There's a gentle mystery, and charming and eccentric characters, and a cottage with a beautiful garden, and a protagonist I root for, and a romance I could not wait to see happen, and it's all extremely well-written, but that's not what made this book delightful for me.
There were two things: the first was the psychological authenticity of these people. Even though there was a great deal of sweetness, it was sweetness with a realistic amount of sorrow behind it. There is no brutal violence to give this book an edge, but there is an edge that keeps this from getting woolly: the edge that comes simply of being worn down with grief. Everybody in this book understood grief. And the grief had a ring of truth to it.
And the second thing that made this delightful was this: the resolution of the grief and sorrow did not come from vengeance or heroism, but from the patient and steady application of kindness over long periods of time. And that too struck me as authentic and true. Such a simple remedy. And so very hard to do.
Aunt Dimity's Death will not be what everyone is looking for in a mystery. But for me, for a quiet Memorial Day weekend, it was about as perfect as a book could get.