It is December! The year is almost over. Today is Eat a Red Apple Day! Apples are good for you (in small quantities). Did you know that the science of growing apples is called pomology? Well, now you do. Some great new books came out today. One that I really enjoyed is called The Postcard by Lily Rose Graham. It is a lovely, touching story. Very magical! Other books that released today are A Murder in Mohair by Anne Canadeo, The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen, Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden (lovely book), The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene, Murder Fir Christmas by Jim and Joyce Lavene, and Give up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell. This is just a few of the books that were released today.
Empty Nest by Marty Wingate is the second book in A Birds of a Feather Mystery series. Julia Lanchester is thirty-seven years old. She changed careers recently. She used to be her father’s assistant (he is an ornithologist and hosts a show on BBC) Pipit Cottage (her home) had a severe mildew problem and she is staying at Hoggin Hall with Lord Linus Fotheringill (her boss). Julia the manager of the Tourist Information Center in Smeaton-under-Lyme. She also creates events to attract tourists to the hall and town. One evening Julia is enjoying dinner with Linus, Vesta Widdersham (co-worker and friend), and Akash Kumar (Vesta’s boyfriend) when Cecil Fotheringill shows up. Cecil is Linus’ thirty year old son, but he rarely comes home. He has decided it is time to learn about the running of the estate (about time) and he has brought a friend, Freddy Peacock, with him. Freddy and Cecil worked at the auction rooms in London together. The next day the new estate manager, Geoffrey Addleton, arrives. Dinners are starting to become something Julia wishes to avoid.
On the day of the cider festival, Julia finds poisoned birds in a field near the new estate manager’s cottage. Someone deliberately poisoned them. A few evenings later Julia comes home late (after being with her boyfriend, Michael Sedgewick) and smells a fire. She discovers a fire in Freddy’s room with Freddy on the floor. Poor Freddy is dead and he was poisoned. The main suspect turns out to be Cecil. He refuses to tell the police is whereabouts for that evening (for a very silly reason). Then Cecil’s mother, Lady Isabel Fotheringill (Linus and Isabel are divorced) shows up to help her son (she is overbearing and demanding). Julia starts looking into matters to try and clear Cecil for Linus (he is so upset and Julia is afraid he will confess to save his son). Then Julia starts to feel ill. Turns out she is being poisoned. It seems the killer does not like the questions that Julia has been asking. Will Julia be able to find the killer before the killer does in Julia?
In order to understand the characters and dynamics in Empty Nest, you really need to read first book in the A Birds of a Feather (otherwise you will be lost and confused). The book is told in the first person from Julia’s point-of-view. There are long sentences, a lot of rambling, and a very bumbling Julia. Julia is supposed to be a manager who is capable of running large events. The rambling and bumbling do not go with that description. The author did not provide a lot of clues nor was there much action during the majority of the book (except the murder). The mystery is not simple which makes the book more interesting. I am amazed at all the tea and food. It seems if you stop in anywhere, you get tea and treats (they must have had tea over 20 times in the book). It was like the author was trying very hard to make sure we knew they were in England where they have tea. I give Empty Nest 3 out of 5 stars. I do not believe this series is for me.
The first book in A Birds of a Feather Mystery series is The Rhyme of the Magpie. I received a complimentary copy of Empty Nest from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I am off to do housework. We have a lot of stuff to go through. Things were a little neglected in some areas of the house during my father's illness. I am currently reading The Girls from See Saw Lane by Sandy Taylor. I hope everyone has a great Tuesday! Make sure to make time for yourself today! Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader