Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
After months of being stuck inside thanks to COVID, I’m guessing we could all use a vacation. But not just any vacation. The kind of vacation where everything goes right, and where all our excitement is wrapped up neatly and beautifully at the end.
While Emma’s vacation isn’t exactly without it’s issues, the second book in the Dimity series lives up to the genre of cozy mystery. The ideal cold weather and cup of tea book, Aunt Dimity and the Duke gives you a mystery to solve without the pulse-pounding paranoia of a contemporary thriller or the depressing gore of a police procedural.
It’s nice, playing just on the edge of saccharine, and practically perfect if you’re looking for a few hours vacation from reality.