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Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon Mass Market Paperback – 26 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (26 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143116584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143116585
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,072,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's pretty obvious that Nancy Atherton likes Renaissance Faires. Loves them, in fact. In fact, "Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon" is pretty much an ode to RennFaires and the fantasy medieval times that are celebrated there. Fortunately Atherton manages to remember that this is a cozy mystery series, and weaves in in a mystery about who is trying to de-throne the Faire's king.

A town meeting is interrupted by jesters, heralds and King Wilfred the Good -- turns out a local farmer's nephew is bring a newly-formed Rennaissance Faire to England. Lori is delighted by all the games, costumes and medieval jollity, especially since it has livened up a dull summer, and her young sons are taking part on the festivities as a pair of pages. What's more, she's sworn to be painfully sensible and not let her imagination run away with her.

But then King Wilfred nearly suffers two fatal accidents in one day, and Lori finds evidence of sabotage -- and a love triangle that may have prompted a sullen young man to attempt murder. As Finch is overrun with tourists, trash and extremely strange performers (including an Ent impersonator, some wizards and the clever jester Jinks), Lori starts sorting through these accidents to figure out who wants to dethrone King Wilfred -- and wreck the Faire.

"Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon" matches up with virtually all the Aunt Dimity mysteries -- it's a frothy, fun little cozy with a pleasant rural backdrop, and suspicions of moderately heinous crime. And in the case of this book, Nancy Atherton allows her heroine to wallow joyously in the historically-inaccurate details of the Renaissance Faire -- the good, the bad, and the naked bottoms.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Aunt Dimity loses her fizz 29 Sept. 2009
By Maryland Reader - Published on
I avidly read the first few books in this series. The series began with Lori living like a modern-day Cinderella in a not great job, living in drab conditions with few clothes and friends when her life takes an abrupt turn for the better through Aunt Dimity, her dead mother's best friend, who, although dead herself, ends up a central character. The early books were whimsical and charming and wove a subtle magic in telling the tale of Lori and her adopted village and the recurring cast of locals and friends.

What can I say? The magic is gone and recent books have been formulaic at best. With Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon, I slogged through about 45 pages and finally realized I just wasn't having fun and closed the book for good.

With a cozy mystery, if it's not fun, why keep turning the pages? A sad decline of what had been a fun series.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Lost Her Way 2 Jun. 2009
By R. L. Jernigan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading the 'Aunt Dimity' mysteries ever since the original one came out. I very much enjoyed the first few and would recomend them to anyone who enjoys a good 'cozy'. The last few I've struggled with a bit. This one, I didn't bother finishing. As far as I can tell, Laurie has gone crazy. The plot of the book pretty much involves her wild flights of fancy. It was actually painful to read about her essentially wild ravings.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Lori Sheppard is Endearing 7 Jan. 2011
By Nancy - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Aunt Dimity is my guilty pleasure. There is just something so fun and relaxing when I settle down and open one of Nancy Atherton's books. Her reoccurring characters make the visits to the small English village of Finch a much needed break to my hectic day.

Lori Sheppard's life has become boring and predictable. Her husband's life as an international estate planning attorney fills his days, her twin sons have their school and ponies to keep their interest but yet Lori has nothing but her day in and day out village life - and her journal with otherworldly Aunt Dimity.

So when a Renaissance festival encamps in the field behind Lori's cottage she is drawn into the drama and spectacle of the lively event. But Lori being Lori sees nefarious deeds and when good King Wilfred seems to have "accidents" Lori feels that it is her job to get to the bottom of this and to save the day, even if she does seem to be falling out of her wench's costume.

As I said, the Aunt Dimity books are fun reads. Some books are better than others, but yet each book builds on the last so you see each character (finally Bill gets a leading role) again and again and it feels more like a homecoming then just another book in a long series.

Treat yourself, start at the beginning and see who Aunt Dimity really is, how Reginald is an intrinsic character and be introduced to Lori a kind hearted woman who is constantly needing to be reined in before her wild imagination gets the best of her.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Aunt Dimity goes to a Ren Faire!! Ok, not really.... 19 April 2010
By David Roy - Published on
Nancy Atherton continues to write her ultra-cozy series of Aunt Dimity "mysteries," and I only put that in quotes because usually there is at least a murder or crime committed in a mystery novel. This series continues to entertain its fans as well as anybody who decides they just don't want that much danger in the books they read. Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon, is pretty much more of the same, though there is a bit more of a sinister atmosphere to the whole thing. Incidentally, given how Aunt Dimity works in this series, I would have loved it if she actually *did* slay a dragon. It would make a nice little fantasy tale. Be that as it may, this book succeeds even more so than some of the previous books, and I have to say I really enjoyed it.

Life in the sleepy English village of Finch continues to go on as it usually does. Local art competitions, "Best Decorated House" contests, and the like, all have to be organized so that the summer fun can be the same as it is every year. That is until Calvin, the son of a local farmer, comes in to the town meeting, announcing that this year will be different! This year, he and his compatriots are bringing a true Renaissance Faire to the village! Excitement flares, but as the Faire begins, local resident Lori Shepherd becoming increasingly convinced that somebody's trying to murder Calvin. Is it a case of intense romantic jealousy? Or is Lori once again imagining things that aren't there?

What's this I see? Can that be...character development? Yes, Atherton continues on from the success of Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter, developing Lori's character and actually changing her a bit. The previous book taught her a lesson about jumping to conclusions, when she was so worried about her sons going to school that she saw vampires or pedophiles around every corner. With that lesson learned, she's increasingly unsure of herself in this novel, wondering whether she is truly leaping at shadows where there is no substance. As more and more evidence comes out that something may be happening, she brings up her fears to the always-wise Aunt Dimity. I should state for those who don't know that Aunt Dimity has been dead for a few years, but she interacts with Lori through an old journal, with Lori talking to the journal and Dimity's replies showing up in glowing ink.

Atherton populates Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon with a bunch of quirky characters that most English Village novels have, but they are interesting to read about and you never actively want to put the book down. It's not so engrossing that you *can't* put it down, but there is nothing in the book that forces you to do so. One thing I've always enjoyed about Atherton's books is the characters, and this is another great example of that. She also captures the atmosphere of a Renaissance Faire very accurately, at least from my limited experience.

Once again, I must warn all non-fans of the "cozy" mystery: stay FAR AWAY from this novel. Once again, almost everybody is just so nice, even the "villain" of the piece (and I hate to actually use that word here) really isn't that bad of a person. For once, there actually is a caddish character, but he's there more for atmosphere and humor than anything else. He does make for a delightful scene when Lori is trying to investigate the person who she is sure is the attempted murderer.

There are, of course, a couple of downsides to this novel. One is that she makes Lori incredibly dim in a few spots, mainly in how she completely misses how one character is trying to seduce her. It actually becomes a plot (or at least motivational) point later in the novel, but it was so obvious what he was trying to do that even I caught it (I'm not the most perceptive person when it comes to things like that).

The biggest problem, though, and it's a problem with most of the series, is that Aunt Dimity just doesn't do much. She's an interesting character, with good insights, but it would be nice if she were more than just Lori's sounding board at times. In the previous three Dimity books I've read, she has come up with a crucial idea, commented on a dead character (of course the character didn't actually die *in* the book, as that would throw the entire series off-kilter!), and led Lori around by the nose to teach her a lesson. This time, she really doesn't do anything at all. I wish she could become more involved in the series, in at least one book, but that obviously can't happen because it would actually require somebody to *die* first!

Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon is another good example of Atherton's writing, and if you're in the mood for an extremely light novel, with interesting characters and a relatively thin plot, this book's for you. Don't expect much substance and you won't be disappointed. But it's a nice way to spend a couple of hours before moving on to much headier stuff. It's not a 4-star novel compared to other novels or series, but for what it's trying to be, it does an excellent job of it.

Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book. © David Roy, 2009
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Must love Ren Fests 1 Mar. 2009
By mystery reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Whether you normally love or hate the Aunt Dimity books, your enjoyment of this book will depend on whether you love or hate Ren Fests.

Nearly 50 pages are devoted to Lori's first visit to a Ren Fest. Lori is awe-inspired, she is amazed, she can barely contain her excitement when presented with the joy and wonders of the fantastic, amazing, wonderful, joyous, fantastic, awesome, exciting world that is a Ren Fest.

Did I mention Lori is gaga for Ren Fests?

If you (like me) have been to a Ren Fest and did not succumb to its charms, you may question the reliability of Lori as a narrator and wish Atherton's editor had advised her to spend less time describing Ren Fests and more time advancing the plot. And you may wish that you had decided to get this book from the library (even though you were 27th on the reserve list) instead of buying it.

If you love Ren Fests, then you'll probably get a kick out of this book.
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