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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 37 star ratings
5 reviews

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3.8 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    The Rhyme of the Magpie!

    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. I received a complimentary copy of The Rhyme of a Magpie from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    A British Mystery in the Countryside

    This is the first book in Marty Wingate's series, Birds of a Feather Mysteries. Julia Lanchester is set adrift after the unexpected death of her mother and the remarriage of her father to her mother's best friend only 6 month's later. She quits her job as her father's assistant and runs away from home. She left in a huff and has not spoken to him in a few months. Her father, Rupert Lanchester, is the host of the BBC show, A Bird in the Hand, designed to bring nature, specifically birds into the lives of everyone. He is also an ardent environmentalist. Julia has moved to Smeaton-under-Lyme where she has been hired to run the Tourist Information Centre. It is a quaint little town, owned by the Lord. When Rupert shows up and tries to mend fences with Julia, she dismisses him outright. When she gets a call from her step-mother that he is missing and he left his phone behind, she immediately forgets her grudge and sets out to find him. With the help of his new assistant, Michael, they head off to Marshy End to see if he is hiding out at the family's cottage. What they find is a dead body of a PR man. The company he is representing is trying to put up a wind farm that Rupert has been publicly fighting against and recently had an argument with the deceased. Rupert, it seems, is nowhere to be found. The police are now looking for him as well to question him. Did Rupert kill the man? Where is he hiding? Can Julia find him before the police do? I found the beginning of the book a little slow moving. I know that there needs to be background given in a new series, but it took a long time to get into the story. I stuck with it and it did finally get better with several twists and turns. There were a lot of people with motive for the murder, so Julia got into a lot of situations trying to figure this one out. There were also a couple of side stories that gave some background to the characters, but seemed to be filler to the story. I have read the second one in this series and I liked it a lot more, so I know the writing gets better.
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    Good story, lots of twists and turns

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will likely get others in the series at some point. I do have one quibble, however. The story takes place in England, and the author has nicely woven British terms and idioms throughout — apart from a couple of very American turns of phrase. In chapter 26, for example, Julia says, “There’s a footbridge up a ways.” That jarred a little, but what jarred me more was the use of US spelling throughout. I realize your readership is probably mostly American, but if you’re pretending to be British, use British spelling. Otherwise, loved it, and am happy Michael Sedgwick was not a bad guy.
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    The Rhyme of the Magpie

    The plotline felt a bit loose occasionally and meandered a bit - I lost my concentration a couple of times, but a decent cosy mystery. I have the next in the series, and will certainly give it a go.
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    The ryme of the magpies

    The ryme of the magpies was an abslute delight,from page one I was hook line and sinker spellbound. More please and soon

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