Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom
by Atherton, Nancy

"In the 23rd installment of the bestselling Aunt Dimity series, a dark and stormy night kicks off a ghost chase in rural England On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband Bill set off for the historic town of Rye, on the southeastcoast of England, for a quiet weekend together without the kids. Bill must first pay a visit to a reclusive client-but after Lori drops him off, a powerful storm drives her off course and leaves her stranded in an ancient, rambling inn called The King'sRansom. When Lori is spooked by ghostly noises in the night, Aunt Dimity reminds her rather tartly that not all ghosts intend to harm the living. But the longer Lori is stuck at the inn, the stranger things seem. She learns that the inn was once a hangout for smugglers, and that it's riddled with secret tunnels the smugglers used to reach a network of hidden caves. Then there's the inn's cook-a brawny, gruff ex-con-who seems to have a beef with a mysterious French guest. Are the noises Lori hears madeby the spirits of long dead smugglers? Or should she be more worried by the inn's living inhabitants? Joining forces with her new friend Bishop Wyndham, and guided by Aunt Dimity's wise counsel, Lori sets out to discover once and for all who-or what-is haunting The King's Ransom"-

Nancy Atherton is the bestselling author of twenty-three Aunt Dimity Mysteries. The first book in the series, Aunt Dimity's Death, was voted "One of the Century's 100 Favorite Mysteries" by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lori Shepherd and her husband, Bill, leave for a romantic, long-weekend getaway in Rye, East Sussex. Lori drops off Bill, who will join her later, at a client's home, but she gets stranded in Shepney on her way to Rye due to flooding. Lori meets kindly Bishop Christopher Wyndham at a church where she has taken refuge from the storm. Unfortunately, the only space available at the King's Ransom Inn is a bed in a crowded attic, which Lori gratefully takes. While in the attic, Lori hears strange noises in the reportedly haunted inn, and she decides to find their source as well as determine the story behind the inn's name. With the help of her ghostly friend, Aunt Dimity, she investigates, along with the bishop, while lending a hand as the community comes together to weather the disaster. An appealing series lead surrounded by quirky, well-drawn secondary characters and a lovingly described village setting make this coziest of cozies a good bet for those who miss Dorothy Cannell's Ellie Haskell mysteries. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Plans for a quiet romantic weekend go badly wrong when Mother Nature strikes. Lori and Bill Shepherd's life with their three children in the charming Cotswold village of Finch is lovely but so busy that Bill thinks Lori's a bit burned out. He suggests she join him on a visit to a client near Rye and then spend some time at The Mermaid Inn, a great historic accommodation with all mod cons and fantastic food. Lori drops Bill off at Blayne Hall and heads for Rye, where Bill will soon join her courtesy of his client's chauffeur. The typical English rain turns into a fierce storm that forces Lori to take shelter at St. Alfege's church in Shepney, where she makes the acquaintance of Christopher Wyndham, who, as it turns out, is a bishop and her guide and companion when the flooding forces her to remain in Shepney. Unfortunately, a whole tour bus is also stuck there, leaving only one room available for Lori in a dusty attic at The King's Ransom. Undaunted, Lori pitches in to help. S oon she's peeling veggies for Steve, the cook, who, despite his size and tattoos, is a marvelous chef. When Lori hears footsteps, children laughing, and creaking doors during the night, she's comforted by the blank book in which the spectral Aunt Dimity writes sage advice in times of trouble. After hearing tales of ghosts and smugglers, Lori resolves to figure out who or what is making the mysterious noises. With the help of the bishop and various locals, she tries to determine where the inn's name came from. Was there really a king involved? She comes up with several theories that are rather more theatrical than either the mysterious sounds or the inn's name would seem to require. But all is revealed in the end. Fans of the series (Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse, 2017, etc.) will find this tale less mysterious than previous installments but equally heartwarming and filled with all kinds of interesting people. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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