Monday, July 31, 2017
Published April 2015 by Penguin Publishing Group
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review
It’s June, the roses are in bloom, and the small English village of Finch may be in big trouble. Two cottages are for sale, but something—or someone—is driving buyers away. Has a developer targeted Finch? Will property values skyrocket? Will a wave of wealthy weekenders drive out the longtime locals?
Lori Shepherd has a lot on her plate—a brand-new baby daughter, her father-in-law’s impending nuptials, and a visit from her dreaded aunts-in-law—but she refuses to stand back and watch while big money destroys her beloved village. Lori sets her sights on the local real estate agent, but finds herself sidetracked by a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor. Arthur Hargreaves, dubbed the Summer King by his quirky family, is as warmhearted as the summer sun. With him, Lori forgets her troubles, until she makes a series of unsettling discoveries. An ancient feud between his family and the town comes to light. And then there’s Arthur’s connection to the local real estate firm. Is the Summer King as kind as he seems?
With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help—and her new baby girl in her arms—Lori fights to save her village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.
There are cozy mysteries and then there are Aunt Dimity mysteries, which, if this book is anything to judge by, are lite cozy mysteries. No dead body. Heavy on the local color and the baby poop (I wish I were kidding about that last thing - I have no idea how often that baby had her diaper changed in this book).
This is Nancy Atherton's twentieth Aunt Dimity mystery. I'm not sure how often she appears in the other books, but she really wasn't all that much of a presence in this book. Which is just as well because I seemed to have missed that word "otherworldly" when I read the synopsis. Aunt Dimity is deceased. Her death is the whole reason Lori and her family live in Finch. So how does she play a part in the books? She magically writes from the other side in a blank journal while Lori talks to her. And then the writing disappears. I'm still not sure what I think about that device.
The book is sweet and you know from the beginning that everything will end up just fine in the end. Which is, honestly, exactly what I needed right now. Even though I get twitchy just thinking about living more than five miles from a Target store and I'm very private, Finch is a village I sort of wanted to move into, even though it's filled with busybodies and doesn't even have a gas station or a school. It feels charming and just happens to have two empty cottages.
Would I read more Aunt Dimity books? I might just - sometimes you just need something light that requires absolutely no trigger warnings.