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Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse

(Aunt Dimity Mystery #22)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,996 ratings  ·  285 reviews
Nancy Atherton's twenty-second cozy mystery in the beloved, nationally bestselling Aunt Dimity series.
It's early April in the small English village of Finch. Lori Shepherd's husband and sons are spending Easter break camping, and Lori is perfectly happy to be left at home with Bess, spared a week of roughing it with a curious toddler. The two attend a village events commi
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Viking
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Trina Yes, this particular title works fine as a stand-alone as the author fills in necessary details. The first few novels in the series set the stage but …moreYes, this particular title works fine as a stand-alone as the author fills in necessary details. The first few novels in the series set the stage but the last dozen are pretty formulaic, although lovely, fluffy, escapist, cozy mysteries, deftly written with gentle humor and a tasty recipe at the end. The epitome of cozy, really. (less)

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Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse by Nancy Atherton is a 2017 Viking Books publication.

Another wonderful visit with Lori and the gang in the friendly, but gossipy, village of Finch!!

I know I’ve told this story before, but Aunt Dimity is a special series for me. It is the first ‘modern’ cozy series I ever read. I usually grabbed the darkest, most twisted mystery/suspense novels on the market, but I received an ‘Aunt Dimity’ book as a gift, and eventually, mostly out of pure, and quite skeptical,
Holly  B
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it

I listened to the audio version and totally enjoyed all the English accents of all the gossipy residents of the village of Finch. This was a fun, light cozy mystery which is #22 in the series. This was my first and worked just fine as a stand-alone. I will definitely read some more.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book. I was very skeptical I must say, but no fear! I especially enjoyed the character of Annabelle Cravens, an elderly demure and seemingly angelic neighbor. I also enjoyed the
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aunt Dimity books are dependably comforting and satisfying for me. I found this one more predictable than usual and edging on the saccharine at times, but it's still Aunt Dimity, so what else can I say? As always, I can't wait for the next. ...more
The Aunt Dimity series has been a very favourite of mine since the first book, and while some have been "more favourite" than others, not a single book has disappointed me, and this installment was no different.

These books make small town busybodies lovable, and quiet village life funny and exciting, and as someone who grew up in a small town [I only WISH mine had been more like Finch!] I am here to tell you, that is no small feat.

The Aunt Dimity books are [I've said this before in reviewing the
Glen U
Jun 19, 2017 rated it liked it
OK, go ahead and take away my man-card now. I will admit it. I am a devotee of Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity's series. I thoroughly enjoy Atherton's cozy mysteries about village life in rural England (ala Miss Marple) and the gentle and charming writing that she brings to the pages. There is always a crime to solve, but never does the book rely on shock value to entice the reader to follow the protagonist to, usually, a happy and moralistic ending. Walking a fine line between sedate and comatose, ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet book, which almost hides the savage conclusion that homes for the elderly, such as convalescent homes, are so terrible that a person could prefer jail to such places.

Lori is flabbergasted to suddenly receive a confession of a serious crime (murder of course) from someone she had considered a very upright pleasant person who is a real artist in creating quilts. She takes a friend and investigates the confession. She comes to a conclusion but still doesn't know why such a co
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I've read all 22 AD books. Every summer I look forward to reading the latest book. I still contend that the first book was by far the best book, and really they aren't mysteries, as there is always a logical explanation for the "mystery". They are however charming stories of very interesting characters in what sounds like a town I'd like to visit. ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another delightful addition to the Aunt Dimity collection.

Lori Shepherd, our intrepid protagonist, begins another quest for the truth. With the help of her neighbor Bree Pym, her 13 month old daughter Bess, and of course Aunt Dimity, Lori searches for answers about the "widow's curse".

For those of you who are new to this cozy mystery series, Lori Shepherd is an American living in the small English village of Finch with her husband Bill, twin boys Will and Rob, daughter Bess and cat Stanley. Well
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another awesome installment of the Aunt Dimity series!! Lori, Bree and little Bess go on a girls' getaway but really want to visit a small town called Cowerton to ferret out some long buried information about their elderly friend and neighbor Mrs. Craven! And what a load of information they find! Not all of it is complimentary of Annabelle Craven and some tidbits don't really coincide with the story the old woman gave to Lori in the first place. Did Annabelle really kill her first husband? Who s ...more
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: I do not think that I would recommend this particular book.
Having read a fair amount in the Aunt Dimity series, I found that this particular book a disappointment. Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse by Nancy Atherton begins well enough, but at a ‘meeting’, a villager shares a story with Lori Shepard which sends Lori, Bree, & Bess, Lori’s 13-month old daughter, off on a trip to discover the truth. The book hits on a major problem in society today - the elderly and their problems - but it is not truly discuss this. What does take place with the characters ...more
Dawn Michelle
WHAT a great read. OH MY GOSH I love these books. Every time I think a new Aunt Dimity book cannot be ANY better than the previous one, I am proved wrong, and this one was no exception. So much is going on in this one and I am totally amazed at how wonderful and gracious Lori is, even in the midst of everything that is happening. She is such a great main character, even with all her faults and you cannot help but want to be friends with her.

I love and highly recommend both this book AND this se
Nancy Ellis
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
These very light, gentle, and enjoyable books are always a fun read.
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this was a very sweet, very fun entry in the Aunt Dimity series! I loved the characters, the setting, the plot, and Lori’s “gullible” nature. The ending was also such a feel-good ending and honestly, I think that’s why I enjoy this series. Not because every story is plausible, not because every mystery is eerie and creepy, but because inevitably there are feel-good relationships, feel-good characters, and feel-good endings. And that’s such a nice thing to be able to rely on given how stressf ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though the Aunt Dimity books are short and very hit or miss for me, I am glad to say that this book was better than most and packs a very interesting story.

Lori Shepard will admit to anyone that will listen that she is gullible. She tries to accept everyone at face value so when Mrs. Annabelle Craven, a long loved village member, admits that she had killed her husband, Lori is both shocked and curious. Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, and with her husband and son’s out of town, Lori grab
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So ends another charming installment in a long-running and consistently well-written series of true mysteries. Lori travels to a nearby village to investigate the scandalous rumor of an elderly Finch neighbor's story of gossip and murder. Of course, there are no murders in this series, just a close-knit and committed village of quirky residents who care for one another, no matter their age or financial situation. I highly recommend this series set in the Cotswolds, but you must read it in order ...more
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A quick cozy British mystery I plucked from my mother's stack of library books as this is one of her favorite genres. Light, well-written, and fun; I loved the from beyond journal communication between the protagonist and her late, ghostly Aunt Dimity, which is the premise behind the series, apparently. I wouldn't seek out others in the series, necessarily, as my tastes tend to run darker and deeper, but every now and then it's fun to read a fluffy mystery like this. ...more
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: daniele

Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse
Aunt Dimity Mystery, Book #22
By Nancy Atherton
ISBN# 9781101981320
Author Website:
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


It’s early April in the small English village of Finch. Lori Shepherd’s husband and sons are spending Easter break camping, and Lori is perfectly happy to be left at home with Bess, spared a week of roughing it with a curious toddler. The two attend a village events commi
Alice Teets
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In the 22nd Aunt Dimity book, Lori is enjoying time with her little girl while her husband takes her twin boys camping. When a member of the village suggests a quilting bee, then shares an impossible story with Lori, quickly roped into another mystery.

Traveling to a new village, Lori and her friend Bree are told of the widows curse that follows her elderly friend, but cannot believe the storie
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I always find Aunt Dimity books to be wonderful palate cleansers, and this was definitely the book I needed now. These cozy mysteries always hit the right spot for me. While the plots are mysterious, they don't often include much in the way of sinister action. On occasion, there is a death, but rarely a murder. I find these books to be engrossing and heartwarming. ...more
Cherise  Deeley
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a delightful surprise! I have never read any books from this series or this author. This story was very engaging and the actual mystery was really fun and different! I will be going back to read the earlier ones in this series!
Barbara Cook
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Audio. This was a fun book to listen to on audio. Just found this series. Might look for more!
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Like all of the Aunt Dimity books, this is a heartwarming and kind story, encouraging us to treat others well and avoid thinking the worst of those we meet.
A new Aunt Dimity book always makes me happy.

In this book, Lori sets out to a new location, the village of Old Cowerton, to find out the truth behind a shocking secret revealed by a Finch resident. Once there, Lori finds out about the Widow's Curse. Without revealing any spoilers, I'll just say that the reader along with Lori learns that the Widow's Curse is not what you think it is. Ms. Atherton deftly brings a serious issue into the story. If only all our communities could react as the reside
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy, mystery
This book is as delightful as an English country garden in bloom. A sweet elderly lady has confided in Lori that she killed her first husband many years ago and buried his body under her rose bushes at her former home in another village. Now Lori is in a quandary: should she take her at her word or try to do some fact-finding of her own. Lori uncovers more than she bargained for when she decides to snoop. A wonderful cozy with well-liked characters, reading this novel was just like spending time ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another enjoyable read from Atherton. I do like this series, although it is a bit hit or miss sometimes. I like to see how she manages to introduce new characters in such a small town, and this one was done quite well.
I love the idea of a huge quilt that they all can work on, and how they make an event of it. My grandmother used to quilt, and we use her quilts everyday, so I can empathize with how Mrs. Craven feels about her creations.
When Mrs. Craven announces to Lori that she killed her admitt
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I always feel good while reading an Aunt Dimity story. This one has such a sense of community that it makes you feel Finch is even more special that past books have said. It really is too bad that the characters and Finch are fictional. I would enjoy living in a place like Finch and having a friend like Lori Shepherd.
Mrs. Craven holds a quilting bee to which all of Finch is invited. On one Saturday they finish quilting a masterpiece of a quilt. Mrs. Cravwn spends time instructing each person who
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse would rank among one of my favorite Aunt Dimity's. Finch is asked by Annabelle Craven to help quilt her large quilt. Laurie helps out as does much of Finch. Towards the end of the quilting bee Annabelle tells Laurie a deep dark secret. Laurie is so disturbed she discusses it with Aunt Dimity. This leads to Laurie, Bess, and Bree going to the nearby bigger village to ferret out the truth. After meeting with the Anti-Annabelle group and the pro Annabelle group the ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fbc-17
Confession: I downloaded this audiobook by accident (I kept clicking on a slow-loading webpage, and my impatience was punished). I didn't realize until I updated my Goodreads that it's the 22nd (!) book in a series about "Aunt Dimity." So I didn't know what most people reading it probably do: it's a cozy mystery in the first person, and the main character Lori talks to her dead aunt via an old magic journal. As a general rule, I'm not into the paranormal thing, and I wasn't thrilled when 40 page ...more
Christina/ The Blog for Teachers, Readers, & Life!
Setting: Finch and Cowerton, England
Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Fiction, Women Sleuths
Paranormal Detective, English Village

Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse is another brilliant addition the Aunt Dimity series. Although I read numerous other books in this series already, I am reviewing the latest installment first because I just read it, and it is fresh in my mind. This book is a charming, cozy mystery that follows plucky protagonist Lori Shepard and her late Aunt Dimity. Aunt Dimity was a close frie
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nls-audio
If you get invited to a quilting bee any time soon, and yeah, I know, the odds of that happening are right up there with you getting an invitation to fly with Elon Musk to Mars, but if you do, you probably don’t want to handle things the way poor Annabelle Craven did in the fictional quilting bee in the fictional village of Finch. As her needle flew through the material, she announced quietly to her seat mate, Lori Shepherd, that she, Annabelle, had murdered her first husband and buried him in t ...more
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Nancy Atherton is not a white-haired Englishwoman with a softly wrinkled face, a wry smile, and wise gray eyes, nor does she live in a thatched cottage behind a babbling brook in a tranquil, rural corner of the Cotswolds.

She has never taken tea with a vicar (although she drank an Orange Squash with one once) and she doesn't plan to continue writing after her allotted time on earth (though such pla

Other books in the series

Aunt Dimity Mystery (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Aunt Dimity's Death (Aunt Dimity Mystery #1)
  • Aunt Dimity and the Duke (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #2)
  • Aunt Dimity's Good Deed (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #3)
  • Aunt Dimity Digs In (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #4)
  • Aunt Dimity's Christmas (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #5)
  • Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #6)
  • Aunt Dimity: Detective (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #7)
  • Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #8)
  • Aunt Dimity: Snowbound (Aunt Dimity Mystery #9)
  • Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (Aunt Dimity Mystery, #10)

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“When we reached the top of the humpbacked bridge that crossed the Little Deeping River, I paused, as I always did, to savor the view. It was a view that never failed to warm my heart. The village lay before me, its golden buildings aglow in the morning light. Dew glistened on the elongated oval of tussocky grass that formed the village green, and the worn stones in the cobbled lane gleamed as if they'd been polished. St. George's stumpy bell tower peered shyly at me through the boughs of the churchyard's towering cedars, and the river rushed below me, rendered livelier than usual by spring rains.” 0 likes
“.... Finch, a small and somnolent village set among the rolling hills and the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, a pastoral haven described in countless guidebooks as one of the prettiest regions in England” 0 likes
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