When Lori Shepherd returns from her trip to America, she is shocked to hear that Prunella "Pruneface" Hooper has been killed. This is the first murder in the village of Finch in more than a century, and everyone is in an uproar.
Before the town implodes in the wake of this scandal, Lori sets out to solve the murder. Unfortunately, nearly everyone in Finch had a reason to want Mrs. Hooper dead. With the help of the ghostly Aunt Dimity and Nicholas, the enigmatic (and charming!) self-defense instructor, Lori aligns motive, means, and opportunity to unravel this delightfully tangled and gossip-filled whodunnit.
About the Author
Nancy Atherton is the author of six Aunt Dimity novels: Aunt Dimity’s Death, Aunt Dimity and the Duke, Aunt Dimity’s Good Deed, Aunt Dimity Digs In, Aunt Dimity’s Christmas, and Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil (all available from Penguin). She lives next to a cornfield in central Illinois.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I told a friend that these are so sweet and such wish-fulfillment tales that I am almost embarassed to admit liking them. But I really do. Occasionally, awful things will happen, but that is almost always off-stage and often long ago. The books are amusing and filled with likable people. The magical elements are generally laid on fairly lightly. I have one problem with this volume and the next, however. We are to understand that the main characters are good people, and Aunt Dimity is nearly a saint. I like reading about people who are better than me, and the triumph of good: it helps inspire me. The moral compass gets a little wobbly here. For one thing, Atherton has apparently decided to make infatuation with attractive men one of Lori's main character traits, in spite of the fact that she is very much in love with her almost perfect husband. And every book introduces a new, attractive man. This book deals with the evils of gossip. The message of the book might either be taken as a bit muddy, or one might feel that Atherton is presenting a variety of views to encourage the reader to really think about the issues, beginning with what IS gossip as opposed to friendly chatting. I am just a little taken aback that Lori leaves feeling that the great thing about the villagers is that they don't care if their neighbors' behavior is immoral or downright illegal. As it is revealed that all their gossipy assumptions are wrong, one might better praise them for not acting on unproven speculations. Also, the victim is rightly described as an evil person, but the most evil bit of gossip that is created isn't from her, it's from a villager: falsely accusing someone of sexually abusing a child so as to make the alleged abuser look guilty of murder. Although the completely unrepentent villager is told to apologize, Lori just reflects fondly that the village wouldn't be the same without that person. The issue gets lost in a fog of saintly forgiveness and sentimental reunion. Still, enjoyable and I plan to keep reading.
Having read this book several months ago I find that I am now ready to dip into it again to recapture the full flavor of the superb characterizations. The plot moves along steadily and the ending is a true make-you-gasp surprise.