February Publications

In Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin, the 10th entry in her warm British cozy series featuring U.S. ex-pat Lori Shepard and her ghostly aunt (after 2004's Aunt Dimity: Snowbound), Lori's fondness for Elizabeth Beacham, a retired legal secretary whom she meets while volunteering at Oxford's renowned Radcliffe Infirmary, leads the amateur sleuth on a quest, after her new friend's sudden death, to find the woman's lost brother. From the maze of Oxford streets to Miss Beacham's elegant flat, where the reader can almost smell the aroma of her special raisin bread (recipe included), Atherton creates a world in which we would all like to live. Agents, Meg Ruley and Annalise Robey at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.(Viking, $22.95 256p ISBN 0-670-03378-2)

Only established fans will enjoy M.C. Beaton's Death of a Bore: A Hamish Macbeth Mystery, this predictable series' soporific 21st installment (after 2004's Death of a Poisoned Pen), in which the contrary constable investigates the mysterious death of a self-styled "literary writer" and world-class bore in that Scottish Shangri-La, the village of Lochdubh. Should the U.K. TV series based on Beaton's Hamish Macbeth novels reach the U.S., expect more readers to wake up and pay attention. Agent, Barbara Lowenstein.(Mysterious, $23.95 256p ISBN 0-89296-795-1)