Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
by Nancy Atherton
Review by Gayle Surrette
Viking Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780670023417
Date: 26 April 2012 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
I'm enjoying the newer entries in the Aunt Dimity series even more than I enjoyed the first books in the series. In Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch, Atherton gives readers even more insight into the inner workings of the village of Finch.
The book opens on moving day -- no, Lori Shepherd is not moving -- Finch is getting a new addition to the village. Mrs. Amelia Thistle, a widow, is moving into Pussywillows, a small house on the village green. Everyone is vying for a window seat in Sally Pyne's tearoom to see what furniture and other material will be unloaded from the truck. It will also be an opportunity for those who haven't seen her yet to get a good look at the new resident.
Lori arrived early enough to get a window table before the tearoom fills up. But when Charles Bellingham and Grant Tavistock suddenly stand and head for home, Lori makes a quick decision and follows them. It turns out they know something about Amelia Thistle that no one else in Finch knows -- she's not Amelia Thistle.
With a beginning like this there's no way a series reader could possibly put the book down. There's intrigue, stalking, mistaken and assumed identities, jealousy, and a treasure hunt. Well, I'm stretching it with the treasure hunt, it's more a historical hunt for hidden clues to find a vicar's journal about a local witch. In the process, friendships are made, love is found, and the villagers of Finch pull together to protect one of their own -- with not a little bit of joy, amusement, and ingenuity.
Lori Shepherd is much more centered and secure. She's come a long way from the woman she was in Aunt Dimity's Death, the first volume of the series. Maybe it's having twins or maybe it's Aunt Dimity's continued counsel and or maybe the love of her husband, Bill Willis, or perhaps it's being part of the community that is Finch. I know that I'd love to live there, but then there's all these mysteries to solve, so maybe I'll just admire from afar by reading Nancy Altherton's continuing adventures of Aunt Dimity and Lori Shepherd.