Review: Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton

Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton

 *Copy received through NetGalley.

Title: Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Imprint: Viking USA
Pub Date: April 26, 2012
ISBN: 9780670023417

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.
Returning to the charming world of Finch, Nancy Atherton's latest novel is sure to delight faithful Aunt Dimity readers, Anglophiles, and cozy mystery fans.

This is the seventeenth book in the Aunt Dimity series and I hadn't read any of these books before I requested this one on NetGalley. But it really caught my attention, as I love cozy mysteries, I'm a total Anglophile, and anything with witches is a must read for me. I just hoped my zero knowledge of the previous books won't affect the joy of reading the Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch. And it didn't at all. This book, even though part of a series, stands on its own without a problem and it only made me curious about the whole history of Aunt Dimity!
It is set in a small town in England called Finch. There are many different and colourful characters. But the good people of Finch have one thing in common, they all love a good gossip. So when there's a newcomer in the town everyone watches Amelia Thistle to move into her new home. But what a surprise when someone realizes that she is not who she pretends to be! Lori, the main character and "investigator", of course has to know the truth. Not only because it's essential for the peaceful life in Finch, but also because she is simply incredibly curious and nosy. From this point an intricate tale starts and many story lines are masterly woven together.
I loved this cozy, it had everything a good cozy mystery should have. A small town with a great range of characters where the main one is a likable and clever woman. There is a great sense of humour (I laughed countless times!), there is a tiny bit of romance, and of course there is the mystery! And in this case the mystery was especially interesting. It took us three hundred years back when the witch hunts were a normal thing. And thanks to the witch hunt theme the book got quite serious several times when getting into the details of torturing the innocent women who were accused of witchcraft. On one hand this was quite sad and painful when the vicar wife, Lilian said:
"What's sick," snapped Lilian, in a voice that was far from neutral and no longer scholarly, "is the willingness of one human being to brutally torment another in the name of God or country or anything else."
On the other it nicely balanced the otherwise lighthearted tone of the book and made it more whole.
All in all this was an amazing cozy that made laugh and even cry. I'm definitely reading the other books in the series some time in the future!



Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great book! :)

Anonymous said...

Witches, mystery, small town - intriguing combination. I agree with that quote you posted as well.

Lizzy Mackerville said...

The fact that this is the 17th book in a series and you still enjoyed it says a lot. How awesome that it can stand alone. I like that you laughed out loud!


Petra said...

It was a really good cozy mystery! :)

Sarah Elizabeth said...

17th in the series? Wow! Sounds like this is one to watch out for!

Cordelia Fitzgerald said...

It sounds like the perfect bedside read.
I haven't read a series sort of book where the separate books can stand alone in a long time. This actually sounds like fun!

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I love small town cozies...this sounds so good...hope it will still be on netgalley when I get a bit more caught up!

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