|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
For readers of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, the high-flying new Birds of a Feather mystery series from Marty Wingate begins as a British woman gets caught up in a dangerous plot when her celebrity father disappears.
With her personal life in disarray, Julia Lanchester feels she has no option but to quit her job on her father’s hit BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand. Accepting a tourist management position in Smeaton-under-Lyme, a quaint village in the English countryside, Julia throws herself into her new life, delighting sightseers (and a local member of the gentry) with tales of ancient Romans and pillaging Vikings.
But the past is front and center when her father, Rupert, tracks her down in a moment of desperation. Julia refuses to hear him out; his quick remarriage after her mother’s death was one of the reasons Julia flew the coop. But later she gets a distressed call from her new stepmum: Rupert has gone missing. Julia decides to investigate—she owes him that much, at least—and her father’s new assistant, the infuriatingly dapper Michael Sedgwick, offers to help. Little does the unlikely pair realize that awaiting them is a tightly woven nest of lies and murder.
As a HUGE fan of Wingate's Potting Shed Mystery series, I was super excited to find out that she had started a new series titled, Birds of a Feather. How fun! A new cast of characters to fall in love with and a whole new theme involving birds to get invested in - talk about a treat. I couldn't wait to dive right in!
In The Rhyme of the Magpie, we meet Julia. She's just moved to Smeaton-under-Lyme and taken on the post of Tourist Manager. She eager for a fresh start after quitting her last job as her father's assistant on his famed television show, A Bird in Hand. Julia's upset with her dad for marrying her mum's best friend immediately after she passed away. This quickie marriage makes her think that perhaps her dad was not as in love with her mum as she once thought. When he comes to visit her at her new place, she rebuffs him. And then the unthinkable happens. Her dad goes missing. Ack! Talk about father issues.
Feeling overwhelmed with guilt, Julia decides to investigate her father's disappearance. She knows the coppers are working on it, but feels that she should be doing something as well. So, with the help of Michael (her father's new assistant) the two get to working on gathering clues and figuring out who would want to harm her beloved father. As the two work close together, they can't help but find themselves falling in love with one another. Of course, Julia soon learns that Michael is not who he seems. Drama!
Wingate has once again written a superb cozy mystery filled with suspense, red herrings, danger, romance, and magpies. Yep, magpies do provide a clue or two. This story draws on an old nursery rhyme involving magpies, so whenever Julia happens to see some it becomes a thing. Makes sense since Julia and her father are obsessed with birds - hence the title of the series. Apparently if you see two magpies that means joy and if you see four that means a new baby boy (Julia's sis is preggers!). Pretty nifty, eh? I absolutely loved this aspect of the novel and found myself looking forward to any mention of magpies - you never knew what they would mean in connection with the mystery. As for whodunit - I won't say a peep. Just know that you will love reading this story and meeting all of the quirky characters involved. The Rhyme of the Magpie is a must-read for fans of Wingate's novels and fans of cozy mysteries. You will LOVE this book!!
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Rhyme of the Magpie
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