Aunt Dimity and the Family Tree
After a dizzying time Down Under, Lori Shepherd returns to the quaint village of Finch, where she's in for a surprise. He wealthy father-in-law, William Willis, Sr., has just purchased Fairworth House, a splendid ten-acre estate near town.
Though the retired widower wants nothing more than to refurbish the old house and enjoy the quiet life of a country gentleman, he soon learns that life in Finch is anything but quiet. A stream of widows and spinsters flocks to Fairworth House intent on romancing the well-groomed and well-off American. Lori has her hands full fending them off and keeping an eye on Deirdre and Declan Donovan, William's newly hired servants, who seem much too good to be true.
Lori must also oversee the restoration of a soot-covered painting found in an outbuilding during Fairworth's renovation. The painting seems to depict a family tree, but until the soot is removed--a delicate operation--no one can tell whose family tree it portrays. Lori's biggest challenge, however, comes in the shape of Sally Pyne (or is it Lady Sarah Pyne?), the local teashop owner, who draws William into the greatest act of deception every perpetrated on the good people of Finch.
It's nothing the plucky Lori can't handle, but once things get truly peculiar at Fairworth--moving furniture, strange sounds, and the theft of the mysterious family tree painting--she calls on Aunt Dimity for her otherworldly guidance, and uncovers the shadowy past beneath the estate's magnificent surface.
Perfect for curling up in front of a fire and reading, and a great addition to the Aunt Dimity collection. --Suspense Magazine