Aunt Bessie is a unique character. She’s never been married and has no children. She is of indeterminate age, being old enough to have a bus pass (60) and too young to get a telegram (a card) from the Queen (100). She’s never had a paying job, but she’s an enthusiastic volunteer, and for some reason, she seems to be constantly finding dead bodies. Since she loves to walk on the beach, that’s where she finds some of them. She’s called Aunt Bessie because she has provided biscuits and sympathy for most of the island’s teens over the years, while always checking with their parents and teaching them good manners. When visiting as adults, they still do the washing up.
Aunt Bessie Assumes is the first book of the series. I’m now reading the 14th book, and the 16th one is scheduled to be released soon.
These mysteries are set on the Isle of Man, which is part of the UK but has its own unique language and culture. Bessie, however, keeps taking classes on the Manx language and has yet to master more than a few phrases. She did meet her best friend, Doona, at a class, however. She and her friends Doona, Hugh (a policeman who was one of her “nephews”), and John, an inspector, like to meet at her little cottage to brainstorm and solve various crimes.
Her cottage is at the beach, and she bought it when she was only 18. She and a young man named Matthew had fallen in love and planned to be married. Her parents took her to America to get them away from each other. Matthew came to get her, but sickened and died on the sea voyage. He left her a small inheritance, and it enabled her to buy the cottage and make investments that have provided for her since then.
The books include a Manx glossary and an explanation of the island culture.
Aunt Bessie is delightful, and I recommend these books!
Author Diana Xarissa