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Magpie Lane

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,088 ratings  ·  383 reviews
When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers. As Dee looks back over her time in the Master's Lodging - an eerie and ancient house - a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish ...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published February 1st 2020 by Quercus
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Janet Baudevin This is something that struck me too immediately I read it. There's no way an old Nokia SIM would fit an iPhone. A careless mistake that should have b…moreThis is something that struck me too immediately I read it. There's no way an old Nokia SIM would fit an iPhone. A careless mistake that should have been edited out.(less)

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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,088 ratings  ·  383 reviews

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Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You know that feeling when you are desperate to find out how a story ends but equally desperate not to finish it because it’s soooo good? That’s how Magpie Lane is for me. Take one angry, controlling Oxford College Master, his eight year old selectively mute daughter, a pregnant Danish stepmother whose a fraught wallpaper restorer (yes, it’s a thing), a mathematically obsessed Nanny with a past, a fabulously eccentric House Detective whose been doing his doctorate for 27 years, a cat called Fibo ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'A little boy died here!' Mariah's voice trembled from the bed,close to tears. 'A little boy was murdered in this house!'

I walked over. 'What?'

'That house detective person just phoned-I'd forgotten all about him. He was asking for you, for some reason, he says he's trying your mobile but you won't pick up. Why's he phoning you ? I was sleeping-he just woke me up and he told me to tell you a little boy was murdered here. A little boy was poisoned in this house! In the First World War! Oh
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh, hello! I loved this book! Of course I love a Gothic house, and this “Master’s Lodging” is old and creepy!

An 8 year old girl, Felicity, is missing, and the police look to her Scottish nanny, Dee, for the answers. The family is dysfunctional, and it’s hard to know who is reliable and telling the truth. I loved the Oxford setting! I’m not sure I’ve read a book set there before, and I could visualize the sights and sounds and history.

This book is so very good. Lucy Atkins knows how to build susp
Louise Wilson
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Felicity is eight years old. Her dad, nick is an Oxford college master and her stepmother, Mariah is a designer. They hire Dee to be Felicity's nanny. Felicity is a selective mute. But now Felicity has disappeared.

This is another story about a dysfunctional family. The story is told from Dee's point of view. It's action packed, tense and a bit creepy. We are told the story police interview and the events that took place over the months leading up to Felicity's disappear
Yep 5 beautiful stars from me. 💓💓💓💓💓

What can I say.
Lucy Atkins is such a prolific author and knows just what her readers need to keep their attention.

The build up in this is slowly awesome with brick by brick laying a foundation that’s firm to climb onto and the higher it goes the less you breath.

It’s atmospheric and yields such a cobweb around you that you just don’t notice you are caught in that web. Nowhere to go until you satisfy your hunger and devour each page.

Can’t you tell I loved it😁
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by Lucy Atkins, but I am certain that I will be reading more by her in future. I absolutely loved this creepy, unsettling read, set in the academic world of Oxford.

We meet main character, Dee, when she is being interviewed by the police. Nanny to eight year old Felicity, her charge has gone missing and Detectives Faraday, and Khan, believe that she knows more than she is telling. As they try to unravel Felicity’s whereabouts, we learn of Dee’s story. Her chanc
Let me introduce you to my second 5-star read for 2020 – TA DA! MAGPIE LANE was like my own personal formula for reading bliss. A nanny in an old spooky English manor house in Oxford. Family secrets. A disturbed child who may or may not have some connection to the weird noises and shadows flitting about in the house at night. Characters who ALL have something to hide. All the very things I just LOVE in a mystery!

Dee is a middle-aged woman with some secrets in her past that have seen her live a l
Louise Wilson
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Felicity is eight years old. Her dad, Nick is an Oxford college master and her stepmother, Mariah is a designer. They hire Dee to be Felicity's nanny. Felicity is a selective mute. But now Felicity has disappeared.

This is another story about a dysfunctional family. The story is told from Dee's point of view. It's action packed, tense and a bit creepy. We are told the story through the police interview and the events that took place over the months leadingupto Felicity's
~ Becs ~
Well, this was just a fabulous, sumptuous, utterly compelling read. Beautifully written and meticulously layered, I found myself unable to put this down, compelled ever onwards to find out what was really happening here.

Set amongst the dreaming spires of Oxford and it’s self-important academia, steeped in tradition and ritual, Lucy Atkins leads us along a twisted path of creaking floorboards, secret passageways, priest holes and hidden cemeteries and at the centre of it all is a traumatised, alm
Liz Barnsley
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Magpie Lane was a brilliantly atmospheric read, set in and around Oxford, my personal stomping ground which made it all the more delightful.

The character voice of the novel's unreliable narrator is pitch perfect as she tells the tale of the strangely disconnected family she works for, the emotionally damaged mute child she cares for and her absolute innocence in the disappearance of that child. This is a twisted tale indeed but a very real one- events seen through a glass darkly and an unpredict

Throughout reading Magpie Lane, I was constantly shocked that I wasn't reading something from Victorian England. The Oxford manor house setting made me feel like our main character was meant to be wearing gowns, not pulling a Nokia out of her pocket! I think the gothic eeriness would have been intensified had it been set 100 years ago, which would ultimately have led to a much higher level of enjoyment.

Magpie Lane was predictable from the start and, while this can occasionally be a good thing
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
With a lot of experience under her belt, Dee thought she had seen it all. When Oxford college master Nick and his designer wife Mariah hire her to be the nanny for their eight year old girl Felicity, she agrees to the temporary assignment.
Felicity is selectively mute, bereaved by the loss of her birthmother and being bullied at school.
Then one day she disappears.
The story alternates between police station and the family home, the tension is palpable. Both are confined spaces that keep the reade

Very refreshing and clever, a compelling plot, beautifully written, unputdownable. (and so nicely British!😍)

I run through all possible emotions while guessing.
A well done audiobook. Highly recommended.
Janelle Janson
(special thanks to @mobius_books for the free copy)

MAGPIE LANE by Lucy Atkins is a slow-building mystery full of suspense and intrigue! Atmospheric is an understatement, as Atkins weaves a superb mystery around the Law family, their nanny, and an eccentric old house.

Nick Law is the newest hire at Oxford University. He remarried after his previous wife died four years ago. His eight-year-old daughter, Felicity, has not spoken since the death of her mother. His current wife, Ma
Roman Clodia
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved Atkins' The Night Visitor but this one sort of fizzled out on me. There are lots of Gothic trappings but they're not really relevant to the actual story. To warm to this story you really need to engage with 8 year old Felicity, and child characters are never my favourite. Structurally, this is essentially a long police interview with the nanny, Dee, when Felicity disappears, and her short answers to the police are followed by her memories, thoughts, and wanderings so that the tale appear ...more
C.L. Taylor
Magpie Lane by Lucy Atkins is beautifully crafted with sensational characterisation and a vivid sense of place (Oxford). Three lonely people's lives collide in a tale that is as creepy and suspenseful as it is heart-warming and hopeful. Loved it. ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Wow... Another different read with a novel style of writing which started with a police interview. A missing child plot always get to me.

Felicity disappeared and nanny Dee was the suspect.

My first book by this author, I was quite pulled in by the secrets revealed as the nanny looked back on all that she had learned about the family.

Subplots layered up as the investigation fired up. The writing kept the mystery alive right till the end.

Overall, a fun read
Joanne Robertson
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one stunning book! I’ve never physically had that many goosebumps whilst reading a book before!

Magpie Lane is an exquisitely plotted, character driven psychological thriller that immediately bewitched me. It was an intelligent and creepy tale exploring family, loss and the myths and stories we build around them. I fell madly in love with the characters-Dee the Scottish nanny, Felicity her selectively mute charge and Linklater, the house historian who becomes Dee’s friend when he’s employ
Jo Spain
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Really sinister fell throughout, and beautifully written.
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every Christmas my partner buys me some books for Christmas. As one can see Magpie Lane is the first one and it hits on A LOT of things I like in literature.

The book opens with the narrator of the story, Dee, being interrogated. The reason being that an Oxford master’s, Nick law, year old daughter, Felicity, is missing and Dee is her nanny. To the police Dee speaks about how she became employed in the Law household and the events which led to Felicity’s disappearance.

However, to us readers we re
Tracy Greer- Hansen
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Atmospheric and creepy. A Scottish nanny is hired to look after a mute little girl, who recently lost her mother. The little girl lives in Oxford with her narcissistic father who is a dean at Oxford and his new wife.
Their Oxford home is haunted by ghosts of the past and the sins of the present. This is a book you can’t relay too much about without giving up some of the storyline.
It had me anxiously awaiting the final outcome. Very well done.
Becky (Head In The Pages)
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was tense and so cleverly written. The way that Atkins writes makes it appear effortless.

At times I wondered whether this would turn out to be purely a domestic thriller, or whether it would be a horror or have some supernatural aspects to it.

I was tense all the way through and just dying to know what would happen. I doubted so many of the characters at different points too

They’re all written so well and each character is complex enough to feel tangible but not so developed that they’re har
Magpie Lane is an indisputably gripping story that completely enthrals from start to finish.

This fascinating domestic thriller acquaints the reader with Nick Law, a controlling Oxford College Master; his selectively mute daughter called Felicity, aged eight, who has vanished; his pregnant Danish wife Mariah, who is a wallpaper restorer; Dee, their mathematically fixated Nanny; and an eccentric house historian called Dr. Linklater. The addition of some ghostly haunting and Oxford Uni
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely amazing read this book was. Occasionally books are referred to as being memorising and for me, Magpie Lane was just that.

The story is told from the perspective of Dee, she is answering questions at the police station in Oxford regarding the disappearance of her charge Felicity Law. This is a little girl who has been through a lot. Her father Nick and Stepmother Mariah both have intensive jobs and Dee seems to be the right fit.

The story of Dee’s past, her job with the Law famil
Aug 22, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Magpie Lane is highly praised by press and authors as a "gripping pageturner"; as the "thriller of the year 2020". However, to my mind, it is just an okay book: not particularly good, but not particularly bad either.
The story follows nanny Dee's account of events after the disappearance of eight year old Felicity, her charge. By way of flashbacks, the reader learns about the dysfunctional familiy of Oxford Master Nick Law, Felicity's father, and his beautiful second wife Mariah. Both
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
This book is really intriguing and there is a real sadness about it right from the start. At the beginning we meet Dee - she usually works as a nanny but is at a cross roads in her life. She meets Nick, Oxford Master who offers her a job with his family. His daughter from a previous marriage, Felicity, is a selective mute so we know right away that all is not right in the Masters House. Nick's relationship with his wife, Mariah, is clearly not great. Also, there are some strange goings on in the ...more
Clair Sharpe
When the 8 year old daughter of an Oxford College Master goes missing in the middle of the night, the police turn to Scottish nanny Dee for answers.
We see through a series of flashbacks prompted by police questions how Dee came to be a nanny for the family. Nick is a newly appointed Oxford College Master and has just moved into the Master’s Lodging on Magpie Lane, along with his second wife, Mariah and his 8 year old daughter Felicity. Felicity is almost mute, only ever talking to her father. Ni
Up All Night Book Addict
I am so confused by the rave reviews on this book. I know that everyone has different tastes in books. However sometimes when I just can't connect with a book, I always wonder what made others love it.

This book is supposed to have a gothic feel to it. I can honestly say that it did not. The author tried. But for me, it failed.

I found myself wanting to just close the book every few minutes. It was so strange and slow moving. The characters annoyed me. The plot was scattered and choppy. It left m
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I usually avoid 99 cent books on Kindle but took a chance on this thriller set in Oxford described as "the most chilling and twisty read of the year" . This is the story of Dee, a Scottish nanny, who has spent several decades working as a nanny in Oxford for frazzled academics, usually on short term assignments of a few months to a year. Dee has just ended a job when she finds a desperate couple needing a nanny. They are Nick Law, newly hired housemaster of an Oxford college, and his Danish seco ...more
Anna Elliott
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This fabulous book ended up being a quick read for me as I could not put it down and sprinted through it to get to the books conclusion.

For my full review please visit my blog at:

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Can we talk about that ending?!? 1 15 Nov 18, 2020 01:55PM  
Magpie Lane--Can we trust Dee? 1 13 May 24, 2020 07:03AM  

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Lucy Atkins is an award-winning author, Sunday Times book critic and journalist. Her new novel, MAGPIE LANE, is a literary thriller set in an Oxford College. Her other novels are The Night Visitor, The Other Child and The Missing One.

Lucy reviews books for The Sunday Times and has written for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, the T.L.S, and many magazines. She has also wri

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