Review: Aunt Dimity and the Summer King (Aunt Dimity Mystery #20) by Nancy Atherton

Lori Shepherd loves everything about her quaint town of Finch in the Cotswold country of England.

It’s here that she is raising her twin boys and new baby daughter Bess along side her husband, Bill.

Finch is you typical country town full of country events like the church bake sale and the dog trials. Everyone knows everyone and that also means that everyone knows your business.

Since Lori had her baby, she has been out of the loop on all the town gossip but she has noticed that two Finch cottages are still for sale after months on the market and she just can’t understand why.

Well one day she is out for a walk with her new baby following an unknown trail paralleling her father in-laws property when she happens upon Hillfort Abbey which is inhabited by a strange man who calls himself the Summer King.

Arthur Hargreaves, who fashions himself the Summer King, is known as a recluse….but most frightening of all…. he is a resident of Tillcote the neighboring town.

Apparently there has been a vicious feud between the two villages since the Victorian age. No one from Tillcote talks to anyone from Finch and Finch residents avoid Tillcote like the plague.

But Lori likes Arthur Hargreaves and feuds aside, she befriends him anyway. But as time goes on, Lori begins to wonder if her new friend is all that he claims or could he be plotting to ruin her beloved town of Finch? With Aunt Dimity’s help, will Lori be able to find out why the cottages are empty and the truth behind Arthur Hargreaves’s motives.

This is a book a little outside my typical review genre but I loved the cover and the premise sounded interesting…..besides, anytime someone write 20 books in a series….there has to be something ‘good’ that brings people back. So I decided to expand my reading horizons and go for it.

I really liked Lori, she was no BS and a bit of a busy body mixed in one. I loved her. I was a little taken aback when I discovered this book was set in the modern age, but I think it worked well because the setting was more of the star of the book than the period. The setting added a lot to the story for me. Can I buy a cottage in Finch please?

I actually thought this was going to be a murder mystery…..because correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t a lot of cozy mysteries murder mysteries? Well, after 60% I gave up on the murder mystery and just enjoyed getting to the bottom of the empty cottage situation.

I liked the slight ‘magic’ twist with the Aunt Dimity character. It was unexpected and charming. It could have been ‘hokey’ but Lori only consults her on a few occasions….if she constantly consulted Aunt Dimity then I think it would have gotten hokey and weird.

While not a lot happened in the book (murder mystery, missing person etc), I still enjoyed my time with this book. It sucked me in and I was not expecting that. The characters were warm and fun and the setting just made it for me. I love books set in the English countryside and this book totally suited me.

I feel like I need to read more Aunt Dimity books so I can have the full experience with her cozy mysteries.

And on a final note….I adore this book cover. It’s whimsical and totally fits the fun and easy nature of this story. If you like cozy mysteries you should give this series a go!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Aunt Dimity and the Summer King (Aunt Dimity Mystery #20) by Nancy Atherton

  • Hardcover, 240 pages
    Published April 14th 2015 by Viking
    ISBN 0670026700 (ISBN13: 9780670026708)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: Cozy mystery, mystery, British lit

Memorable lines/quotes: 

The past has a way of intruding on the present, whether we’re conscious of it or not.

Implications can sometimes do more damage than outright accusations…one can defend oneself against an accusation. An implication is more difficult to refute.

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