Nancy Atherton's seventeenth cozy mystery featuring the beloved Aunt Dimity-the original paranormal detective...When Amelia Thistle moves to Finch, her new neighbors welcome her with open arms-and inquiring minds. Among them is Lori Shepherd, who isn't fooled by Amelia's unassuming persona. Amelia is, in fact, a world-famous artist with a rabid and eager-to-stalk fan base.
In order to keep peace in Finch, Lori must help Amelia conceal her identity. Amelia, meanwhile, sets about working on the riddle that brought her to town in the first place. A fragment of a family diary hints that one of Amelia's ancestors might have been Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch. Following the clue, Lori hunts through Finch's darkest and most secret corners, all the while dodging nosy neighbors and Amelia's frantic fans. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori inches closer to the true story of Mistress Meg-and Amelia.
I've not been in the mood for cozies, but I keep requesting them from the library. I honestly had no desire to read it, but it was due yesterday and I couldn't renew it. I found the first pages slow going. This book is #17 in this series, but like most mystery authors, the first few pages are devoted to recapping the characters, setting, etc. But once I got past this, I found myself charmed by Lori and the residents of Finch. Of course, it's probably an idealized view of village (small town) life, but how much realism can you really expect? After all, you really have to suspend belief when reading mysteries- how many of us really stumble across a corpse every few months. This series is unique, though, in that not every mystery is a murder mystery. (Maybe none at all- can't remember this is book #17) You can't get any cozier than that, can you?
I've read a lot of mysteries and mystery series. At some point, many/most completely fall apart and you get bored reading them. Or annoyed reading them- there are a few long running series that have stretched a love triangle out over many books spanning at least a decade. However, this is one of those series where you like the sameness. It's okay that the characters don't really develop and stay frozen in time like a bug trapped in amber. It means that every year, a new book is like visiting with old friends. Its sameness becomes comforting. This is a series that has done exactly that.
Rating: 3 stars
Genre rating: 3 1/2 tea pots
This is a link to Nancy Atherton's website. She has also put up the recipes that are found at the end of her books. I've not tried it yet, but many have said that "Sir Percy's Favorite Sticky Lemon Cake" is excellent.
Nancy Atherton's website