong toward a cliff.

While Bill barricaded himself behind legal files in our honey-colored cottage, I volunteered for every committee and attended every party given in or near Finch, the tiny English village we'd called home for the past six years. I adorned St. George's Church with evergreen boughs, warbled carols on a multitude of unsuspecting doorsteps, constructed scenery for the nativity play, prepared our four-year-old twin sons for their stage debuts as singing shepherds, baked enough angel cookies to choke a reindeer, and gave nearly as many parties for children as well as adults as I attended.

Even when the holidays were over, even when we flew to Boston in January for our annual visit with Bill's family, I couldn't shake the tinsel from my hair. While Bill spent his days enjoying cozy chats before the fire with his delightful father, I took the twins sledding and skating and sleigh-riding and compounded my folly by whisking Bill off on sentimental journeys to revisit old friends and dine out in favorite restaurants every evening.

By the time we returned to the cottage in mid-February, I was a burnt-out husk of my formerly jolly self. I winced when our sons burst into song, my gorge rose at the thought of nibbling another angel cookie, and I could scarcely bring myself to repack our Christmas decorations because the mere sight of them made my head throb. I was, in short, the pitiful victim of a self-induced holiday hangover.

Emma Harris had no trouble diagnosing my condition. As my closest neighbor and dearest friend in England she'd seen it all before, and when she found me lying listlessly on the bamboo chaise longue beneath the apple tree in my back garden, she knew exactly what had happened.

Appearances notwithstanding, I wasn't merely lounging. Since Bill was catching up on paperwork at his office in Finch, and Annelise, the twins' saintly nanny, was spending the afternoon with her mother on the family farm, I'd retired to the back garden to keep a sleepy eye on Will and Rob, who were busily building highways in the well-mulched vegetable patch.

Although I wasn't prepared to receive visitors, I was always glad to see Emma, who'd strolled over from her manor house to welcome me home and bring me up to date on local gossip. As she called a cheery hello to Will and Rob and seated herself on the deck chair opposite mine, I found myself envying her vitality. It was a gorgeous day, unseasonably warm and sunny, but I could barely summon the energy to acknowledge her arrival.

Emma surveyed me critically before commenting, "You've been burning the yule log at both ends. Again.

I hung my head, knowing what she would say next.

"What happened to the simple family Christmas you raved about?" she asked, right on cue. "What happened to staying at home and making angel cookies"

"Please don't mention angel cookies," I muttered as my stomach whimpered.

"and singing carols around your own hearth?" Emma went on. "What happened to a simple Christmas in the cottage with Bill and the boys?"

"Bill stayed in the cottage," I reminded her, "but the boys and I kind of didn't." I held a hand out to her pleadingly. "I can't help it, Emma. I'm addicted to holly. When sleigh bells ring I lose my head. I can't keep myself from hopping up next to Santa and grabbing the reins. It's a fun ride, truly it is, and Will and Rob loved every minute of it."

"I'm sure they did," said Emma. "But you're a wreck."

"I'm not the perkiest elf on the block," I admitted.

"You're about as perky as a tree stump." Emma pursed her lips and gazed thoughtfully toward the meadow beyond the garden wall. A pleasant silence ensued, a silence that was suddenly shattered by the sharp snap of her fingers as she exclaimed, "I know what'll pull you out of your funk!"

"A large box of chocolates?" I murmured.

"No. Not chocolates." Emma got to her feet, took two paces, and turned to face me. "You're going for a walk."

I sank deeper into the cushioned chaise longue. "I'd prefer the chocolates."

Emma shook her head decisively. "You have to give energy to get energy," she said. "I'm not talking about running a marathon, Lori. I'm talking about a stroll through some lovely countryside. Solitude, fresh air, and communion with nature that's what you need."

I gazed pointedly at the apple tree's bare branches. "Not much nature to commune with, this time of year."

"You'd be surprised," said Emma. "If you're lucky you'll see rabbits, deer, woodpeckers, owls maybe even a few foxes. And the early lambing is underway." She took an invigorating breath and let it out in a whoosh. "There's nothing like the sight of a gamboling lamb to refresh the spirits."

"Do lambs gambol in snow?" I inquired dryly. "I mean, Emma, it's February. Last I heard, February wasn't considered the balmiest month of the year in jolly old En<\h>gland."

"It hasn't been so bad this year." Emma swept a hand toward the clear blue sky. "We haven't had a drop of rain or a flake of snow since December, and the meteorologists predict that the fine weather will last till the end of the month."

"I can't disappear for the rest of the month," I protested.

"How about one day, then?" Emma proposed. "Surely you can manage to escape for one day. Bill won't mind, and Annelise is more than capable of looking after the boys while you're gone."

"Let me think about it," I said, nestling my head into the cushions.

Emma regarded me sternly. "You're not doing the twins any good, sitting there like a lump."

I knew that my best friend was taking advantage of my tender maternal instincts by inserting the boys into the conversation, but I also knew that she was telling the truth. Will and Rob deserved a wide-awake and active mummy, a mummy who would get down in the dirt and play trucks with them, not a Drowsy Drusilla, yawning at them from the sidelines. Perhaps a walk would wake me up. Perhaps the sight of gamboling lambs would refresh my spirits. If nothing else, it would get me off of the chaise longue.

Emma must have sensed an opening in my defenses because she began to press her case. "I've got the perfect trail for you. I hiked it last summer. It's easy terrain, the path's well-marked, and it's not far from here. You can stop along the way for a picnic lunch. I'll drop you off at the trail head and be waiting for you when you reach the other end."

"Why don't you come along?" I suggested.

"Because you need peace and quiet, that's why." Emma resumed her seat. "We've hiked together before, Lori. I know what you're like on the trail. Talk, talk, talk, from beginning to end. You need a break from people, and that includes me."

I was forced to admit that she had a point. Emma and I had much in commonlike me, she was a transplanted Yank with two children but there were differences as well. Emma's husband was English, for one thing, while Bill was American. Her children were nearly grown, whereas mine weren't quite finished being babies. She weighed every decision carefully, while I tended to be a bit impulsive. And although we were the best of friends, we weren't the best of hiking companions.

To me, a hike was a chance to release the mind and engage the senses. I loved to ramble aimlessly, savoring whatever surprises nature had in store for me along the way. I believed that lost was a relative term because all trails led somewhere, particularly in England,which was, after all, a very crowded little island where you could scarcely walk ten steps without tripping over a pub, a farmhouse, or a charming village. I'd gotten lost so often that Emma had, only half-jokingly, offered to attach a homing device to my day pack, but I'd refused. Getting lost on a beautiful spring day was, for me, part of the fun.

Emma, on the other hand, belonged to the map-and-compass crowd. She owned a veritable library of Ordnance Survey maps and never left home without a half dozen in her day pack. To Emma, hiking was an intellectual activity, a mission to be accomplished, a puzzle to be solved. While on the trail, she seemed to spend more time studying maps than gazing upon the natural beauty surrounding her. If she got lost which she did, even when I wasn't around to distract her with talk, talk, talk she felt she'd failed. It seemed to me that the only advantage her method of navigation had over mine was that, at the end of the day, she could figure out exactly where she'd gone wrong.

The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with Emma: If the proposed walk was to have any beneficial effects, it would best be taken without her company.

"How long is this trail of yours?" I asked.

"Nine miles, give or take a few hundred yards," Emma replied. "You'll be able to manage it in five hours, six at the most. I'll pack your lunch for you," she offered. "I'll even pack your day pack."

I smiled. "Be sure to tuck in a few hundred maps, will you? In case I end up in Borneo or Venezuela"

"I'll put in a map of the trail." Emma leaned forward and patted my arm. "But I promise you, you won't get lost this time. Honestly, it's a simple, straightforward route. I'll show it to you on the map. There's only one turning, and," she sailed on, blithely uttering the curse that had doomed travelers for centuries, "you can't miss it."

Her enthusiasm was so infectious that the curse drifted past me, unnoticed, and in all innocence I agreed to spend a day hiking her straightforward trail, providing Bill agreed that he could live without me for five hours (six at the most). I paid no attention whatsoever to the tiny voice screaming in the back of my mind, warning me that a simple walk could be every bit as treacherous as a simple Christmas.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Aunt Dimity books are such fun

    I bought this book not realizing that it was part of a series. It was not anything like what I expected but I really enjoyed it. After reading this one I had to start and the beginning and now am on the fourth book. They are fun easy reads and very enjoyable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2008

    A reviewer

    Do you believe in vampires? Well, Lori¿s twins think they saw one up on the hill and now she¿s frantic to find out if it¿s true! She and her friend Kit investigate the history of some strange neighbors who just might be hiding someone up in their attic. As they get to know more about the past, they meet numerous people that all were involved in a mysterious event that occulted more that forty years ago. When the story of that day finally comes out, no one realizes how close to home someone will be affected. I really enjoyed this book. The story grabs you from the start and you know another good adventure is ahead for Lori. The author adds every day life events and mixes in some mystery, that makes you want to keep reading to the very end to solve it! Nancy Atherton has done it again with her thirteenth book in the `Aunt Dimity¿ series. I never get tired of this series about Lori Shephard and the situations she finds herself in. She always comes back to opening her blue book and waiting for Aunt Dimity to speak 'or actually write to her from the other side', so she can talk to her about her adventures and get advice. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that wants a good, easy and enjoyable adventure to read. Also, I would read the rest of the series too! This is one series that will bring a smile to your face and a good feeling after every book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Superb Story!!

    I thought that this book was very well writen.Its funny and it has mystery to the story! It is a cute story to curl up in bed to read. You should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    Best Aunt Dimity yet!

    I love the Aunt Dimity books and each one gets better. This is the best yet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2012

    Mistclan

    Warrior den

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    A Mystery with no Murder - Fun!

    I'm addicted to this series and grab the next one as soon as I can. No murder means my pre-teen daughter and I can both read the books and discuss.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Aunt Dimity - Vampire Hunter

    What can I say, I just get totally lost in these books, I just love them. It is so easy to imagine being in the story itself.. I just wish there were more of them. Always an interesting twist to the stories..

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Cute book sutible for moms and young people

    sill premis, but sweet and no cussing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Good read

    This is the first book that I have read of this series. Now I am interested in reading the others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    True to the series - that is, very good.

    If you love this series for the fun it provides, then you will love this one too. If you like cozies in general, then you will like this series. As always, there is at least one mystery to be solved, but no goriness.

    For the books I recommend, I also recommend the whole series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great series to completely get lost in the content.

    Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series take you to another time and place. She is so vivid in her descriptions that you feel like you have been in England and that you personally know her characters. Great reading anytime especially for a rainy day.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2007

    LOVE AT FIRST PARAGRAPH

    The detective was great.......Nancy always adds just a hint of romance to her stories and she can write about the little towns in england and the people who live there to the degree that you feel you would know them if you met them on the street..I always find her ending to be special and also her reciepts..Try them you will like them. Do suggest that you read them in the order that they were written as it is a series...That just gets better and better... Read all the aunt dimity books ...They are the kind you cannot put down and you always want more..........Waiting for the next one..Author is great

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2005

    Have some fun and rest your mind!

    Aunt Dimity books are so much fun to read. I thought this one was especially good because the adjectives describing the Abby and characters really bring the story pictures alive. I confess that I have to suck it up to get past a paranormal book and rabbit, but I have such a good time doing it. Nice Read!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Some of the coziest of the cozies

    I told a friend that these are so sweet and such wish-fulfillment tales that I am almost embarassed to admit liking them. But I really do. Occasionally, awful things will happen, but that is almost always off-stage and often long ago. The books are amusing and filled with likable people. The magical elements are generally laid on fairly lightly. I have one problem with this volume and the next, however. We are to understand that the main characters are good people, and Aunt Dimity is nearly a saint. I like reading about people who are better than me, and the triumph of good: it helps inspire me. The moral compass gets a little wobbly here. For one thing, Atherton has apparently decided to make infatuation with attractive men one of Lori's main character traits, in spite of the fact that she is very much in love with her almost perfect husband. And every book introduces a new, attractive man. This book deals with the evils of gossip. The message of the book might either be taken as a bit muddy, or one might feel that Atherton is presenting a variety of views to encourage the reader to really think about the issues, beginning with what IS gossip as opposed to friendly chatting. I am just a little taken aback that Lori leaves feeling that the great thing about the villagers is that they don't care if their neighbors' behavior is immoral or downright illegal. As it is revealed that all their gossipy assumptions are wrong, one might better praise them for not acting on unproven speculations. Also, the victim is rightly described as an evil person, but the most evil bit of gossip that is created isn't from her, it's from a villager: falsely accusing someone of sexually abusing a child so as to make the alleged abuser look guilty of murder. Although the completely unrepentent villager is told to apologize, Lori just reflects fondly that the village wouldn't be the same without that person. The issue gets lost in a fog of saintly forgiveness and sentimental reunion. Still, enjoyable and I plan to keep reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2003

    Aunt Dimity does it again!

    Having read this book several months ago I find that I am now ready to dip into it again to recapture the full flavor of the superb characterizations. The plot moves along steadily and the ending is a true make-you-gasp surprise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2003

    Great job Dimity!

    This is a very good book. The true murderer will make you laugh! Get it NOW!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    enjoyable contemporary English village mystery with a large dose of the paranormal

    American expatriates Bill Willis and Lori Shepherd were staying with his parents in Boston when someone in their English village of Finch killed ¿Pruneface¿ Hooper. When the married couple with different last names returns home to Finch, the news of the homicide stun both of them because the last murder in Finch occurred in 1872. <P>Eleven days pass without the case being solved because everyone seemed to have a reason to see the mean-spited gossip Pruneface dead. Deciding it is time to get involved, Lori turns to her sleuthing guide the spirit of ¿Aunt¿ Dimity Westwood, former resident of Lori¿s cottage. Through Dimity¿s blue journal, the ghost and Lori communicate. Though the townsfolk remain reticent, Lori and Dimity accompanied by Nicholas Fox, the visiting nephew of the vicar begin to investigate. <P> The seventh Aunt Dimity tale retains the freshness of the series as the supernatural and the mortal combine forces to uncover the identity of a killer. Nicholas gives readers a different view of Lori especially since Bill is in London for most of the novel. The who-done-it is fun to try to figure out as most of the villagers had cause to see Pruneface dead. Anyone who enjoys a contemporary English village mystery with a large dose of the paranormal will enjoy AUNT DIMITY: DETECTIVE and Nancy Atherton¿s previous supernatural-amateur sleuth stories. <P>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews

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