When a neighbor admits to killing her husband, a haunted sleuth feels obliged to investigate.
Even though she’s American, Lori Shepherd has become part of life in Finch, a beautiful Cotswolds village where she resides with her lawyer husband, Bill, their twin boys, and their baby daughter. Bill and the boys are off on a camping trip when Mrs. Craven, who donates many of her fabled quilts to support the local church, announces she has a large quilt for that very purpose but needs help finishing it. At the end of the quilting bee, when only she and Mrs. Craven are left, Lori is surprised to hear her neighbor say she should call her by her first name, Annabelle, and then go on to confide that she killed her first husband when she lived in Old Cowerton, a village 30 miles away. Lori seeks advice from Aunt Dimity, the ghost of her mother’s best friend, who left Lori the cottage in Finch and continues to communicate with her by writing in a blank notebook. On Dimity’s advice, Lori and her friend Bree Pym pack up Lori’s daughter, Bess, and book a suite at a five-star hotel in Old Cowerton, where they quickly identify two camps of thought about Annabelle. One group believes she murdered a whole series of men, each a steppingstone to a higher social class; the other is serenely confident that the deaths were all accidents and Annabelle innocent of any wrongdoing. While Lori and Bree weigh the competing claims, they have to wonder what made Annabelle tell Lori she was a murderer in the first place.
Perhaps the most heartwarming entry in this long-running series (Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure, 2016, etc.), one that presents a very different path to solving the case.