I previously read and reviewed a book by Marty Wingate here. It was all about gardening. This one seems to have a lot about birds. A dysfunctional single woman seems to be at the heart of this book too, like in A Cornish Stranger. Seems the trend is catching on.
Smeaton-under-Lyme is your typical small English village. The local Earl rides a bicycle! No Downton style grandeur here, ya’ll. Julia Lanchester has been hired in the Visitors Office. The local Lord wants to drum up business. Julia has been working for her father, a TV celebrity for a long time and she supposedly knows all the PR ropes.
Julia is chatty with her sister who is far away in Cornwall breeding babies. Her mother is recently deceased and her father has already remarried, hence the family feud. Father, Rupert, has gone missing. Is it because he was agitating against some big corporation? Her father’s assistant is worried. And his good looks have Julia worried.
By now, you may be wondering about the connection to magpies. Julia keeps seeing magpies everywhere and counts them. And expecets the old rhyme to come true. Her father Rupert also leaves her a cryptic message about magpies. Julia and Micahel get it on and also snoop around. There is a local budding romance. Julia is also trying to fend off the elderly peer.
The Rhyme of the Magpie holds the suspense till the end. The romance will distract you from the mystery and vice versa. I was not too happy with the end, but hey, something evil is to be expected in a murder mystery right? But I hate it when something supposedly cozy turns gory all of a sudden. Well, hope these clues don’t act as a spoiler for you.