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Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
Aunt Dimity Mystery, No 17
Nancy Atherton

Viking Adult
April 26, 2012 / ISBN: 0670023418
Mystery / Cozy / British / Contemporary

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks

After reading Aunt Dimity: Detective (2003) I discovered Nancy Atherton doesn't always present a traditional mystery thread in her mystery series. And that's a good thing. In Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch, Atherton takes readers on a witch hunt of sorts. Someone named Amelia Thistle has bought Pussywillow Cottage. The villagers gather at the local tearoom on the green to spy on the newcomer's move-in.. Two Finch residents realize Amelia is actually Mae Bowen, a famous painter with a large cult following.

There goes the neighborhood, or at least that's what Lori Shepard fears. Lori, her husband, and her father-in-law try to keep Amelia's identity a secret, but with this comical village of gossips nothing stays hidden for long. Once the villagers get to know Amelia they discover why she chose their quaint village - and so the witch hunt begins. Finding Mistress Meg and what happened to her is part of the mystery. The other is getting rid of Amelia's pushy cult followers. The late Aunt Dimity gives Lori sage advice and direction, as always. And Lori's sons also help with the mystery, as does the Vicar and his wife.

It's a light, enjoyable read which ended all too quickly for me. Atherton gives readers a bit of historical detail on how suspected witches like Mistress Meg were treated during the seventeenth century. The villagers are a hoot and American Lori seems to have acclimated quite well to British country living. Like I said, Atherton's mysteries aren't always traditional, which makes them all the more enjoyable.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Family Tree,
The Deep Blue Sea, 11
Goes West, 12
Slays the Dragon, 14
The Villiage Witch, 17 [Review 1] [Review 2]

Reviewed 2012