Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Birds of a Feather Mystery
Marty Wingate
Random House Alibi
March 7, 2017

Julia Lanchester is happily settled into her newly refurbished cottage with her boyfriend, Michael Sedgewick. Both are thriving in their jobs, Michael as personal assistant to Julia's celebrity TV ornithologist father, and Julia as the tourist manager for the Fotheringill estate. The problem is that they are both working every available hour. On the eve of taking off on a getaway weekend, both Julia and Michael receive a cryptic email from Julia's ex-husband, Nick Hawkins, asking for a meeting. Independently, they decide not to deal with it until returning. After all, Julia has heard nothing from Nick since he took off to St.Kilda to follow his passion for "vagrant" birds and solitude. They both turn off their phones, only to turn them on to many messages. Nick's body has been found on the Fotheringill estate, dead in a derelict summerhouse. Naturally, the police want to talk to them, in the person of the formidable DI Tess Callow. Upon returning they find the village overrun with the press and the assumption that Michael must have killed Nick. Michael decides to move out and step away hoping that it will protect Julia from the press invasion. Instead, Julia ends up trying to do both of their jobs, resulting in predictable exhaustion and added stress. And the press will not stop hounding her, especially one very strange and aggressive woman.

Every Trick in the Rook has the characters I loved in the first two books; the villagers, Lord Fotheringill and Julia's loving family. There are welcome additions; Gwen, a widow, and her daughter, Tennyson. Tennyson has a pet rook named Alfie who quickly becomes a character in his own right. I confess to having little interest in birds but if I had known how intelligent rooks are, I might have felt differently. I am now searching for Esther Woolfson's Corvus, a book that Marty Wingate mentions as her inspiration for Alfie. I had not connected with Julia as a character so much before but now I feel I have more insight into what makes her tick. Every Trick in the Rook is a delightful read with a satisfying puzzle.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Alibi for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4.5 Stars

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