For readers of M. C. Beaton or Susan Wittig Albert, the high-flying new Birds of a Feather mystery series from bestselling author 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.
Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
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
The Birds of a Feather series: THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO
Praise for Marty Wingate and The Rhyme of the Magpie
“Marty Wingate’s Birds of a Feather mysteries provide a perfect blend of quirky characters and atmosphere. These solid traditional cozies deliver a fabulous setting, lots of birding, intriguing bird lore, and complex whodunits with contemporary themes. Add the marvelous mysteries of this wonderful series to your life list.”—Christine Goff, bestselling author of the Birdwatcher’s Mystery series
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
“Put the kettle on and settle into a well-crafted village mystery with a delightful new sleuth.”—Connie Archer, bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave
“Marty Wingate might just be the new Queen of the Cozy, but her cozy mysteries are deceptive in that they balance quaint village life with strong female characters who achieve self-significance while still maintaining femininity. Long may she reign.”—Bibliotica
“Wingate has once again written a superb cozy mystery filled with suspense, red herrings, danger, romance, and magpies. . . . 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!”—A Bookish Way of Life
“Great characters, picturesque location, and a mystery to solve. With those three ingredients, you can’t be disappointed.”—Mystery Playground
Customer ReviewsSee All
Marty Wingate's The Rhyme of the Magpie
Julia Lanchester is the daughter of the famous birder, Rupert
Lanchester. Rupert is the star of a BBC Nature series. Julia
quits her job in a dispute with her father. She feels he married
too soon following the death of her mother.
Julia takes a management position in the Tourist Information
Center in Smeaton-under-Lyme. This is a lovely English town
setting. Julia’s backyard affords us a look at some of the
Then Rupert goes missing…. To where could he have
disappeared?? Did he go of his own accord or is foul play
involved as a threatening letter is found.
We get to travel to Marshy End . Rupert has a cabin there. Julia
and Michael Sedgwick, the replacement for Julia’s position
with Rupert, go to see if that is where her father is staying.
No Rupert instead they discover a body…. A dead body!!!
Great cast of characters with a lot of suspects. All the characters
were well-developed with each bringing their own flavor to the
story. Loved the chemistry between the main characters.
Mix together birding, rhyme, danger, intrigue, mystery, a well
plotted book with humor plus romance and this cozy mystery
gives you a captivating read.
Thank you to Net Gallery for this eBook. My opinion is my own.
The Rhyme of the Magpie by Marty Wingate
In the first of the new Birds of a Feather mystery series from Marty Wingate, The Rhyme of the Magpie, we meet Julia Lanchester, a young British woman whose life has quickly turned from one of family harmony and perfect job to one whose life has unraveled. Deciding that she can no longer live in her father's home or work as his production assistant on a popular BBC Two nature show, she quits her job and moves to a cozy cottage in Smeaton-under-Lyme where she has taken a position in tourist management. Here she discovers that she has a real talent for bringing history to life and designing events to increase tourism in the hamlet.
Julia has not forgiven, nor has she spoken to her father, award winning naturalist Rupert Lanchester, since his swift marriage to Beryl, her mother's best friend, not six months after her mother's untimely death. When Julia's father comes to visit her, she turns him away after a very brief talk. But the next day Julia receives a worried phone call from her stepmother that her father did not return home from their talk--he does not have his cell phone or his car, but he is gone!
Julia begins to investigate her father's disappearance and becomes acquainted with her father's new assistant, Michael Sedgwick, who offers to help. As Julia and Michael begin to unravel clues and become better acquainted, the evidence that is discovered is conflicted, the possible culprits as varied as former academic colleagues, competitive broadcasters, groups who Rupert spoke out against for their environmental practices, but they are no closer to finding Rupert. That is, until, he is set free and sent on his way. Once Rupert is free you would think that all was well, but this is exactly when Julia becomes the most vulnerable to the actual villain.
This mystery is well woven, you must pay close attention to the clues. Will you be as caught off guard as I was as Julia stumbles on to the answer at great personal peril?
Marty Wingate has another winning mystery series on her hands. Her Potting Shed mysteries were engaging and intriguing, but I believe the Birds of a Feather series will prove to be an even better mystery jaunt.