Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Book Review: Rhyme of the Magpie by Marty Wingate

Kerry Hammond is here today to review the first in a new series by Marty Wingate.

The Rhyme of the Magpie is the first book in a new Birds of a Feather mystery series written by Marty Wingate. This series features Julia Lanchester, bird lover and tourism manager for the small British village Smeaton-under-Lyme. Julia has recently quit working for her famous birdwatching father, Rupert, where she gave up a job as his assistant for a hit BBC television series A Bird in the Hand. Rupert contacts Julia and she blows him off, still upset about his quick remarriage after her mother’s death.

Right after that, Rupert goes missing. Julia, feeling a little guilty about blowing him off, goes out to his cottage to search for him, only to find a dead body. To make matters worse for her father, not only is the dead guy on his property, he just happens to be someone her father fought with recently. Julia really feels horrible now, so she continues her search for Rupert, trying to figure out who murdered the guy so she can prove it wasn’t her father. She is helped by Rupert’s new assistant, Michael Sedgwick, her replacement at BBC. Julia quickly realizes that he’s as irritating as he is handsome.

I read cozy mysteries for the characters. A well written book can introduce you to new friends whose stories you can’t wait to hear in more detail. Not only were the characters in this book great, but I loved Smeaton-under-Lyme.  I could picture the quaint little village and its cast of quirky residents. I enjoyed following Julia around as she tried to solve the mystery, and her chemistry with Michael was very well-written. Great characters, picturesque location, and a mystery to solve.  With those three ingredients, you can’t be disappointed. The next installment in the series is in progress and I can’t wait to see what’s on the program this time. Maybe a tourist event gone wrong in Smeaton?

If you enjoy Marty’s Birds of a Feather series, you’ll be happy to know she has also written a Potting Shed Mystery series that contains 3 books. In this series, Dallas native and gardener Pru Parke moves to London on a whim and unearths all kinds of mysterious things.


  1. Sounds like a great new series. I totally agree with Kerry about a well written book introducing you to new friends you want to know more about!

  2. I love getting to know characters like these and having them settle in my brain for a long stay. :)

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!