Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity Series #1)

Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity Series #1)

4.3 28
by Nancy Atherton
     
 

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...Until the Dickensian law firm of Willis & Willis summons her to a reading of the woman's will. Down-on-her-luck Lori learns she's about to inherit a siazable estate—if she can discover the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity's English country cottage. What begins as a fairy tale becomes a mystery—and a ghost story—in an

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Overview

...Until the Dickensian law firm of Willis & Willis summons her to a reading of the woman's will. Down-on-her-luck Lori learns she's about to inherit a siazable estate—if she can discover the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity's English country cottage. What begins as a fairy tale becomes a mystery—and a ghost story—in an improbably cozy setting, as Aunt Dimity's indominable spirit leads Lori on an otherworldly quest to discover how, in this life, true love can conquer all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
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.
Ilene Cooper
Lori Shepherd has been having a hard time. She's divorced, she's working as a temp, and, perhaps the worst blow of all, her mother has just died. As a girl, Lori used to adore the stories her mother told her about Aunt Dimity, who lived in England, but Lori always assumed Dimity was just a product of her mother's imagination. Wrong. To her amazement, Lori learns from representatives of an upper-crust law firm that there really was a Dimity and that, before her recent death, she assembled Lori's mother's stories about her into a book, for which she has asked in her will that Lori write an introduction. So it's off to Dimity's cottage in the English countryside, where Lori discovers 40 years of Dimity's and her mother's correspondence--in which it is revealed that they led very different lives than Lori would have dreamed. The tale doesn't even pretend to be probable, veering from a mystery to a ghost story in rather haphazard fashion. One wants to be stern, to point out the book's many improbabilities, e.g., the way the young scion of the law firm manages to drop everything and accompany Lori to England for a month, or the fact that Dimity's cottage is both the most charming in all of Great Britain and fully equipped with central air and a modern kitchen. In the end, though, none of this matters because the novel is more than a mystery or a ghost story; it's an utterly sweet and tender love story, and the plot improbabilities only heighten the emotional impact of the romance. As Lori says as she ties up several strands of love stories, Dimity's and her own, "I wrote of how vital it was to believe in the love offered by an honest heart, no matter how impractical or absurd or fearful the circumstances. Because all times were uncertain and the chance might never come again."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140178401
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/1993
Series:
Aunt Dimity Series, #1
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
136,768
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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