Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nancy Atherton  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1955 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Nancy Atherton on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Atherton was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived in rural Illinois until 2012.

Biographical and Professional Information

Atherton is a writer and the author of the ''Aunt Dimity'' mystery novel series. Each book contains a recipe, which is integral to the story. She now lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Published Works

  • Aunt Dimity`s Death, Viking, 1992
  • Aunt Dimity & The Duke, Viking, 1994
  • Aunt Dimity`s Good Deed, Viking Penguin, 1996
  • Aunt Dimity Digs In, Viking Penguin, 1998
  • Aunt Dimity`s Christmas, Viking, 1999
  • Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil, Thorndike Press, 2000
  • Aunt Dimity Detective, Viking Penguin, 2001
  • Aunt Dimity Takes A Holiday, Viking Penguin, 2003
  • Aunt Dimity: Snowbound, Penguin, 2004
  • Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin, Penguin, 2005
  • Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, Penguin, 2006
  • Aunt Dimity Goes West, Penguin, 2007
  • Aunt Dimity Vampire Hunter, Penguin, 2008
  • Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective, Penguin, 2009
  • Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon, Viking, 2009
  • Aunt Dimity Down Under, Penguin, 2010
  • Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree, Penguin, 2011
  • Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch, Viking, 2012
  • Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince, Viking, 2013
  • Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well, Viking, 2014
  • Aunt Dimity and the Summer King, Viking, 2015
  • Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure, Viking, 2016

Selected Titles At Your Library

Aunt Dimity's death /
ISBN: 1568655258. OCLC Number:

. .

Atherton's first mystery combines a strong sense of traditional English fare with an insistent gothic spirit. Suffering from her recent divorce, her mother's death, and an erratic income, Lori Shepherd receives notice from a prestigious Boston law firm that she must travel to England in order to meet the requirements of a will. While visiting her benefactor's "haunted" cottage with lawyer friend Bill, she uncovers important clues relating to a World War II mystery. Lightweight, nicely written material complete with a few heart palpitations.

Aunt Dimity and the duke /
ISBN: 0140178414. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 1994.

A Boston computer expert and amateur gardener, Emma Porter, lands a job in England on a duke's estate where a murder occurred. Together with another employee, an artist restoring a chapel, she proceeds to investigate and finds love.

Aunt Dimity's good deed /
ISBN: 0140258817. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 1996.

A tale of marital adventure and family mystery featuring Lori Shepherd, the wife of a Boston lawyer. On a visit to England to acquaint herself with her in-laws she discovers scandal and a handsome cousin. Through it all she is guided by the ghost of an aunt. A cozy charmer.

Aunt Dimity digs in /
ISBN: 014027569x. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :. 1998.

A cozy mystery in an English village where a row has erupted over an archeological find. Some say it is genuine, others that it is a fake. Aided by the ghost of Aunt Dimity, sleuth Lori Shepherd investigates.

Aunt Dimity's Christmas /
ISBN: 0140296301. OCLC Number:

. .

Lady sleuth Lori Shepard, an American who is living in an English village, finds a collapsed stranger on her doorstep. She joins a handsome priest to search for the man's identity, a search which takes her from a homeless shelter to an insane asylum. By the author of Aunt Dimity Digs In.

Aunt Dimity beats the Devil /
ISBN: 0141002190. OCLC Number:

. .

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.

Aunt Dimity, detective /
ISBN: 0142001546. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2001.

When Lori and her family return from a three-month visit to the States, she finds the town atwitter over the death of Prunella "Pruneface" Hooper. Prunella sowed the seeds of discord at every turn, and Lori is intrigued enough --and upset enough by the ugliness directed at several of her closest friends--to try to solve the murder.

Aunt Dimity takes a holiday /
ISBN: 014200393x. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2003.

Accompanying her husband to the Earl of Harrisford's will reading, Lori Shepherd witnesses the Harrisford family erupt in a heated dispute involving burning topiaries, threatening notes, and suspicious maids.

Aunt Dimity, snowbound /
ISBN: 0143034588. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2004.

After being caught in a blizzard, Lori Shepherd takes refuge in Ladythorne Abbey, the former home of the late Lucasta DeClerke, where she uncovers a plot to steal a priceless DeClerke family heirloom.

Aunt Dimity and the next of kin /
ISBN: 0143036548. OCLC Number:

Penguin,. New York :. 2006.

Lori Shepherd, feeling a touch world-weary, decides to become a volunteer at the Radcliffe Infirmary, where she can spread a little good cheer in the community. There she meets Elizabeth Beacham, a kind, retired legal secretary with no family except a brother who has mysteriously disappeared. Lori is saddened when Miss Beacham passes away suddenly after only a few visits. But when she receives an envelope containing a set of keys and a letter Miss Beacham wrote to her just a few days before her death, it becomes clear that there was much more to the gentle invalid than met the eye. Notices start arriving around the village of the large bequests made before her death. And Lori finds that Miss Beacham's flat is filled with priceless antiques--an inheritance too precious to remain unclaimed. Armed with a few clues and Aunt Dimity's help, Lori begins to unearth Miss Beacham's secrets and, ultimately, the surprising truth about her next-of-kin.

Aunt Dimity and the deep blue sea /
ISBN: 0143038303. OCLC Number:

. .

Lori Shepherd and her twin children flee to a Scottish island after her attorney husband receives death threats. She finds trouble there, however, as she suspects that the islanders' wealth comes from some illegal activity. She is aided once again by Aunt Dimity, her friend-ghost-sleuth.

Aunt Dimity goes West /
ISBN: 0143112910. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2007.

Arriving in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado only to find herself enmeshed in a missing-persons case, Lori Shepherd becomes suspicious about a hundred-year-old mystery and a charming man who seems to know more than he will admit.

Aunt Dimity :
ISBN: 0143114794. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2008.

Concerned for her preschooler twins' safety in the face of tales about a pale, blood-stained figure lurking in the nearby woods, Lori consults with her not-quite-departed Aunt Dimity and stumbles upon the truth about a forty-year-old murder.

Introducing Aunt Dimity, paranormal detective /
ISBN: 0143116061. OCLC Number:

Penguin Books,. New York :. 2009.

In Aunt Dimity's Death, Aunt Dimity's American niece, Lori Shepherd, had long thought her mother's childhood tales of Aunt Dimity were merely comforting bedtime stories. But when a pair of lawyers informs her that her mysterious aunt has just died and made the down-on-her-luck Lori a rich woman, she finds a reason to believe. Aunt Dimity and the Duke finds the benevolent spirit helping Emma Porter -- forty, fat, and frumpy -- tame a Duke's overgrown garden and discover romance along the way.

Aunt Dimity slays the dragon /
ISBN: 0670020508. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York, N.Y. :. 2009.

U.S. ex-pat Lori Shepherd and Aunt Dimity investigate sabotage (and possible regicide) at a local Renaissance faire held in the idyllic Cotswolds village of Finch.

Aunt Dimity down under /
ISBN: 014311865X. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2010.

With the help of a charming Kiwi and the otherworldly guidance of Aunt Dimity, Lori Shepherd goes Down Under to search for the Pym sisters' missing brother, unraveling a web of secrets that has haunted the Pym family for generations.

Aunt Dimity and the family tree /
ISBN: 0143120212. OCLC Number:

Penguin,. New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :. 2012, ©2011.

Lori Shepherd's debonair father-in-law has moved to town and is renovating Fairworth House, a grand estate nearby. But once things get truly peculiar at Fairworth--moving furniture, strange sounds, and mysterious visitors--Lori calls on Aunt Dimity for her otherworldly guidance.

Aunt Dimity and the village witch /
ISBN: 0670023418. OCLC Number:

. .

"Nancy Atherton's seventeenth cozy mystery featuring the beloved Aunt Dimity-the original paranormal detective When Amelia Thistle moves to Finch, her new neighbors welcome her with open arms-and inquiring minds. Among them is Lori Shepherd, who isn't fooled by Amelia's unassuming persona. Amelia is, in fact, a world-famous artist with a rabid and eager-to-stalk fan base. In order to keep peace in Finch, Lori must help Amelia conceal her identity. Amelia, meanwhile, sets about working on the riddle that brought her to town in the first place. A fragment of a family diary hints that one of Amelia's ancestors might have been Mistress Meg, the Mad Witch of Finch. Following the clue, Lori hunts through Finch's darkest and most secret corners, all the while dodging nosy neighbors and Amelia's frantic fans. With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori inches closer to the true story of Mistress Meg-and Amelia. Returning to the charming world of Finch, Nancy Atherton's latest novel is sure to delight faithful Aunt Dimity readers, Anglophiles, and cozy mystery fans."--

Aunt Dimity and the lost prince /
ISBN: 0670026689. OCLC Number:

. .

When a silver sleigh recently stolen from a local museum turns up in her thrift shop, paranormal sleuth Lori Shepherd is surprised by the curator's lack of interest in the theft, a situation that prompts Lori to turn to Aunt Dimity for otherworldly advice on how to track down the sleigh's true owner.

Aunt Dimity and the wishing well /
ISBN: 0670026697. OCLC Number:

. .

"When a strapping young Australian named Jack MacBride arrives in Finch to wrap up his late uncle's affairs, heads turn in the sleepy English village. But when Lori volunteers to help Jack clear out his uncle's overgrown garden, they discover something even more shocking than a stranger turning up in Finch. After Lori laughingly tosses a coin into the garden's old well and makes a wish, she is baffled to find that the wish seems to have come true. Word spreads, and the villagers turn out in droves to make wishes of their own. But as they soon learn, one person's wish is another person's worst nightmare and the village is thrown into chaos. As more and more wishes come true, Lori resolves to find out what's really going on. Is handsome Jack somehow tricking his neighbors? Or are they fooling themselves? With Aunt Dimity's otherworldly help, Lori discovers that the truth is even more marvelous than a magical wishing well"--

Aunt Dimity and the Summer King /
ISBN: 0670026700. OCLC Number:

. .

Overseeing her baby, a family wedding and her own approaching 40th birthday celebration amid rumors that a developer has unwanted plans for Finch village, Lori bonds with a warmhearted inventor only to discover his true intentions.

Aunt Dimity and the buried treasure /
ISBN: 1101981296. OCLC Number:

. .

"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. 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."


Voted One of the Century's 100 Favorite Mysteries by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

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