Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse
Aunt Dimity Mystery, Book #22
By Nancy Atherton
Author Website: http://www.aunt-dimity.com/
It’s early April in the small English village of Finch. Lori Shepherd’s husband and sons are spending Easter break camping, and Lori is perfectly happy to be left at home with Bess, spared a week of roughing it with a curious toddler. The two attend a village events committee meeting and Lori is astonished when the elderly, soft-spoken widow Mrs. Annabelle Craven stands to make an announcement: she’s decided to hold a quilting bee in the old schoolhouse.
At the quilting bee, Lori ends up seated beside Mrs. Craven, delighted at the opportunity to learn more about her neighbor’s life in the village of Old Cowerton. But dear, sweet Mrs. Craven’s stories reveal a startling secret about her first husband’s death.
With Aunt Dimity’s advice, Lori sets out to learn the truth about what the residents of Old Cowerton refer to as the “widow’s curse”–and the deeper she digs, the more horrifying the tale becomes, until she discovers the most astounding revelation of all. (Goodreads)
Twenty-two books into this long running series, Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse is sure to please fans of the series. The epitome of cozy, protagonist Lori, with Aunt Dimity’s guidance, travels to a nearby village in hopes of finding out the truth about Annabelle Craven’s first husband’s death.
Annabelle Craven is a well respected resident of Finch known for her extraordinary quilts. When she requests help finishing one last big project, her neighbors do not hesitate to participate in the quilting bee. Lori is troubled when, as they chat over their sewing, Annabelle confesses to killing her first husband. Faced with the ethical dilemma of confiding in her solicitor husband or keeping the secret to herself, she decides to ferret out the truth herself, taking her toddler Bess and friend Bree along for the journey. Lori has her work cut out for her when she finds the residents of Cowerton fit into two distinct camps – those who do not think for a minute that Annabelle could possibly have committed such a crime, and those who claim that a “widow’s curse” afflicts all who get close to Annabelle.
The Aunt Dimity books are exceptionally docile reads. The whole tone of Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse is mild-mannered and serene. Lori never finds herself in any dangerous situation. There is not much humor or crazy antics. Village residents may have definite opinions about Annabelle and the fate of her beaus, but no one lies or double crosses anyone. Atherton’s words will lull you to sleep if you are not careful. I do not mean this as a criticism; the style is even-keel. It precariously balances the line between sweet and saccharine, and it can become overly sentimental. The unraveling of the truth is interesting, the characters quirky, and I found the reason behind Annabelle’s confession a heartbreaking commentary on the predicament our aging friends often face. The characters, recurring and new to this book, are all likable, even the ones whose outer layer are unpleasant.
So…brew yourself a nice cup of tea, get comfortably cozy with your favorite quilt, and spend some time with Lori and Aunt Dimity.