AUNT DIMITY AND THE DUKE by Nancy Atherton

AUNT DIMITY AND THE DUKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The most unusual continuing character in contemporary mystery fiction -- the late Dimity Westwood, universal aunt and presiding spirit of British home and garden (Aunt Dimity's Death, 1992) -- is at it again. This time, she's determined to bring forlorn, 40ish American computer executive Emma Porter, on a visit to Cornwall she'd hoped to take with her live-in lover until he dumped her for a trophy twit, to Penford Hall, where Grayson Alexander, the 14th duke, needs her to help unearth a storied lantern Aunt Dimity had charged him to recover. Speeded on her way to Penford Hall by a pair of earthbound spirits who arrange for her to be offered a job as gardener (!), Emma falls hard for the well-bred love-in among the Duke's adoring household -- especially the conveniently widowed Derek Harris, the historian who's restoring an important stainedglass window. But there are awkward questions to answer before she can find the lantern and take Derek's delightful children in hand. How has the Duke raised the money to begin restoring long-neglected Penford Hall? Did he somehow make off with the missing fortune of Lex Rex, the head-banging rock star who drowned while joyriding in the ducal yacht five years before? And who shoved supermodel Susannah Ashley-Woods, the cousin the Duke gently says was raised by wolves, down the garden steps? All the ingredients of the feminine gothic -- one ghost, one relic, three mysteries, a second chance at love -- at their most jolly and toothless. Even the crooks are nice.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1994
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Viking