If you’re a fan of Nancy Atherton’s ghostly Aunt Dimity series, you know that the small town of Finch already has a village witch, but this book isn’t about Miranda. In fact, it’s the story of the village’s effort to find out what happened to a woman accused of being a witch in the 17th century.
But first it starts with a bit of contemporary mystery: who is Amelia Thistle, new owner of Pussywillow Cottage? The villagers gather at the town’s quaint tearoom on the morning of the new villager’s move, vying for the window seats so they can be the first to examine her furniture and the woman herself. Suddenly, two of the locals jump up and run out, and our protagonist, Lori Shepherd, gives up her prime seat to follow, deciding that she needs to know whatever it is that they know, which turns out to be that Amelia Thistle is actually a famous nature artist.
Lori and the other villagers soon get caught up in Amelia’s quest to fulfill her brother’s desire to uncover the old story about Mistress Meg, ancient Finch’s village witch. Could this be Mad Maggie, the woman immortalized by parents in threats to get their children to behave? Aunt Dimity, the ghostly journal-writing woman who willed Lori her Cotswold cottage, thinks so.
Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch is a fun addition to Nancy Atherton’s series. I enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t exactly a murder mystery, although there’s definitely a mystery to solve, and that the village of Finch pulls together to protect one of its own, not once but twice.