by Edith Van Dyne
5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads
I just love the Aunt Jane’s Nieces stories, and each one pleasantly surprises me. The simple story lines really keep my interest and the characters are funny and likeable.
In this book, Uncle John acquires a run-down farm in the country, and promptly proposes to spend the summer there with his three favorite nieces. The local village is all agog at the fancy “citified” furniture, decorations, and trappings that come in to furnish the old farmhouse with more “modern” conveniences.
The summering party arrives in the country and finds a mystery to unravel regarding the previous owners of the farm, an old sea-captain who died under questionable circumstances, and his wayward son who is currently missing.
The nieces find a plethora of suspects in the little village, but can find no concrete evidence to support their wild theories of murder, burglary, and fraud. Ultimately, the girls have to explain their suspicions to their Uncle John, and they discover that the truth is entirely different than they had imagined.
I loved how this book blends together elements of comedy and drama into every chapter. There are some really funny scenes with the local village population trying to swindle rich Uncle John out of his money. And there are heartbreaking scenes of poor people in trouble, needing friendship and aid from the girls.
The scenes flow together really well, and kept me reading with interest and delight!