Julia Lanchester must defend her love nest from an invasive species: her boyfriend’s sister. And then there’s the little matter of murder . . .
“The cuckoo comes in April and sings its song in May. In June it changes tune and July it flies away.”
Wedding bells are ringing in the small British village of Smeaton-under-Lyme. Julia Lanchester’s second-in-command at the local tourist center is finally getting married, and the lovebirds are giving Julia and her live-in boyfriend, Michael Sedgwick, ideas about their own future. But before anyone can say “Will you,” Michael’s flighty older sister, Pammy, crashes the party, fresh off a breakup and lugging all her worldly possessions around with her in a tangle of plastic bags.
Before long, Julia’s cozy cottage starts feeling more like Pammy’s bachelorette pad. To keep herself from going cuckoo, Julia throws herself into her pet projects at work—until death disrupts her plans. First a body is found on the estate. Then the police discover that Pammy was the last one to see the man alive. And soon Julia gets the feeling that if she ever wants her home—or her boyfriend—back, she’ll have to get to the bottom of this mystery, even if it means breaking a few eggs.
Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
The Birds of a Feather series: THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO
“Marty Wingate’s Birds of a Feather mysteries provide a perfect blend of quirky characters and atmosphere.”—Christine Goff, bestselling author of the Birdwatcher’s Mystery series
The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS
Welcome Back, Julia!
Marty Wingate is in top form in “Farewell My Cuckoo,” the latest entry in her Birds of a Feather series. I enjoyed it very much and found it virtually impossible to put down. This cozy mystery is set in a quintessential English village, Smeaton-Under-Lyme, where Julia Lanchester continues to manage the Tourist Information Center (TIC) six days a week and, if necessary, solve mysteries all seven. Her relationship with Michael Sedwick continues to deepen and she is hoping a proposal is imminent. While a good deal of the action in Farewell My Cuckoo revolves around the murder of an unidentified man, there is also a significant subplot involving the unexpected and unwanted visit of Michael’s sister, Pammy. The storyline involving Pammy is handled deftly as her character and her place in Julia and Michael’s lives evolves.
One of the charms of a cozy mystery, especially a series set in a small town, is the recurring cast of characters and this series has many, adding color and depth to the novel. These characters are written with such vibrancy that I can easily picture them and can almost taste Nuala’s chocolate cake. Farewell My Cuckoo also has so many new characters including Tony Brightbill, Guy Pockett, and a young couple that keeps appearing around town, either alone, together or with their children, that ferreting out the murderer is nearly impossible. Kudos to Ms. Wingate! All this adds up to a very enjoyable mystery.
I very much enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. While part of a series, I don’t think it is necessary to have read the other books.
I was given a free copy of this book by NetGalley and the publisher, Alibi, in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions stated are my own.
Wonderfully written mystery by Marty Wingate!
Farewell, My Cuckoo is the fourth entry in Marty Wingate’s Birds of a Feather mystery series. When manager of the Tourist Information Center for the Fotheringill Estate, Julia Lanchester and her love Michael Sedgwick arrive back to their Pipit Cottage after the lovely wedding of her second in command, they do so with stars in their eyes and unspoken plans of their own. But what they find is his slightly older and very flighty sister Pammy sitting on their doorstep surrounded by her meager belongings stuffed in plastic bags. She is seeking a place to stay for the night having just left her married boyfriend. But like the cuckoo, when she moves in she takes over the living area and it becomes a trial for Julia and Michael.
Julia throws herself into work projects, but the project she didn’t expect was to be thrown into the middle of a police investigation to solve the murder of an unknown man on the church grounds. She also didn’t expect to learn that Pammy would be the last person other than the killer to have seen the man alive.
As the list of suspects grows there are more on the list from outside than there are locals. DI Tess Callow is on the case, but that has never kept Julia from following bits and pieces to be sure if they are indeed important before turning them over to Tess. When Pammy does the same, they find themselves at the mercy of the murderer.
Another well written and intricately plotted story from Marty Wingate. I have always enjoyed her work, as I did once again, and I do recommend this book.