Aunt Dimity's Death has much going for it, and much against it. Plot-wise, this stories a unique one. Including a budding romance, baffling paranormal activity, and a strange mystery that tugs on the heart strings, it's one worth reading and finishing but not something I praise too highly. Save the end and beginning, the middle felt a bit stale and lay flat. It almost grew boring in select scenes as the two truffled through old papers and had tea with strange townsfolk. There was a large lack of tension in the drama, romance, or even mystery department for too large a bulk. The ending was a great one, though, making my eyes tear and leaving me with a warm feeling inside. It's always strange when a book succeeds so well on other level, then meets its downfall in another.
The character of Lori is a decent one, from a starving and down-on-her-luck decent woman to a happily ever after ending akin to a princess-type fairy tale. Will as her companion is sweet and especially likeable toward the end, but not enough 'sides' of his personality are explored to create a in-depth characterization.
As endearing as the characters of Lori and Aunt Dimity are, the story sadly lacked a lot of spark. Sorely lacking in suspense, as the heroine was never in danger and only forced to confront painful trauma at times with a minimal effect, there was nothing earth shattering. I enjoyed seeing her re-evaluate her mother's emotions, even if it only appeared a bit to be something to fill in the gaps. Her view of her mother was a little unrealistic, and while interesting it just wasn't enough to fill in all those pages and make up for the lack of suspense elsewhere.
Aunt Dimity herself was a delightful character, almost clairvoyant, especially toward the end when Will tells his tale and all comes to light. I never would have guessed that happening! Nancy Atherton is a gifted writer, for her words flow smoothly and are easy to digest. When emotion is supposed to be there, she makes sure it comes across loud and clear.
A very light and cozy read with a wonderful ending, it just didn't have enough pizazz to capture attention in a gripping fist. It's a very 'sweet' book, almost like in another world. I did love that they included the recipe in the back, too. I made those cookies after finishing, but mine didn't turn out that well. Drats!
“They were tales of commonplace courage and optimism, for I knew from my own experience that everyday virtues endure best, and that quiet courage is worth more than the grandest derring-do.”