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Aunt Dimity and the Duke [Mass Market Paperback]

Nancy Atherton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 12 1995 Aunt Dimity Mystery
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.

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Aunt Dimity and the Duke + Aunt Dimity's Death + Aunt Dimity's Good Deed
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Atherton's second novel proves more amusing than her first (Aunt Dimity's Death) as it recycles several characters from that mystery/ghost story. Bostonian Emma Porter-a 39-year-old computer analyst and ardent gardener recently jilted by her longtime lover-is on her own in England, exploring Cornwall's gardens. A seemingly chance encounter leads her to Penford Hall, a name prominent in the tabloids five years earlier when a rock star's death peripherally involved Grayson Alexander, the 14th duke of Penford. At the Hall, Emma is greeted by Grayson as the savior of his ruined chapel garden, waiting to be restored in time for the village "Fete" that occurs once every 100 years to celebrate a legendary local supernatural event. That act is memorialized in a chapel window being examined by restorer Derek Harris, a widower who soon becomes Emma's romantic interest. Also present is a fading supermodel whose acerbic tongue cuts the story's high sugar level until she is rendered unconscious by a blow to the head. The source of Grayson's largesse and the identity of the model's attacker, when revealed, leave some questions unanswered, but romance runs rampant, happy endings abound and most readers will be smiling at book's end.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Atherton follows Aunt Dimity's Death (LJ 10/1/92) with a lightly Gothic-flavored forerunner set in a Cornwall mansion. Emma Porter, fortyish computer nerd and gardener, becomes entangled in a mystery involving the Duke of Penford. Aunt Dimity herself appears only in name-but no matter.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Minutely related but fantastic! Oct. 11 2012
By Carolyn TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nancy Atherton débuted in 1993 and the beauty of used books is, I recently discovered the unusual "Aunt Dimity's Death". I've fallen in love with Nancy's originality, impeccable writing, and series that resembles nothing else! Thirty year-old Lori was financially poor and her mother had died. When a lawyer's letter came about a Dimity Woodcock's death, she was astonished that fairytales she grew up with, were about her mother's real friend in wartime England. Assisted by the lawyer's son Bill, there's a mission to fulfill at Dimity's cottage. Wonderful neighbours in Finch, warn that it is haunted.

Books undercut with the claim "It wasn't what I thought". One should base reviews on whatever a title turned out to be! In novel #2 "Aunt Dimity And The Duke", we're shown a cast elsewhere in England, which must take place about 8 years earlier, while Dimity Woodcock is alive. She is scarcely incorporated except as a caring figure who knew duke Grayson's Grandma. The sole familiar figures are the Pym sisters but you're drawn into such an ingenious concept with superb characterization; you dig right in. It isn't a leap to consider we influence other people. Not since David Eddings have I seen another author unfurl an offbeat story so well.

American computer analyst, Emma is free of a stagnant, heavy metal boyfriend and tours England. At Penford Hall where a disreputable musician died, she's hired to restore the garden of Grayson's Grandma in time for a festival. A myth is supposed to re-materialize at 100-year intervals. Englishman Derek is hired to locate the legend's artifact. If I'm correct, it occurred to me early on that Emma & Derek become Lori's neighbours in Finch! This author isn't conjuring angles willy nilly. She's the best of the best and her books are unforgettable.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the Entire Aunt Dimity Series... March 14 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nancy Atherton does not center this book around her usual title character, Lori Shepherd - but rather around her English neighbors and best friends. It is a delightful sideroad to travel down.
The entire series is simply delightful and a great read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aunt Dimity and the Duke Nov. 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read all the Aunt Dimity books. This one was a little slower in the beginning, but once your in, it's a good read. I liked that the main character wasn't Lori Shepard, but rather focuses on her best friend. It helped bring her character to life in the other books. I reccommend reading the whole series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aunt Dimity series June 6 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you aren't acquainted with Aunt Dimity, you have a wonderful experience in store for you. Do it now! Don't read the synopsis...just buy the books...all of them...then read and enjoy. They are delightfully unexpected. Both the men and the women in our family love them. We feel that the less you know about them before you read them the better. We only wish there were more of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aunt Dimity's Best...So Far! April 22 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Love the series. Aunt Dimity and the Duke is my favorite thus far. The descriptions of English gardens were breathtaking. Made me feel I was there and also made me want to return for another visit! Nancy makes the characters come to life and you can't help but fall in love with them. I'm anxious for her next book release.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book in a Wonderful Series Feb. 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this is the second book of the Dimity series I would recommend reading this one first as it is sort-of an off shoot from the character in the first book Lori - if you read Atherton's first book Aunt Dimity's Death first you sort-of loose some of the excitement of this book but it is still fabulous and fun.
Aunt Dimity and the Duke is set once again in the lush countryside of England. This time, as I said above - Aunt Dimity helps out Emma, who subsequently becomes Lori's best friend, (this book takes place before her first in the series)who takes a position gardening at a local mansion. There she meets Derek and helps to solve a mystery!
A wonderfully fun book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and Fuzzy Reading Jan. 3 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The tone of voice Atherton uses is so cuddley and comforting that you feel like you are reading an old favorite childhood book. The writting is sweet and sentimental yet keeps an active pace. Totally a great read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book in a wonderful series Dec 21 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although this is the second book of the Dimity series I would recommend reading this one first as it is sort-of an off shoot from the character in the first book Lori - if you read Atherton's first book Aunt Dimity's Death first you sort-of loose some of the excitement of this book but it is still fabulous and fun. Read them all!
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