Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin is the tenth installment in Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series. I’ve been reading these books for a couple of months, and have really enjoyed them for the most part. My chief dislike has always been that Lori, the main character, always seems to be attracted to some new man and is tempted to break her marriage vows. This issue is a non starter in this book for a change, and a very nice departure from the usual. I just hope she kept in up in the rest of the series.
Lori has begun to volunteer in a hospital in Oxford. Her service is simply to go and chat with patients who don’t seem to get visitors or have any family. She has enlisted a nurse to help her in this service. When the nurse notices someone doesn’t get visitors she calls Lori, and Lori comes to visit. Most of her patients talk a lot, but the latest patient does more listening.
Miss Beacham is hospitalized with terminal cancer, and as Lori begins to visit the lonely lady she finds a new friend. She doesn’t realize how much Miss Beacham led her talk until the day she shows up and finds that Miss Beacham has passed. Lori is saddened by the loss, and her sadness is compounded by the fact that she knew practically nothing about Miss Beacham.
The letter she receives from Miss Beacham a few days later is very reminiscent Aunt Dimity’s Death and the letter she receives from the Willis law firm. Lori finds Miss Beacham’s farewell and last requests in the letter. It sets her off on another amazing adventure, during which she makes new lifelong friends.
This book is fun and lighthearted mystery. Miss Beacham’s life is celebrated throughout the book as the reader begins to get to know her through Lori’s investigation. Aunt Dimity helps it along, of course. While it is a fun and easy read, it also demonstrates the kind of rich and full life that one generous and loving person can have, with or without a family.
It’s a clean book. There isn’t any explicit scenes, and I am pretty sure there isn’t any foul language. I think this might rank up at the top of my favorite Aunt Dimity books, just behind Aunt Dimity’s Death.