The Rhyme of the Magpie by Marty Wingate is a British cozy mystery and the first book in the Birds of a Feather Mystery series. Julia Lanchester has started a new job and moved into Pipit Cottage in Smeaton-under-Lyme. After her mother passed away, her father remarried her mother’s best friend, Beryl (just six months after mother’s death). Instead of talking with her father, Julia took off. Julia used to work with her father, Rupert Lanchester as his assistant and associate producer. Rupert is an ornithologist and produces a show on BBC2 called A Bird in the Hand. Julia is living in Smeaton-under-Lyme (they have the most unusual named cities in the U.K.) and working as Tourist information Manager for Earl Fotheringill (along with his estate he owns the village and surrounding areas). Julia has not spoken to her father since he announced he was getting married. Julia only told her sister, Bianca (Bee) where she is now living along with her phone number.
One day Rupert shows up to speak with Julia. Unfortunately, Julia throws him out of her cottage without speaking with him. Later that day she receives a call from Beryl stating her father is missing. His car is in the shop (being repaired) so she does not know how he could have gone away. There is no note and his cell phone is still at home. Julia goes to see Beryl to help calm her down and discovers her car is gone from the garage where she had it stored. Julia does not take the time to report the theft, but borrows a car from friend and co-workers, Vesta. Beryl also called Rupert’s new assistant, Michael Sedgwick. When Rupert does not turn up the next day, Michael and Julia set out to investigate. The first check a cottage (Marshy End) that the family owns. Following a magpie Julia stumbles across a dead body near the cottage.
Kenneth Kersey is dead. Kenneth was the Director for Power to the People. A company sets up wind farms. Rupert was adamantly opposed to the wind farms new site (would upset the bird in the area). The police would like to speak with Rupert about the death, but he cannot be found (though he was at the cottage within the last day). Who killed Kenneth and where is Rupert? Does it have anything to do with the wind farm?
The Rhyme of the Magpie is a darling story. I give The Rhyme of the Magpie 3 out of 5 stars. The book is cute and has funny parts, but I just could not get into it. The murder was very easy to figure out (it can be solved not long after finding the body). This is just the first book in the series, and I am sure the next book will be even better. The Rhyme of the Magpie was released today.
I received a complimentary copy of The Rhyme of the Magpie from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Thank you for reading my latest review. If you have read the Paper Magician or The Glass Magician, the last book in the series came out today. It is called The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. It is available on Kindle Unlimited. Have a relaxing evening and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader