By: Nancy Atherton
When Amelia Thistle moves to Finch, her new neighbors welcome her with open arms-and inquiring minds. Among them is Lori Shepherd, who isn't fooled by Amelia's unassuming persona. Amelia is, in fact, a world-famous artist with a rabid and eager-to-stalk fan base.
In order to keep peace in Finch, Lori must help Amelia conceal her identity. Amelia, meanwhile, sets about working on the riddle that brought her to town in the first place. A fragment of a family diary hints that one of Amelia's ancestors might have been Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch. Following the clue, Lori hunts through Finch's darkest and most secret corners, all the while dodging nosy neighbors and Amelia's frantic fans. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori inches closer to the true story of Mistress Meg-and Amelia. --bn.com
The story takes place in the small English village of Finch. As in all small villages, the people delight in knowing what is going on in their neighbors' lives and gather daily to discuss it. The story opens with the arrival of the mysterious Mrs. Amelia Thistle. Many villagers have gathered in the tea shop across from the house to observer the unloading of the moving van. Mrs. Thistle has purchased one of the historic cottages in the middle of town. Naturally the villagers feel it is their duty to welcome her. In the process they discover she is on a quest to find a witch.
Lorie, Bill, and their twin boys, Will and Rob, live just outside the village in the house Lori inherited from"Aunt Dimity", a friend of her mothers. Aunt Dimity was the main character in all the stories Lori's mom told to her throughout her childhood. Once moved in, Lori discovered a small journal. Upon opening it writing appeared. It seems that Aunt Dimity could communicate by writing in the journal. Having lived in Finch she could offer insight into life in the small village. Thus began Lori's special friendship with Aunt Dimity.
This story takes the reader on a search for pages of a secrete memoir written by Gamaliel Gowland, Amelia's distant relative. Gamaliel Gowland was also the rector of St. George's Church in Finch. This is the very church that Lori and her family attend. After her beloved brother's death, Amelia found the first page of the memoir and a notebook containing translations and notes written by her brother. She now wants to complete her brother's quest to find the rest of the memoirs. The search will require many of the villagers' skills and knowledge of the village history. Their discoveries lead them to find many surprises, some right under their noses, while others in places few had known existed. Each step leads them closer to the witch and her amazing story.
I enjoyed this book and would encourage anyone to curl up and dive into this surprising story. Nancy Atherton has written many enjoyable mysteries. If you enjoy this book you will be pleased to know there are more Aunt Dimity mysteries. Happy Reading!