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by Nancy Atherton
Viking, February 2007
240 pages
ISBN: 0670038407

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Lori Shepherd used to live in Boston but when her mother's old friend Dimity died and left her home in England to Lori, Lori and her lawyer husband Bill pulled up stakes and moved across the ocean. It is in this Cotswolds village where the couple are bringing up their twin five-year-old boys.

Even though she is dead, Aunt Dimity still keeps in contact with Lori through a special album where she communicates by writing all her ideas and answers to Lori's questions.

For the past few months Lori has had some bad nightmares back from the time when a man tried to kill her and her sons. Since she isn't sleeping well, Bill suggests that she, their sons, and the nanny, Annelise, go to Colorado in America and stay in the vacation home, a huge mansion of a log cabin, of one of his clients, Danny Auerbach. Danny and his family aren't going to be there so Lori and the boys will have the house to themselves.

Off they go to Bluebird, Colorado where they are met at the airport by 21-year-old Toby who is the new caretaker to the cabin. The first caretaker left unexpectedly and the whole town is wondering why.

After being in the town for a few days Lori notices that many of the residents of Bluebird looks a lot like the people who live in the Cotswolds village where Lori lives in England. When she mentions this to Annelise and to Bill over the phone they tell her that she is imagining things.

But when Lori is told that the house they are staying in is cursed and that is why Danny Auerbach's family left suddenly during the previous Christmas and the reason why the first caretaker left unexpectedly, Lori knows that she has some serious investigating to do. With the help of Toby, Aunt Dimity, and another ghostly friend from the town, Lori is sure she can solve all the questions that she has about Bluebird.

Once again author Nancy Atherton has a winner in AUNT DIMITY GOES WEST. For the second book in a row, the author takes Lori and her sons out of England and this time to America. All the characters are enticing and of course, Lori is slightly attracted to the much younger and cute caretaker, Toby. But as in all the books in this series, Lori would never do anything to jeopardize her marriage to her husband, Bill.

I loved the characters. Lori and her sons are wonderful and in this installment of the series, Atherton introduces some splendid new American characters as well. Bluebird is just filled with weird, funny, and strange people and they really are remarkably similar to the people who live in Lori's English village.

There's no real murder here but it was nice following Lori as she figures out what the curse is and why. I also enjoyed it when the twins and their nanny, Annelise visited a dude ranch. The boys loved horses and the ranch hands loved Annelise.

My only real problem with this book is that it explains a lot about what happened in the previous novel and how Lori was almost killed. It even goes as far as to explain what happened to the man who shot her. If anyone reads this book first, the previous book would be ruined for them.

Nonetheless, this 12th book is the series is not to be missed. It's a splendid cozy. The Aunt Dimity series is still top-notch.

Reviewed by Sharon Katz, March 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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