Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil by Nancy Atherton

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: #6 in the Aunt Dimity Series
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 245
Source: Library

The Short Version:
A semi-gothic cozy mystery of ghosts, romance and family secrets has Lori Shepherd in a remote village near Scotland and wrapped up in mysteries a bit deeper than she expected.

Why I Read It:
This is a cozy mystery series that I enjoy returning to every once in a while and this one fit nicely into the ‘evil’ category for the What’s in a Name 4 Challenge.

The Book:
Lori Shepherd travels from her cozy home in the Cotswolds to inventory a book collection at Wyrdhurst Hall in Northumberland. The Hall and its book collection are now the property of newlyweds Nicole and Jared Hollander. Lori leaves her toddler twins with her devoted husband and heads north on her own. A washed out road near her destination is only the beginning of her troubles. Soon she is wrapped up in a mystery of a ghostly nature that is connected to a WWI era forbidden romance.

Lori is no stranger to ghosts as she’s used to communicating with her deceased Aunt Dimity via an old blue journal in which Dimity’s words appear. This time around however, the ghostly presence may not be as friendly. The villagers say Wyrdhurst Hall is haunted, Nicole is afraid of the noises she hears and the things she sees, her husband is only interested in the value of the antiquities with which he seeks to decorate the hall. Even more concerning is that Dimity manages to make it clear that Lori may be in danger if she stays at Wyrdhurst Hall.

Complicating matters are the handsome neighbor Lori finds herself attracted to and the multiple secrets that begin to come to light.

My Thoughts:
Usually in this series, Aunt Dimity is the only ghostly presence as she writes to Lori via the old blue journal. This time around, however, there is at least one other ghost involved in the story. The long abandoned Wyrdhurst Hall is a perfect setting for a story that involves a forbidden romance and family secrets long hidden.

My thoughts about this series are hard to explain. The main character, Lori is really not my favorite character at all. I enjoy the ghostly character of Aunt Dimity much more. I even like Lori’s husband Bill much more than Lori. In this book, Bill is pretty much a non-presence as he stays at home with the children.

Lori is a bit too easily attracted to men who are not her husband. Granted, in this case there are influences beyond her control that are a factor in that attraction, but I was glad that even Aunt Dimity called her on it.

This is a fun series and I like that one of the best parts of it is the very dead Aunt Dimity. This particular installment was entertaining enough and I liked it but it was definitely not among my favorite books in the series. I’m hoping that the series takes Lori back home to her family and the familiar secondary characters in the next book.

3 Rating 3/5