cover image Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch

Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch

Nancy Atherton. Viking, $24.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-670-02341-7

At the start of Atherton’s absorbing 17th mystery featuring paranormal detective Lori Shepherd (after 2011’s Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree), Amelia Thistle, believed to be “a mild-mannered, middle-aged widow of independent means,” moves into a cottage in the Cotswolds village of Finch. Amelia is in fact “England’s greatest botanical artist,” Mae Bowen, as Lori soon learns from an art appraiser neighbor who recognizes the woman. Mae, who’s desperately trying to escape her cult following, turns to Lori for help in concealing her true identity—and in redeeming the reputation of an accused witch known as Mistress Meg, who lived in Finch in the 17th century. Lori’s ghostly Aunt Dimity provides support through words that magically appear in a copperplate book. Despite the lack of a murder, cozy fans will enjoy following the far from obvious clues in the effort to exonerate Mistress Meg. 4-city author tour. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)