Nancy Atherton books in order
Nancy Atherton is an American author of the cozy mystery series, Aunt Dimity.
She is everything but a white-haired Englishwoman with a gently wrinkled face, a wry smile, and gray eyes beaming with wisdom.
She also doesn't live in a thatched cottage in a quiet and picturesque corner of the Cotswolds, England.
Truth be told, Nancy Atherton is actually a dark-haired American with a face that is unwrinkled for the most part.
She has a radiant smile, hazel eyes and resides in a plain house in Colorado Springs.
Nancy comes from a big, convivial family and loves intermingling and seclusion in equal measure.
So if your idea of Nancy Atherton is the white-haired Englishwoman, then she certainly urges you to hold on to your illusions with every fiber of your being; for she cherishes such meticulously created illusions.
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Paranormal , Thriller
- Naked Came The Farmer (1998)
- Aunt Dimity's Death (1992)
- Aunt Dimity and the Duke (1994)
- Aunt Dimity's Good Deed (1996)
- Aunt Dimity Digs In (1998)
- Aunt Dimity's Christmas (1999)
- Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil (2000)
- Aunt Dimity: Detective (2001)
- Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday (2003)
- Aunt Dimity: Snowbound (2004)
- Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (2005)
- Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea (2006)
- Aunt Dimity Goes West (2007)
- Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter (2008)
- Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon (2009)
- Aunt Dimity Down Under (2010)
- Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree (2010)
- Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch (2012)
- Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince (2013)
- Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well (2014)
- Aunt Dimity and the Summer King (2015)
- Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (2016)
- Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse (2017)
- Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom (2018)
- Aunt Dimity and the Heart of Gold (2019)
- Aunt Dimity and the Enchanted Cottage (2022)
Detailed book overview
"A human head crashes through a window. A naked woman zooms by on a motorcycle. A sleazy lawmaker gets an arrow in the back. "That's life in central Illinois--or at least the twisted version of central Illinois concocted by 13 writers collaborating on a tongue-in-cheek mystery." So writes Christopher Wills of the Associated Press in his recent article covering the new serial book, NAKED CAME THE FARMER.
Building on the success of NAKED CAME THE STRANGER--a collaborative effort of 20 Newsday staffers back in 1969--and on the success of NAKED CAME THE MANATEE--a suspense thriller cooked up by 13 Miami-based writers in 1995--now comes NAKED CAME THE FARMER, a satirical, round-robin murder mystery drawing on the talents of some of Illinois' top writers.
Lori Shepherd thought Aunt Dimity was just a character in a bedtime story...Until the Dickensian law firm of Willis & Willis summons her to a reading of the woman's will.
Down-on-her-luck Lori learns she's about to inherit a sizable estate--if she can discover the secret hidden in a treasure trove of letters in Dimity's English country cottage.
What begins as a fairy tale becomes a mystery--and a ghost story--in an improbably cozy setting, as Aunt Dimity's indominable spirit leads Lori on an otherworldly quest to discover how, in this life, true love can conquer all.
Emma Porter is forty, fat, frumpy, and a passionate amateur gardener. When her longtime lover dumps her for a younger woman, Emma escapes the cloying sympathy of family and friends by setting out on a summer-long driving tour of England's glorious gardens.
A Dimity-contrived coincidence brings her to Penford Hall, a sprawling Gothic mansion in Cornwall, where she finds a duke in search of a missing lantern with extraordinary powers. Suspecting there's more than one mystery to be solved at Penford Hall, Emma accepts the duke's invitation to stay on and restore the once glorious chapel garden to its former beauty.
The dark rumors surrounding a rock star and the near-death of the duke's beautiful cousin confirm Emma's suspicions, and set her--with Aunt Dimity's ghostly guidance--on the path to Penford Hall's secrets and the pleasure of unexpected love.
Nancy Atherton's growing number of fans will certainly be delighted by Aunt Dimity's latest appearance in the honey-colored English cottage she bequeathed to her "niece," Lori Shepherd. Thanks to Aunt Dimity, Lori's life has taken on fairy-tale proportions: she's financially set for life and happily married or so she thinks.
When Lori's plans for a second honeymoon to England with her workaholic husband fall through, she begrudgingly takes along her father-in-law who promptly disappears, leaving behind a mysterious note. Inspired and guided by the ghost of Aunt Dimity and her inimitable blue journal, Lori's search for the elderly gentleman turns into a harrowing mission to uncover a centuries-old family secret complicated by mistaken identities, falsified deeds, family feuds, and Lori's unseemly attraction to her husband's beguiling English cousin.
In a delightful chase that takes her all over the English countryside, Lori discovers the true meaning of marital bliss, and Nancy Atherton's fans, new and old, will savor a masterpiece of old-fashioned fun.
The latest in this enchanting and fast-selling series, featuring the beloved ghost Aunt Dimity, opens in a picturesque English cottage where the lovable Lori Shepherd is up to her elbows in pureed carrots and formula bottles, striving to be the perfect mother to twins! Luckily, a beautiful Italian nanny arrives just in time--so Lori can help settle the local civil war stirred up by a visiting archaeologist's excavation.
With Reginald, the stuffed pink rabbit and Edmond Terrance, the stuffed tiger in tow, Lori hunts down a missing document, and the archaeologist digs up a lot more than artifacts. It is Aunt Dimity's magic blue notebook that provides the key to buried secrets and domestic malice, and shows all the residents of Finch that even the darkest acts can be overcome by forgiveness.
A mystery unwinds in the idyllic English countryside shortly before Christmas.
Lori can hardly wait for Christmas this year: lean times are over, the cottage Aunt Dimity willed her is more beautiful than ever, her nine-month-old twins, Will and Rob, are thriving, and she and husband Bill have never been happier.
Determined to make this Christmas the best ever, Lori embarks on a round of shopping, holly-cutting, angel-cookie making, and more. When fat snow flakes begin drifting down outside of the window, Lori feels all her holiday wishes are about to come true.
But the next day, beneath the lilac bushes now covered by freshly fallen snow, Lori makes a disturbing discovery: the body of a mysterious stranger--a tramp--barely alive.
While the nearby village of Finch continues with its seasonal preparations, including rehearsals for the Christmas Eve Nativity play, Lori puts her plans on hold and teams up with Julian Bright--a devilishly attractive Roman Catholic priest--to search out the stranger's identity.
Their journey takes them from abandoned World War II airfields to homeless shelters, places where the Christmas star shines dimly, if at all.
As Lori unveils the tragic secret that led the stranger to her door, she confronts painful truths about herself and discovers the real meaning of a perfect family Christmas.
With rain crashing down on her Range Rover, as it climbs up a steep embankment on the Northumberland moors, Lori Shepherd is beginning to doubt the wisdom of her decision to evaluate a rare book collection at Wyrdhurst Hall.
The grim, neo-gothic hall that greets her upon arrival is full of surprises-including a charming, secretive stranger, and a cache of World War I letters that tell a tale of doomed love and hint at a hidden treasure. It will take all of Dimity's supernatural skills to help Lori solve the puzzle and restore peace to a family haunted by its tragic past.
When Lori Shepherd returns from her trip to America, she is shocked to hear that Prunella "Pruneface" Hooper has been killed. This is the first murder in the village of Finch in more than a century, and everyone is in an uproar. Before the town implodes in the wake of this scandal, Lori sets out to solve the murder.
Unfortunately, nearly everyone in Finch had a reason to want Mrs. Hooper dead. With the help of the ghostly Aunt Dimity and Nicholas, the enigmatic (and charming!) self-defense instructor, Lori aligns motive, means, and opportunity to unravel this delightfully tangled and gossip-filled whodunnit.
When Lori Shepherd’s husband, Bill, is summoned to the reading of a will at the resplendent country estate of Earl Elstyn, Lori jumps at the chance to come along. She didn’t expect, however, to find herself entangled in a messy—and dangerous—family dispute. The aristocratic earl has called together the entire Elstyn family to disclose the beneficiaries of his fortune, and all present will be affected. But someone has a grudge against the Elstyns and will stop at nothing for revenge.
A burning topiary, a suspicious maid, family secrets, and threatening notes lead Lori to seek her phantom Aunt Dimity’s help in identifying the culprit before he or she can torch the whole house—with the guests in it.
In their latest adventure, a pleasant woodland stroll through the English countryside is rudely cut short by the blizzard of the century, forcing Lori to take shelter in Ladythorne Abbey—an old pile still haunted by the presence of the madwoman whose prison it once was.
But the abbey’s greatest secret is the priceless jewel it conceals somewhere within its cloisters—an heirloom that hides a treacherous past that Lori’s fellow guests can’t wait to get their hands on.
Only Aunt Dimity’s indispensable wisdom can help Lori unravel a mystery that is considerably thicker than the accumulating snow in this page-turning treat.
Feeling a touch world-weary, Lori Shepherd decides to become a volunteer at the Radcliffe Infirmary, where she meets Elizabeth Beacham, a kind, retired legal secretary. But after only one visit, Miss Beacham passes away, leaving behind no family except a brother who has mysteriously disappeared.
Armed with the generous help of a handsome neighbor and, as always, Aunt Dimity's supernatural skills, Lori begins to unearth Miss Beacham's secrets--including the surprising truth about her next of kin.
Full of delightfully surprising twists and turns, Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin is another page-turning installment in the mystery series that has won the hearts of cozy mystery fans everywhere.
Nancy Atherton ’s Aunt Dimity novels have enchanted thousands of readers, and this new addition to the series is likely to broaden the spell. A series of death threats sends Lori Shepard to a remote island off the Scottish coast and to a fabulous castle restored by an eccentric friend of her husband’s.
But she finds herself drawn into an elaborate whodunit that may involve smuggling—or worse. Why has a human skull washed up on the beach? Is a desolate island really the best place to hide from a murderer?
As Lori draws once more on Aunt Dimity’s supernatural aid, Atherton whips equal measures of whimsy and suspense into an irresistible confection.
Nancy Atherton 's Aunt Dimity series has charmed its way into the hearts of mystery fans everywhere, finding a larger audience with each new book.
In Aunt Dimity Goes West, Atherton's vivid storytelling and knack for bringing a setting to life will have fans lassoed to their chairs. Lori Shepherd, still recovering from her most recent adventure, is taking a vacation with her family in the beautiful mountain town of Bluebird, Colorado. But there's something amiss at their seemingly perfect vacation home. Is the place cursed or is a sinister human hand shaping its eerie reputation?
With Aunt Dimity's help, Lori sets out to solve a hundred- year-old mystery and discovers that sometimes the strangest places can seem the most like home.
This time, Lori's supernatural confidante may not be the only one who's not quite dead...
Lori Shepherd takes on a potential vampire in Nancy Atherton's thirteenth cozy mystery Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter. Perfect for fans of M. C. Beaton and Ann Granger.
Life in the Cotswolds couldn't be more blissful for Lori Shepherd - except for one thing: her five-year-old twins have started school, and Lori fears her sons will catch everything from the flu to fleas. Then the twins come home one drizzly day and give her something truly terrifying to worry about.
Could the cloaked figure they see in the woods really have been a vampire? With Lori's late (but not entirely departed) Aunt Dimity's help, she begins to investigate. Her trail takes her to Leo, a charming vagabond; to a bitter old crone named Lizzie Black; and finally to Aldercot Hall, where a mysterious murder took place forty years ago. Can Lori uncover the true identity of the twins' vampire before it's too late?
After living in the small English village of Finch for eight years, Lori Shepherd longs for some excitement to spice up her all-too-familiar routine. So when a Renaissance festival complete with wizards, wenches, knights, and jesters sets up in town for the summer, Lori gets her wish-and more.
She soon discovers a sinister stalker, a jealous saboteur, and an evil assassin behind the scenes of King Wilfred's Faire, and it's up to Lori-with Aunt Dimity's otherworldly guidance-to prevent the medieval revelry from ending in modern-day tragedy.
A shock wave rocks Lori Shepherd's world when she hears that her beloved neighbors, Ruth and Louise Pym, may be dying. Bracing herself for a final farewell, Lori instead receives a request from the eccentric sisters: Find their long-lost brother before it's too late. Aubrey Pym is a wicked scoundrel who was banished from his family long ago; and much to Lori's surprise, she must travel all the way to New Zealand to find him.
In granting her dear friends' dying wish, Lori sets out on a journey full of surprises. And with the help of a charming Kiwi and the otherworldly guidance of Aunt Dimity, Lori goes Down Under to search for the mysterious Aubrey, unraveling a web of secrets that has haunted the Pym family for generations.
After a dizzying time Down Under, Lori Shepherd returns to Finch and finds that her wealthy father-in-law, William Willis, Sr., has just purchased a splendid ten-acre estate nearby.
While William fends off local ladies intent on romance, Lori oversees the painstaking restoration of a peculiar painting found during renovations.
It's nothing Lori can't handle-until moving furniture, strange sounds, and the theft of the painting prompt her to call on Aunt Dimity for help uncovering the estate's shadowy past.
At first glance, the unassuming Mrs. Amelia Thistle is a disappointment to the villagers of Finch, but Lori Shepherd isn't fooled by the new arrival's bland persona.
Amelia is a world-famous artist, traveling incognito, and, after unearthing a fragment of a family diary hinting that Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch, might be one of her ancestors, she's come to Finch in search of the truth.
It’s a cold, dreary February in the sleepy village of Finch and Lori Shepherd has two stir-crazy kids on her hands. So she leaps at the chance to visit Skeaping Manor, a bizarre Jacobean-house-turned-museum.
There she meets Daisy Pickering, a sweet, but strange little girl from a poor family who spins a wild tale about the Russian aristocrats who once owned the priceless silver pieces on display.
A few days later, Daisy’s shabby pink parka turns up at Lori’s thrift shop—with a silver sleigh figurine in the pocket. Lori tries to track down the Pickering family, only to find that they’ve disappeared without a trace.
In this New York Times bestseller, dashing Australian Jack McBride arrives in the village of Finch to wrap up his reclusive late uncle’s affairs.
While helping Jack clear out his uncle’s overgrown garden, Lori finds a long-forgotten wishing well. As a joke, she makes a wish—and it comes true! Word spreads, and soon the entire village besieges the well with wishes of their own.
As more and more wishes come true, chaos ensues, and Lori—with Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help—races to prove there’s something other than magic at work before her beloved village implodes.
It’s June, the roses are in bloom, and the small English village of Finch may be in big trouble. Two cottages are for sale, but something—or someone—is driving buyers away. Has a developer targeted Finch? Will property values skyrocket? Will a wave of wealthy weekenders drive out the longtime locals?
Lori Shepherd has a lot on her plate—a brand-new baby daughter, her father-in-law’s impending nuptials, and a visit from her dreaded aunts-in-law—but she refuses to stand back and watch while big money destroys her beloved village.
Lori sets her sights on the local real estate agent, but finds herself sidetracked by a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor. Arthur Hargreaves, dubbed the Summer King by his quirky family, is as warmhearted as the summer sun.
With him, Lori forgets her troubles, until she makes a series of unsettling discoveries. An ancient feud between his family and the town comes to light. And then there’s Arthur’s connection to the local real estate firm. Is the Summer King as kind as he seems?
With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help—and her new baby girl in her arms—Lori fights to save her village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.
While exploring the attic in her cottage near the small English village of Finch, Lori Shepherd makes an extraordinary discovery: a gleaming gold and garnet bracelet that had once belonged to Aunt Dimity. When Lori shows the garnet bracelet to Aunt Dimity, it awakens poignant memories of a doomed romance in Aunt Dimity’s youth in London after the War.
Regretfully, Aunt Dimity asks Lori to do what she could not: return the bracelet to her unsuccessful suitor—setting Lori off on an adventure through London—and through history—to put a piece of Aunt Dimity’s past to rest.
In the meantime, a new family has moved to Finch. The villagers are thrilled because their new neighbors are avid metal detectorists. Metal detectors soon become all the rage in Finch and the villagers unearth a lot of rubbish (some of it quite embarrassing) before one of them stumbles upon a trinket that could hold the key to the origin of Aunt Dimity’s bracelet.
Is the bracelet a priceless and protected national treasure? Was Aunt Dimity’s lovesick suitor a common thief? If so, how will Lori break the news to Aunt Dimity? And what will she do with the bracelet? As Lori searches for answers, she discovers an unexpected link between the buried treasure in the village and the treasure buried in Aunt Dimity’s heart.
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 committee meeting and Lori is astonished when the elderly, soft-spoken widow Mrs. Annabelle Craven stands to make an announcement: she's decided to hold a quilting bee in the old schoolhouse.
At the quilting bee, Lori ends up seated beside Mrs. Craven, delighted at the opportunity to learn more about her neighbor's life in the village of Old Cowerton. But dear, sweet Mrs. Craven's stories reveal a startling secret about her first husband's death.
With Aunt Dimity's advice, Lori sets out to learn the truth about what the residents of Old Cowerton refer to as the "widow's curse"--and the deeper she digs, the more horrifying the tale becomes, until she discovers the most astounding revelation of all.
On a dull and dreary October day, Lori Shepherd and her husband Bill set off for the historic town of Rye, on the southeast coast of England, for a quiet weekend together without the kids. Bill must first pay a visit to a reclusive client--but after Lori drops him off, a powerful storm drives her off course and leaves her stranded in an ancient, rambling inn called The King's Ransom.
When Lori is spooked by ghostly noises in the night, Aunt Dimity reminds her rather tartly that not all ghosts intend to harm the living. But the longer Lori is stuck at the inn, the stranger things seem. She learns that the inn was once a hangout for smugglers, and that it's riddled with secret tunnels the smugglers used to reach a network of hidden caves.
Then there's the inn's cook--a brawny, gruff ex-con--who seems to have a beef with a mysterious French guest. Are the noises Lori hears made by the spirits of long dead smugglers? Or should she be more worried by the inn's living inhabitants?
Joining forces with her new friend Bishop Wyndham, and guided by Aunt Dimity's wise counsel, Lori sets out to discover once and for all who--or what--is haunting The King's Ransom.
It's almost Christmas in the small English village of Finch--and everyone is sick. Though many of the villagers regretfully decline their invitations to Emma Harris's annual Christmas bash, Lori Shepherd has no intention of missing it.
When the winter weather takes a turn for the worse, it's agreed that none of the guests will leave until morning. There's general merriment as the Christmas party becomes a pajama party--until a car appears in the winding driveway and promptly slides off the slick pavement and into a ditch.
Matilda "Tilly" Trout--a lost and scatterbrained, middle-aged woman--is mercifully unhurt and invited to stay the night. While she catches her breath, Emma asks her other guests if they would like a tour of the Manor--including an odd room that puzzles her. Several guests put forth guesses as to its purpose, but it's Tilly who correctly identifies the room as a chapel.
Placing a palm on one of the ornately-carved panels, Tilly finds a hidden compartment concealing a pile of glittering treasure--including an exquisitely decorated heart made of solid gold. Where did it come from, and why does it look so different from everything else in the chapel? Why didn't Emma even know about this hidden compartment in her own home until now--and how did Tilly?
With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help and Tilly's bewildering store of knowledge, Lori and friends set out to unravel the mystery behind the heart of gold. And, against all odds--and Christmas finally comes to Finch!
It's early May in the small English village of Finch and the air is crackling with excitement: a newcomer is about to move into Pussywillows, a riverside cottage with a romantic reputation. Will the cottage's newest resident prove yet again its enchanting ability to matchmake?
But when Crispin Windle arrives, no one knows what to make of him: seemingly a loner, he repels every welcoming gesture and appears altogether uninterested in being a part of the community. Soon, the townspeople have all but dismissed him.
Only Lori and Tommy Prescott, a young army veteran who recently moved to Finch, refuse to give up. They orchestrate a chance meeting that leads to a startling discovery: a set of overgrown ruins. They are, Aunt Dimity shares, the remains of a Victorian woolen mill that once brought prosperity to Finch.
As the three explore, they stumble upon the unmarked graves of children who died working at the mill. Heartbroken, Lori, Tommy, and Mr. Windle get to work on the seemingly impossible task of identifying the children to give them a proper burial. And as Mr. Windle works tirelessly to name the forgotten children, he slowly begins to open up--giving the romantic cottage a chance to heal his heart as well.