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by Nancy Atherton
Viking, February 2008
240 pages
ISBN: 0670018546

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Atherton celebrates the thirteenth book in her Aunt Dimity series with a vampire story. Lori is back home in her tiny English town, finding out that despite all her adventures, the hardest thing she has to do is let go of her own five-year-old twins, who have just started school. The separation isn't made easier when the principal calls her into the office to complain that her children are giving the others nightmares with their lurid lies. Furious, Lori goes on the defense. Her children never lie! The story about the violent stalker is true (AUNT DIMITY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA). So is the one about the foulmouthed phantom (AUNT DIMITY GOES WEST).

But the one about the vampire haunting their riding path? That one is disturbingly new.

When asked, the twins describe a character from an graphic novel that had been brought in by one of their schoolmates. Their father thinks they ran out of true stories and wanted to keep their reputation as storytellers. But Lori is convinced that they are describing exactly what they saw, and Aunt Dimity agrees. She sends Lori off to talk to an old friend, who points out that in the next valley over is a mysterious, reclusive family called the DuCarals. The name, suspiciously, is an anagram of Dracula. Off Lori goes on a vampire hunt, dragging the children’s riding instructor along with her, in the dual hope of getting his support and talking him into finally marrying his long-time sweetheart.

Like most of the books in the Dimity series, AUNT DIMITY, VAMPIRE HUNTER is slight but sweet, an entertaining, if not deep, way of spending a couple pleasant hours. Less of a mystery than a character study, the reader follows behind as Lori leaps from conclusion to conclusion, aided and abetted by her spectral advisor, Aunt Dimity.

This isn’t a book for someone who wants a tight, complex puzzle – there is far more emphasis on getting Kit to marry Nell than uncovering the supposed murderer in the DuCaral family – but it is a book for someone who wants some light, pleasant reading. Although it is a late book in the series, everything a new reader needs to know is provided, so this is a fine introduction to the gentle world of Aunt Dimity.

Reviewed by Linnea Dodson, March 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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