Monday, March 26, 2018

Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity Mysteries Book 1)

Author:  Nancy Atherton
Genre:  Mystery

Hardcover; Mass Market Paperback; Audio CD; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781568655253; 9780140178401; 9781522606727
Penguin Books
256 Pages
Various Prices
November 1, 1993



Lori Shepherd thought Aunt Dimity was just a character in a bedtime story...

...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 sizable 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 indomitable spirit leads Lori on an otherworldly quest to discover how, in this life, true love can conquer all.

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Lori Shepherd has nothing.  She temps for a job, lives with two roommates, and has had her childhood stuffed toy, her only companion, destroyed.  So her life is in shambles when she receives a letter from Willis & Willis, Attorneys.  When she arrives at their home, she discovers that her childhood stories of Aunt Dimity weren’t fairy tales made up by her mother; Dimity was an actual person, her mother’s best friend.  And now both her mother and Dimity have gone, and Dimity wants her to come to England and write the introduction to a children’s book made up of those stories.

But Lori has another surprise - both her mother and Dimity have written her posthumous letters detailing why they never told her about their connection, and her mother has left a photograph - the only clue to Dimity’s past life when her mother met her.  She wants Lori to find out about the photo, because it will explain what Dimity would never talk about - her past.  So, with the accompaniment of Bill, (Willis, Jr.) Lori sets out for London to find the truth and learn more about this fairy tale which wasn’t one at all...

Well, first the title is misleading.  This is not a mystery.  There’s no murder, as one is wont to expect in a book labeled a mystery.  This is women’s fiction with a little paranormal thrown in (not much).  The “mystery” entails why Aunt Dimity would never talk about her past, and what Lori is sent by her mother to find out.  I have to tell you that when someone reads 'mystery' in the title, you really do expect a murder or two.  this should have been titled Aunt Dimity's Death, a Secret Book 1.  Because that's really all it is - a book about secrets, not a mystery.

What I did find out by reading this is that I don’t like Lori at all.  She’s snarky, demanding and rude, and I can’t see how Bill would even fall for her (as we know he will).  She treats him like garbage throughout most of the book.  She shows up at their door dressed like a bum, and Dimity’s will offers money for clothes, so he buys her decent clothing and accessories.  Does she appreciate it?  He shouldn’t have offered these to this ungrateful witch.  She could have nicely explained to him why she didn’t want them, but she’d rather treat him like dirt instead.  Then makes some comments after shopping (in her head) along the lines of how she can pick out clothes herself and she'd show him.  Does she want the nice, expensive luggage he buys?  No thanks!  She wants a beat up canvas carryall that she can just roll up afterward.  Sure, you’re traveling overseas for an extended period and want all of your clothes to be wrinkled when you get there.  So classy when you check into a five star hotel, right?  She's a jerk.

Unfortunately, Bill was the best part of the book; no matter what she threw at him, he never faltered.  He had a great attitude to life and seemed like the kind of person you'd like to spend time with.  Lori I could do without.  She’s going to become a nasty old woman who sneers at everyone.  You can tell by the way she treats everyone she doesn’t consider her ‘friend’.  Strangers who do nice things are best trodden underfoot.  I wouldn't doubt it if she treats Bill like garbage through the rest of this series.  Sorry, I won’t be reading any more of these.  You want to like the people you're reading about, and she just isn't likable.

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