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The Rhyme of the Magpie (Birds of a Feather Mystery #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  437 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
For readers of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, the high-flying new Birds of a Feather mystery series from 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
Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Alibi (first published May 26th 2015)
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Ivonne Rovira
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ivonne by: NetGalley
Resentful of her father’s hasty remarriage, impulsive Julia Lanchester flees her home and her job working for her father’s BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand, to the English countryside; there, she takes a tourism post in Smeaton-under-Lyme, Suffolk. But her father, renowned bird expert Rupert Lanchester, doesn’t want to take no for an answer from his distraught daughter; he tracks her down to her cottage. After a failed attempted reconciliation, Rupert leaves Suffolk, but the ornithologist ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, cozy-mystery
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 ...more
Linda Baker
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Marty Wingate since the first of the Potting Shed Mysteries, The Garden Plot, and was delighted to have the opportunity to read the first book in the Bird of a Feather mysteries. I have always said that her books are "almost" as good as a trip to England. The Rhyme of the Magpie proved to be no exception.

Julia Lanchester's life has been in disarray since the remarriage of her famous birder father, Rupert. Not only did her father remarry within months of her mother's death bu
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cozy
What a great book. Takes place in a quaint village called Smeaton-under-Lyme where Julie lives since quitting as her father's assistant on his nature show on BBC. She now works as a manager/tour guide for a large estate hoping to plan more events to draw the tourist in. Because her father (Rupert) married so quickly after her mother died she can't forgive him or his new wife, Beryl until Beryl calls to say Rupert is missing. Julie finally decides to investigate with the help of her father's new ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a nice start to a good series (I'm hoping). I really like Julia as the MC, she's smart and interesting and stubborn, but very caring. I loved the setting and would love to read more about the events Julia is planning to hold on the estate. I don't know much about bird or bird watching, but I enjoyed how the story pretty revolved and evolved around them. The mystery was curious and I was definitely surprised when I found out the culprit. I like the budding romance and am crossing my fing ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It started as a simple rhyme for children learning to count. Over the years, it seemed to be almost a guide to omens, depending on how many magpies in their “black-and-white court jester outfits” one might see at one time. For example, Julia Lanchester just knew her sister Bianca was pregnant again and would have a little boy because of the number of magpies seen that day. Now, however, the stakes were too high – Julia’s father had gone missing and left first one, then another message about the ...more
Mar 03, 2017 added it
This book took me quite a while to get in to. Like many that I have been reading lately. I may be losing my will to read. I hope not!

Finally, it took hold and I was not able to put it down. I seem to take some time to get into the books that are written about and in England. They have many names and many different things than we do and I find that I must think about it every time I read one. I will have to read them more often and keep them in mind.

Julia Lanchester worked with her father Rupert
Rhyme of the Magpie is the first in a new cozy mystery series from Marty Wingate. Fans of her Potting Shed series will devour this latest offering.

Julia is a divorcee in her thirties who has run away from home. Rupert, her recently widowed father, has found a new wife too quickly for Julia’s grief to comprehend. Julia quits her job as assistant on her father’s famous BBC show and has settled into a new job, new cottage, and a new town. But when Julia’s father goes missing, she’s ready to forgiv
This was a new author for me and I did enjoy the book.

After the unexpected death of her mother and the remarriage of her father to her mother's best friend 6 month's later, Julia Lanchester has run away from work and home. Julia worked as an assistant to her father, an environmentalist and birder. She left in a huff and hasn't spoken to him in months. When he shows up and tries to mend fences Julia grudgingly agrees to see him. When he and her car disappear she goes out to Marshy End with his n
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
area birds.
Then Rupert goes missing…. To where could he have
disappeared?? Did he go of his
Teresa Kander
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first book in a new series by this author, and the first book I've read by her. I look forward to more in this series for sure.

This is a fast paced, active story that keeps you engaged from beginning to end. The main character, Julia, has issues with her father which have put a wedge between them, but she puts those on the back burner when she discovers he is missing--and finds herself working through them, realizing the error of her ways, as the story progresses.

I enjoyed the bird-watching
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mystery lovers with an interest in ornithology will be especially entertained with The Rhyme of the Magpie, the first book in Marty Wingate’s Birds of a Feather series. Readers looking for a well-plotted mystery with taut twists and a charming setting will not be disappointed, either. As a protagonist, Julia Lanchester is a believable character who is sometimes rash in her decisions but relatable. Her reluctance to accept her father’s marriage to her deceased mother’s best friend is understandab ...more
Lelia Taylor
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

When I first picked up The Rhyme of the Magpie, I expected a typical English village mystery but this is a bit of an anomaly. Yes, it's set in an English village and it's a mystery but there the expectations go off the rails. The most obvious difference is that the sleuth is a newcomer to the village and, because of that, there are only a few villagers that we get to know. I miss that because the interweaving of villagers' lives is so often a large part of the story, even the core of th
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting plot...well written despite the main character, Julia...she is portrayed as a scatterbrain even though she holds a professional position...she barges into places, confronts folks without much proof...that's why I only gave it 3's the first book of this series so I ll definitely read another bird mystery
Bea  Charmed
The cover and the title of this book caught my eye, so bright and cheerful and with a nursery rhyme as inspiration. I grabbed it up.

I know little about birds or birdwatching and I admit, they're not topics I'm keen on. I did wonder if that would affect my enjoyment of the book but happily it did not. While birds, not just magpies, are important to the story, Wingate manages to hit, for me anyway, just the right amount of information without going overboard. But the book is much more than birds;
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: clean-cozy
I have read both books in this author’s Potting Shed series and liked them, so I wanted to give this debut book in her new series a try. I’m glad I did, because as much as I liked those books, I enjoyed this one even more. The pacing of this book is better and I found it a quick and fun read. In the beginning, the main character, Julia Lancaster, seems a little stubborn as she refuses to accept that her father has remarried. However, as the reader learns more about the situation, it’s easier to ...more
Susan Foulkes
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Having thoroughly enjoyed the Potting Shed Mysteries by the same author I was looking forward to this book, the first in a new series.

It had me hooked from Chapter One.

The heroine, Julia,is a somewhat stubborn woman...I identified with that quite easily!
The hero,Michael, is somewhat bland but he tempers her stubbornness and they work well as a couple.

The main plot of the novel is the disappearance of Julia's father, a TV celebrity and famous ornithologist. Julia is at odds with him over his rema
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Rhyme of the Magpie by Marty Wingate is the first in her new series. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to more in this series. As a fan of her Potting Shed mystery series, I was excited to find this book.

Julia Lanchester is a very down-to-earth woman but can be very stubborn and a little rash when her emotions are running high. Her father, Rupert, is a TV personality and ornithologist. She was his assistant before he remarried after her mother's death. This caused a rift
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this via Netgalley for my review.

A likeable cozy mystery and quite a fun read. At times a wee bit predictable. Full of birds, bird watching, family drama, murder, mystery, environmentalism, abductions and fleeing situations that just aren't comprehensible. Julia is likeable. But sometimes, her actions/inaction's had me rolling my eyes or screaming "really"! Which is a good thing, meaning the story sucked me in and I was engaged. I loved the description of the places and with the detai
Laura Salas
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable, neatly plotted murder mystery with a lovely English setting. As someone who knows nothing about birds and birdwatching, there was just enough of the birding world to give me a taste but not bore me. The romance was pretty predictable and bland, but it didn't take over the story, so that was OK. The family subplot of the father who has remarried (too soon, in the main character's opinion) after the death of the mother was the emotional heart of the story, and it was well done. Looki ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
First in a new series by Marty Wingate, and what a treat!
Julia Lanchester is the daughter of famed Rupert Lanchester who is a David Attenborough-esque celebrity when it comes to birds.

Marty has created a lovely little town that Julia lives in and a nice setting for a well written cozy mystery. I cannot wait to read more about Julia's adventures in birding and mystery solving. All of the characters were well developed and easy to like.

Recommended for any cozy mystery fans or fans of birdwatchin
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Looking for a fun cozy mystery set in lovely Englisg countryside? The Rhyme of the Magpie is a great vacation read. Julia, the daughter of a popular star of a program on birds, has quit her job as his assistant and is now running the information center of a picturesque village. Angry with her father over his quick remarriage after her mother's death, Julia turns her back on him when comes to her for help. But then there is a murder and her father is kidnapped. Julia, with the help of her father' ...more
Gena DeBardelaben
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
eARC: Netgalley

Feel like a visit to the English countryside? Come join Julia Manchester as she starts her new position as tourism manager in the village of Smeaton-under-Lyme. Along the way find a sweet romance and a mystery as Julia's father goes missing and a body is found near his vacation cottage.

A charming English village cozy mystery to relax and enjoy.
Christine Lussier
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received The Rhyme of the Magpie as a preread from NetGalley for an honest review. It was an enjoyable read. Just enough of a mystery & characters that I wasn't sure who was "it" until it was revealed in the story (always a plus in my book!) The characters are believable & you feel compassion for each. Looking forward to reading more from Marty Wingate.
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this novel through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.

A promising debut featuring Julia Lanchester. Interesting characters, an unusual setting, and just enough family drama plus a spot of romance. Julia is headstrong but goodhearted and the resolution to some misunderstandings with her father feels realistic. I look forward to her next adventure.
Patricia Moren
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another interesting mystery by Marty Wingate this time with a background of bird watching. Lots of twists and turns with a good conclusion. Well drawn characters and varied interactions. Great light reading.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

I have really enjoyed Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series (The Garden Plot and The Red Book of Primrose House: A Potting Shed Mystery) so when I saw that she had started a new series, I was hoping for more chilling mysteries in a cozy setting with a likable main character, and I was definitely not disappointed.

The Rhyme of the Magpie is a real treat, and Julia Lanchester is a lovely, lively and intelligent heroine on the cusp of a lot of changes in her pers
Elaine Bidstrup
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Julie Lanchester is angry - at her father, and at her new step-mother. Her father re-married just 6 months after her mother passed away and Julie is angry because she thinks her father is being disrespectful to her mother's memory. She has also quit her job, which was working as assistant to her famous father on his popular BBC TV network nature program. Now she is working in a different county as the head of a Tourist Invitation Company, helping Lord Forthingill set up the village and his estat ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok but too drawn out

I had the murderer pegged fairly soon but there were characters being thrown in left and right with no real fleshing out. It seemed a bit desperate as if the writer was trying to cover the obvious and not in a skilled way. While red herrings are common in mysteries these were more like ill conceived distractions
Sarah Rubin
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun mystery by nursery rhyme

A great cozy bringing together a love of birds (as an American I had fun looking up these European birds), an old nursery rhyme, a hint of ego, and plenty of tension and emotions.

Anyone who likes small town English mystery will love this book. But you might love it even if that's not your thing -- it's simple, fun, energetic, and well written.
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Cozy Mystery Corner : Birds of a Feather by Marty Wingate 16 29 Mar 17, 2017 01:02AM  
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Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based mystery writer who also lectures about gardens and travel. She is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries from Random House/Alibi, about Pru Parke, middle-aged American gardener who moves to England and digs up more than weeds. Her second cozy series, Birds of a Feather, follows the adventures of Julia Lanchester, daughter of a celebrity ornithologist and manager ...more
More about Marty Wingate

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