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Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon by Nancy…
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Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon

by Nancy Atherton

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I keep being attracted to books in this series by the subject matter (in this case, ren faires) but the protagonist is just too annoying for words. I swear, this will be the last one I read! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I grabbed this because I like a good (or, for that matter, bad) cozy on a lazy rainy day, and since I was going to spend a week at a medieval re-enactment, a "cozier than thou cozy" about a renaissance fest seemed like the perfect thing to bring for a rained-out afternoon.

And that is when I read it! I liked it okay - the portrayal of the re-enactors was much better than I was expecting, the scene-setting was fun, the mystery plot didn't drag too badly - but then I got to the bit where the protagonist is sexually assaulted, and I had to put the book down and go out into the rain for a bit.

It's not even that it's badly done - her reaction, and the town's, is believable, especially the way she has an emotional breakdown, assumes it's due to being "childishly emotional" rather than "having just had to physically defend myself from sexual assault", and then decides to spend the next week worrying about her husband's reaction to the assault rather than her own, decides it was all because she wore a low-cut top, and agrees with everyone else in town that the apparently serial rapist is just a bit of a merry womanizer.

Like I said, totally 100% believable, but not at ALL what I find "cozy". (I was also less than comforted by the fact that she blames herself for the actual bad guy [not the rapist]'s mental breakdown, because she didn't realize he was flirting with her and therefore it was clearly all her fault he thought he was a failure and decided to attempt murder??)

It's kind of depressing when a book that is clearly about a woman, by a woman, and for women doesn't seem to have actually made up its mind on the question of whether women are people.

The cover's great, though. I agree with the other reviewers on that. ( )
  melannen | Jan 1, 2016 |
A small renaissance fair comes to the sleepy village of Finch, bringing in new characters, troublemakers, and (of course) a msytery for Lori, Aunt Dimity, and Reginald to solve.

I grew up attending the Northern California Renaissance Faire, so quite a few of Nancy Atherton's descriptions of the atmosphere and interaction made me laugh out loud (as did the reactions of the Finchites). ( )
  Cats | Feb 5, 2011 |
Lori Shephard has a bad case of the blahs. She has a wonderful husband, two beautiful children and an idyllic life in the Cotswolds. Lori is sergeant at arms of the committee that’s planning Finch’s summer festivals – and all she’s hoping for is to NOT be assigned as a pooper scooper for the dog show. But a surprise announcement at a meeting gives her hope of enjoying a break in her routine. A Renaissance festival is coming to Finch – and the property that is home to the fair abuts her own.

The Shepard-Willis family embraces the festival – even Bill Willis, Lori’s husband, partakes in the fun. But Lori notices some sinister goings on that she’s out to investigate. Is it her over-active imagination, or is someone trying to bump off the fair’s king? Lori has been known to conjure up a mystery where none exists – but there seems to be more substance to her imaginings.

I’ve always thought the Aunt Dimity books had a magic not found in other cozy mysteries. For me, this time the magic was missing. Is the fault mine? Am I suddenly incapable of responding to magic? I don’t think so. I can name two or three new writers I’ve read just this year that have brought to me their own type of magic. Mystery series have a “shelf life.” There is a point when it becomes tough for a writer to sustain her own enthusiasm and it’s possible Nancy Atherton, like her heroine, has a case of ennui.

I don’t mean to say the writing was horrible, or the plot awful. It’s just that the writing felt mechanical, a tried-and-true formula that was tried one too many times. It just fell flat. I will, of course, continue reading this series (and rereading its early entries), hoping that it will get back on track.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library April 25, 2009. ( )
  NewsieQ | Nov 4, 2010 |
I began reading the Aunt Dimity series when it first came out and I was looking for a light-hearted series with no blood and gore. And I enjoyed the first few books in the series. I hadn't read the series for a while and decided to try this book. Nancy Atherton writes well, which kept me reading. The main character's snooping is due to an overactive imagination and nosy manner, but not much in the way of a compelling reason why any of this is her business or matters to her. In the end the main character doesn't have much to do with the solution of the mystery but rather sits back and listens to others solve it, which is disappointing. I feel this series works well for someone who wants a light mystery without murder reminiscent of Nancy Drew. ( )
  mppreads | May 25, 2010 |
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For Claudia and Don Stafford, my next-door angels
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The invasion of Finch began on a mild Monday evening in late May.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Lori Shepherd loves living in the small English village of Finch, but as her eighth summer in the town approaches she finds herself wishing for something exciting to spice up her all-too-familiar routine. When King Wilfred's Faire opens nearby, Lori gets her wish and more. The age of chivalry lives again at the Renaissance fair. Wizards, wenches, magicians, and minstrels cajole the fairgoers while lords quaff, jesters joke, and knights battle in the joust arena. But Lori discovers that it's not all pageantry and play.

A sinister figure is stalking the angel-voiced madrigal singer. A jealous rival has sabotaged the Dragon Knight's weapons. And an evil assassin is trying to murder Good King Wilfred. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly guidance, Lori races to save her dear village and risks her neck to keep the medieval revelry from ending in tragedy.
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U.S. ex-pat Lori Shepherd and Aunt Dimity investigate sabotage (and possible regicide) at a local Renaissance faire held in the idyllic Cotswolds village of Finch.

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