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    Review of AUNT DIMITY: SNOWBOUND by Nancy Atherton (see her website)

    Viking, January 2004

    When her friend persuades her to break her post-Christmas funk with a hike, Lori Shepherd figures on a pleasant five hours walking through the beautiful English countryside, possibly watching lambs gamboling (whatever that is). But when she takes a wrong turn and England is hit by the blizzard of the century, Lori finds herself snowbound in a strange house--deserted except for an ancient caretaker with a shotgun, and two fellow Americans, similarly caught by the unexpected snowfall. Those, along with her stuffed rabbit and the notebook that contains the spirit of Lori's Aunt Dimity.

    The odds of three Americans being caught by snow in one small building don't seem high and Lori is suspicious. She gets even more suspicious when Catchpole, the caretaker, tells the tragic story of the late owner of the building--and her hatred for anything American. Following Aunt Dimity's advice, Lori starts a treasure hunt for whatever the building's owner supposedly lost--or had stolen. But Lori isn't the only person hunting and her suspicions quickly turn to Wendy--the American backpacker who just happens to have a crowbar in her pack.

    Author Nancy Atherton (see more reviews of novels by Atherton) serves up a fun light mystery. The ghostly Aunt Dimity serves up hints for both Lori and the reader but Lori uses her own common sense and judgment as well. Wendy and Jamie, along with Catchpole are interesting and well developed characters. Lori has an unfortunate habit of being terribly attracted to one of the suspects in each of the Dimity mysteries and this is no exception. Jamie turns out to be exactly the tall handsome and intelligent types that get Lori going--husband and children not-withstanding. In this book, Lori's little weakness (which she womanfully suppresses) adds rather than detracting from the narrative.

    Fans of light English-set cozies will definitely want to grab this one.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 4/05/04

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