Viking, Feb 2004, 22.95, 226 pp.
Being the mother of four year old terror twins, the holidays wore out Lori Shepherd, who looks forward to the post Yuletide blues with elation. Needing time alone, Lori takes a solo hike in the nearby woods on a warm winter's day. Suddenly out of nowhere the weather changes and an underdressed Lori is caught in a blizzard with no chance of getting home. She finds shelter at Ladythorne Abbey, residence of the recently deceased maniac Lucasta DeClerke.
At the Abbey, Lori is un-welcomed by the eerie caretaker, but also meets stranded American backpackers Jamie Macrae and Wendy Walker. It appears to Lori that Wendy plans to steal a valuable heirloom from their refuge. She also wonders about the agenda of the charming Jamie. However, it is the caretaker that truly frightens her. With spectral Aunt Dimity at her side, Lori tries to uncover the missing links that guiltily connect the threesome with the late Lucasta.
The key to the Aunt Dimity supernatural cozies is the cast, not only the title character and her niece, but in SNOWBOUND, the four other players (including Lucasta). The mystery is a bit soft, but fans of the series will enjoy it anyway as Lori guided by Aunt Dimity finds her sanctuary not feeling safe as she is wary of the caretaker, concerned with a possible theft, and warding off a seducer. This is the usual fun tale in which the audience not only believes that Aunt Dimity exists, but would want their own Aunt Dimity to advice and guide when the snowball picks up momentum into an avalanche.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner