The charm has begun to wear a bit thin in Atherton's 14th paranormal cozy to feature U.S. ex-pat Lori Shepherd (after 2008's Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter). Lori, despite the sage advice of ghostly Aunt Dimity, remains somewhat feckless and immature, still relying on snap judgments instead of reasoned thought, as she sticks her nose into the affairs of others in the idyllic Cotswolds village of Finch. When Calvin Malvern (aka King Wilfred the Good) arrives with his motley crew for a Renaissance faire to be held on land belonging to his uncle, Lori's neighbor, many of the villagers enter into the spirit of the thing, including Lori, who can't resist the thought of playing dress up. Odd accidents befall King Wilfred, and Lori begins to wonder about sabotage and regicide. Hardcore fans will no doubt enjoy the froth, but newcomers may find it a bit too precious. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The advent of a Renaissance fair rouses village sleuth Lori Shepherd (Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter, 2008, etc.) from her boredom with costumes, rituals and contemporary felonies. The quiet English village of Finch is gearing up for the usual summer activities when Calvin Malvern, aka King Wilfred, arrives to announce that he'll be opening King Wilfred's Faire on his uncle's dairy farm. Peggy Taxman, who runs Finch's activities with an iron hand, is not pleased, but the rest of the town enters so completely into the spirit of things that the local seamstress is overrun with orders for costumes. Lori soon finds a new friend in Jinks the jester, whose caravan is parked in the field near her house. He's known Calvin for years because they've both worked in many Renaissance fairs. Lori's twin sons are delighted to ride their ponies in the jousting parade. Only her lawyer husband Bill resists the festive spirit. Once the fair opens, Calvin has several close calls, almost falling from a gatehouse and getting nearly decapitated by a sandbag. Even that voice of reason, Aunt Dimity, Lori's mother's deceased friend who communicates by writing in a special book, can't keep Lori from jumping to conclusions. After enjoying Lori's ditzy adventures, her fans may well hunt up the nearest Renaissance fair. Others may find this coziest of cozies a bit of a snooze.