Book Review: Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree

Between keeping two active young boys in line, maintaining her household and taking care of her wealthy father-in-law, William Willis, Sr., Lori Shepherd is about run off her feet. A newcomer to the small town of Finch, Willis Sr. recognized the potential of Fairworth, a decrepit old mansion. The residents of Finch are all abuzz over the newly renovated household including a clique of older women, each with visions of becoming the next Mrs. Willis.

The timely arrival and hiring of Deirdre and Declan Donovan as live-in servants for Willis does little to lessen Lori’s concerns, especially as odd things begin happening in Fairworth. There are strange sounds, the furniture moves and when an old soot encrusted painting is stolen, Lori teams up with deceased Aunt Dimity to discover the underlying cause of the mysteries. Meanwhile, Sally Pyne the local teashop owner and baker extraordinaire finds herself in a dilemma when the wild tale she spun on vacation in Mexico came back to haunt her in the flesh.

Assumed identities, family ties and friendships that transcend the grave make for another delightful treat in the Aunt Dimity series. Atherton continues to build the characters and setting to the extent that Finch feels a bit like home, a home populated with overly nosey, gossipy women who simply can’t resist stirring up trouble. Even though this is the sixteenth book of the series, newcomers can still jump in and enjoy while longtime fans aren’t overwhelmed by too much background information slowing down the tale.


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