cover image Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom

Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom

Nancy Atherton. Viking, $26 (240p) ISBN 978-0-525-52265-2

Atherton’s genial 23rd paranormal cozy (after 2017’s Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse) finds American Lori Shepherd and her husband, Bill, setting off from the English village of Finch for a romantic getaway from their three children. Plans go awry before they reach their destination of Rye when a coastal storm maroons Lori in an unfamiliar town miles away from Bill. Taking refuge in a dimly lit church, Laurie fears for her life when a strange man garbed in dark clothing approaches her. So begins a series of quick judgments and mishaps that lead Lori and her new friend, a retired bishop, on a quest to discover why the local King’s Ransom Inn is haunted. The inn—filled with stranded travelers, including Lori—was once a smugglers’ haven. Is the cook, a surly ex-con, using the inn’s tunnels and secret passages for criminal pursuits? Is a particularly unpleasant guest a criminal, too? And is the inn truly haunted? Aunt Dimity, a ghost who communicates with Lori through a journal, assists in the sleuthing. Fans of sweet mysteries will be well satisfied. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)