Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nancy Atherton  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1955 in Chicago, Illinois


-- Website -- http://www.aunt-dimity.com
-- Nancy Atherton on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=nancy+atherton


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 Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Aunt Dimity's Death
ISBN: 1568655258

Doubleday Direct. 1997

Hardcover book, Book Club Edition, 1993. Mystery, suspense.

Aunt Dimity and the Duke (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0140178414

Penguin Books. 1995

The beloved Aunt Dimity returns in this delightful follow-up to the book that launched the Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

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.

Aunt Dimity's Good Deed (An Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0140258817

Penguin Books. 1998

The third in the bestselling and beloved Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

Nancy Atherton's growing number of fans will certainly be delighted by Aunt Dimity's latest appearance in the honey-colored English cottage she bequeathed to her "niece," Lori Shepherd. Thanks to Aunt Dimity, Lori's life has taken on fairy-tale proportions: she's financially set for life and happily married or so she thinks. When Lori's plans for a second honeymoon to England with her workaholic husband fall through, she begrudgingly takes along her father-in-law who promptly disappears, leaving behind a mysterious note. Inspired and guided by the ghost of Aunt Dimity and her inimitable blue journal, Lori's search for the elderly gentleman turns into a harrowing mission to uncover a centuries-old family secret complicated by mistaken identities, falsified deeds, family feuds, and Lori's unseemly attraction to her husband's beguiling English cousin. In a delightful chase that takes her all over the English countryside, Lori discovers the true meaning of marital bliss, and Nancy Atherton's fans, new and old, will savor a masterpiece of old-fashioned fun.

Aunt Dimity Digs In
ISBN: 014027569X

Penguin Books. 1999

Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

The latest in this enchanting and fast-selling series, featuring the beloved ghost Aunt Dimity, opens in a picturesque English cottage where the lovable Lori Shepherd is up to her elbows in pureed carrots and formula bottles, striving to be the perfect mother to twins! Luckily, a beautiful Italian nanny arrives just in time--so Lori can help settle the local civil war stirred up by a visiting archaeologist's excavation.

With Reginald, the stuffed pink rabbit and Edmond Terrance, the stuffed tiger in tow, Lori hunts down a missing document, and the archaeologist digs up a lot more than artifacts. It is Aunt Dimity's magic blue notebook that provides the key to buried secrets and domestic malice, and shows all the residents of Finch that even the darkest acts can be overcome by forgiveness.


Aunt Dimity's Christmas
ISBN: 0140296301

Penguin Books. 2000

The fifth installment in the bestselling and beloved Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

Lori can hardly wait for Christmas this year: lean times are over, the cottage Aunt Dimity willed her is more beautiful than ever, her nine-month-old twins, Will and Rob, are thriving, and she and husband Bill have never been happier. Determined to make this Christmas the best ever, Lori embarks on a round of shopping, holly-cutting, angel-cookie making, and more. When fat snow flakes begin drifting down outside of the window, Lori feels all her holiday wishes are about to come true. But the next day, beneath the lilac bushes now covered by freshly fallen snow, Lori makes a disturbing discovery: the body of a mysterious stranger--a tramp--barely alive.

While the nearby village of Finch continues with its seasonal preparations, including rehearsals for the Christmas Eve Nativity play, Lori puts her plans on hold and teams up with Julian Bright--a devilishly attractive Roman Catholic priest--to search out the stranger's identity. Their journey takes them from abandoned World War II airfields to homeless shelters, places where the Christmas star shines dimly, if at all. As Lori unveils the tragic secret that led the stranger to her door, she confronts painful truths about herself and discovers the real meaning of a perfect family Christmas.

Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0141002190

Penguin Books. 2001

The charming sixth installment of the bestselling Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

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

Penguin Books. 2003

The delightful seventh installment of the bestselling and beloved Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

When Lori Shepherd returns from her trip to America, she is shocked to hear that Prunella "Pruneface" Hooper has been killed. This is the first murder in the village of Finch in more than a century, and everyone is in an uproar. Before the town implodes in the wake of this scandal, Lori sets out to solve the murder. Unfortunately, nearly everyone in Finch had a reason to want Mrs. Hooper dead. With the help of the ghostly Aunt Dimity and Nicholas, the enigmatic (and charming!) self-defense instructor, Lori aligns motive, means, and opportunity to unravel this delightfully tangled and gossip-filled whodunnit.

Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 014200393X

Penguin Books. 2004

The eighth installment of the beloved and bestselling Aunt Dimity series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

When Lori Shepherd’s husband, Bill, is summoned to the reading of a will at the resplendent country estate of Earl Elstyn, Lori jumps at the chance to come along. She didn’t expect, however, to find herself entangled in a messy—and dangerous—family dispute. The aristocratic earl has called together the entire Elstyn family to disclose the beneficiaries of his fortune, and all present will be affected. But someone has a grudge against the Elstyns and will stop at nothing for revenge.

A burning topiary, a suspicious maid, family secrets, and threatening notes lead Lori to seek her phantom Aunt Dimity’s help in identifying the culprit before he or she can torch the whole house—with the guests in it.

Aunt Dimity: Snowbound
ISBN: 0143034588

Penguin Books. 2005

Lori Shepherd and the phantom Aunt Dimity have become one of the mystery genre’s most celebrated detective duos. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!


In their latest adventure, a pleasant woodland stroll through the English countryside is rudely cut short by the blizzard of the century, forcing Lori to take shelter in Ladythorne Abbey—an old pile still haunted by the presence of the madwoman whose prison it once was. But the abbey’s greatest secret is the priceless jewel it conceals somewhere within its cloisters—an heirloom that hides a treacherous past that Lori’s fellow guests can’t wait to get their hands on. Only Aunt Dimity’s indispensable wisdom can help Lori unravel a mystery that is considerably thicker than the accumulating snow in this page-turning treat.


Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143036548

Penguin Books. 2006

Hidden among her belongings are clues that Lori feels certain Miss Beacham wished to be discovered after her death. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

Feeling a touch world-weary, Lori Shepherd decides to become a volunteer at the Radcliffe Infirmary, where she meets Elizabeth Beacham, a kind, retired legal secretary. But after only one visit, Miss Beacham passes away, leaving behind no family except a brother who has mysteriously disappeared. Armed with the generous help of a handsome neighbor and, as always, Aunt Dimity's supernatural skills, Lori begins to unearth Miss Beacham's secrets--including the surprising truth about her next of kin. Full of delightfully surprising twists and turns, Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin is another page-turning installment in the mystery series that has won the hearts of cozy mystery fans everywhere.

Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143038303

Penguin Books. 2007

The eleventh cozy mystery featuring everyone’s favorite phantom-detective. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

Nancy Atherton ’s Aunt Dimity novels have enchanted thousands of readers, and this new addition to the series is likely to broaden the spell. A series of death threats sends Lori Shepard to a remote island off the Scottish coast and to a fabulous castle restored by an eccentric friend of her husband’s. But she finds herself drawn into an elaborate whodunit that may involve smuggling—or worse. Why has a human skull washed up on the beach? Is a desolate island really the best place to hide from a murderer? As Lori draws once more on Aunt Dimity’s supernatural aid, Atherton whips equal measures of whimsy and suspense into an irresistible confection.



Aunt Dimity Goes West (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143112910

Penguin Books. 2008

The world's original paranormal detective returns for the twelfth installment in the New York Times bestselling series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!


Nancy Atherton 's Aunt Dimity series has charmed its way into the hearts of mystery fans everywhere, finding a larger audience with each new book. In Aunt Dimity Goes West, Atherton's vivid storytelling and knack for bringing a setting to life will have fans lassoed to their chairs. Lori Shepherd, still recovering from her most recent adventure, is taking a vacation with her family in the beautiful mountain town of Bluebird, Colorado. But there's something amiss at their seemingly perfect vacation home. Is the place cursed or is a sinister human hand shaping its eerie reputation? With Aunt Dimity's help, Lori sets out to solve a hundred- year-old mystery and discovers that sometimes the strangest places can seem the most like home.

Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143114794

Penguin Books. 2009

Penguin's popular Aunt Dimity series returns and "loyal fans will be thrilled by every new revelation"(Kirkus Reviews)

Everyone's favorite paranormal detective is back in Nancy Atherton's thirteenth Aunt Dimity mystery-but this time Lori's supernatural confidante may not be the only one who's not quite dead. Could the cloaked figure Lori's twins saw in the woods near the family's English country cottage really have been a vampire? Atherton's ever-growing legion of fans and all fans of cozy mysteries will find themselves curling up with a nice cup of garlic- er, tea-for the most spine-tingling Aunt Dimity mystery yet.

Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse, coming in May 2017 from Viking!

Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective: The First Two Books in the Beloved Series (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143116061

Penguin Books. 2009

An irresistible introduction to everyone's favorite bestselling cozy mystery series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse, coming in May 2017 from Viking!


Over the course of her New York Times bestselling series, Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity has become enormously popular. Now, with the first two mysteries in one volume, Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective makes it easy to get a taste of the ghostly sleuth's delightful debut. 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. These two tales continue to enchant Atherton's devoted fans and, packaged together, are sure to attract even more new readers to the series.

Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0670020508

Viking Adult. 2009

Her eighth summer in the small English village of Finch happily brightened by the opening of a nearby Renaissance fair, Lori Shepherd finds the revelries shattered by dark undercurrents, including a madrigal singer's stalker, a knight's saboteur rival, and a would-be assassin who is targeting Good King Wilfred. 35,000 first printing.

Aunt Dimity Down Under (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 014311865X

Penguin Books. 2011

Lori Shepherd travels to New Zealand in Aunt Dimity's fifteenth charming adventure. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

Mystery readers everywhere continue to be won over by Nancy Atherton's popular cozy series. In the latest installment, Lori Shepherd is bereft when she learns that her beloved neighbors, Ruth and Louise Pym, may be dying. Summoning her to their sickroom, the elderly sisters have a favor to ask: Will Lori find their long-lost brother, Aubrey, before death claims them? Despite her misgivings, Lori sets out for distant New Zealand-where Aubrey fled after being cast out of the family in disgrace. With the help of a charming kiwi bird and her otherworldly friend, Aunt Dimity, Lori tries to heal a family broken by deceit.

Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0143120212

Penguin Books. 2012

The gentle spirit's sixteenth adventure is a New York Times bestseller and as "cozy and charming as a cup of Earl Grey" (Bookpage.com). And watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!

After a dizzying time Down Under, Lori Shepherd returns to Finch and finds that her wealthy father-in-law, William Willis, Sr., has just purchased a splendid ten-acre estate nearby. While William fends off local ladies intent on romance, Lori oversees the painstaking restoration of a peculiar painting found during renovations. It's nothing Lori can't handle-until moving furniture, strange sounds, and the theft of the painting prompt her to call on Aunt Dimity for help uncovering the estate's shadowy past.

Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch
ISBN: 0670023418

Viking. 2012

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 (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0670026689

Viking. 2013

It’s a cold, dreary February in the sleepy village of Finch and Lori Shepherd has two stir-crazy seven-year-old boys on her hands. So when her good friend Bree Pym suggests an outing to Skeaping Manor, the bizarre Jacobean-house-turned-museum, Lori leaps at the chance. There she meets Daisy Pickering, a sweet (if a little odd) nine-year-old dressed in a shabby pink parka who regales Lori with a wild tale about the Russian aristocrats who once owned the priceless silver pieces on display.

A few days later, when a finely wrought silver sleigh figurine turns up in the pocket of a shabby pink parka at her thrift shop Lori recognizes it instantly as the object that mesmerized Daisy at Skeaping Manor. Hoping to avoid any real commotion, Lori tracks down Daisy’s mother, only to find that the Pickering family has disappeared without a trace. Stranger still, it seems that one of Daisy’s imagined Russian princes may be very real—and in desperate need of help.

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly guidance, Lori’s search for the sleigh’s true owner and the fate of the Pickering family begins to unravel a tangled web of secrets stretching from England’s finest country estates back to the blood-drenched soil of the Russian Revolution.

Look out for Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure coming from Viking on May 24, 2016.

Aunt Dimity and the Wishing Well (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0670026697

Viking. 2014

Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her nineteenth otherworldly adventure

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.

Look out for Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure coming from Viking on May 24, 2016.

Aunt Dimity and the Summer King (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 0670026700

Viking. 2015

Cozy mystery lovers’ favorite paranormal sleuth is back with her twentieth otherworldly adventure in the New York Times–bestselling series. Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the Widow's Curse, coming in May 2017 from Viking!

It’s June, the roses are in bloom, and the small English village of Finch may be in big trouble. Two cottages are for sale, but something—or someone—is driving buyers away. Has a developer targeted Finch? Will property values skyrocket? Will a wave of wealthy weekenders drive out the longtime locals?

Lori Shepherd has a lot on her plate—a brand-new baby daughter, her father-in-law’s impending nuptials, and a visit from her dreaded aunts-in-law—but she refuses to stand back and watch while big money destroys her beloved village. Lori sets her sights on the local real estate agent, but finds herself sidetracked by a chance encounter with an eccentric inventor. Arthur Hargreaves, dubbed the Summer King by his quirky family, is as warmhearted as the summer sun. With him, Lori forgets her troubles, until she makes a series of unsettling discoveries. An ancient feud between his family and the town comes to light. And then there’s Arthur’s connection to the local real estate firm. Is the Summer King as kind as he seems?

With Aunt Dimity’s otherworldly help—and her new baby girl in her arms—Lori fights to save her village from the Summer King’s scorching greed.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Aunt Dimity and the Buried Treasure (Aunt Dimity Mystery)
ISBN: 1101981296

Viking. 2016

Nancy Atherton's twenty-first cozy mystery in the beloved, Nationally Bestselling Aunt Dimity series.

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 in London after the War. 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.

In the meantime, a new family has moved to Finch. The villagers are thrilled because their new neighbors are avid metal detectorists. Metal detectors soon become all the rage in Finch and the villagers unearth a lot of rubbish (some of it quite embarrassing) before one of them stumbles upon a trinket that could hold the key to the origin of Aunt Dimity’s bracelet.

Is the bracelet a priceless and protected national treasure? Was Aunt Dimity’s lovesick suitor a common thief? If so, how will Lori break the news to Aunt Dimity? And what will she do with the bracelet? As Lori searches for answers, she discovers an unexpected link between the buried treasure in the village and the treasure buried in Aunt Dimity’s heart.

Watch out for Nancy Atherton's latest, Aunt Dimity and the King's Ransom, coming in July 2018 from Viking!


Awards

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

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)