So, remember how I said in my last review that “mystery novels” run the gamut from hard-core crime fiction complete with graphic details, to cozy little tales where the focus is all on solving the puzzle without any real sense of threat or danger? And how The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t the right book for me because it was a little too hardcore? Apparently I’m difficult to please, because Aunt Dimity’s Death, which is billed as a mystery, was nice and innocuous enough, but a little too “soft-core” to engage me.
The premise is cute: a young woman who finds herself stalled in her personal life and career is mourning the death of her mother when she discovers that her mother’s best friend, a woman she never knew in real life and believed was only a character in the stories her mother told her, has died and left a job for her to do. Lori leaves the U.S. for England in care of a friendly lawyer and moves into Aunt Dimity’s cottage in the English countryside, which is inhabited by what must be the least frightening, most easy-going ghost in all of fiction. The “mystery” doesn’t even involve a crime, just an investigation into the truth of Aunt Dimity’s past, while a romance between Lori and Lawyer Bill often takes centre stage.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this; it’s sweet and cozy and enjoyable, but the plot never picked up enough to engage me or make me eager to find out how things would end. As with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, though for entirely different reasons, this is a mystery that I enjoyed reading to a point, but I don’t feel compelled to rush out and get any of the other books in the series.