by Cynthia Chow
In honor of Earth Day we are featuring only EBOOKS in this issue. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an EBOOK copy of Every Trick in the Rook. We also have a link to order it from Amazon.
The ever-busy Julia Lanchester has finally managed to carve out a weekend away from her job as the manager of Smeaton-under-Lyme’s tourist information center to spend a weekend away with her boyfriend Michael Sedgwick. It’s a shame that upon their return they find Detective Inspector Tess Callow greeting them with the news that Julia’s ex-husband has just been found in the summerhouse of Hoggin Hall. Although they’d been divorced for three years, it’s been five years since Julia last saw Nick Hawkins, which is why she hesitated to respond to the email he sent the previous Thursday. It’s an act she regrets when Julia discovers that Michael had received a similar email, and that he was seen on Friday at the place where Nick was found dead.
The daughter of BBC television celebrity ornithologist Rupert Lanchester, a crime involving Julia’s ex-husband and current boyfriend makes her a target of gossip and a media sensation. With an onslaught of tabloid scandal “reporters” stalking out Julia’s home and work, Michael decides that the best solution to keep her out of the limelight is for him is to move out of their cottage, leave town, and step away from his work as Rupert’s personal assistant and Foundation manager. Unwilling to appear needy or vulnerable, Julia’s compulsive work habits have her doing two full-time jobs and the work of four when her own two assistants take leave. It’s a manic endeavor that could succeed only if Julia gives up sleep and adds on four extra hours to the day, but her overwhelming guilt at not mourning Nick and involving Michael in scandal prevent her from admitting defeat.
Intent on bringing Michael back and restoring their briefly attained happiness, Julia is determined to learn why Nick suddenly returned in her life, why he contacted Michael, and how Nick’s Avian Institute of Learning may have led him to tiny Smeaton-under-Lyme. It has Julia questioning his coworkers and sister, while also forcing her into examining her marriage to such a distant and cold man. Julia’s loving sister and bird-focused father share supportive advice, but far more instrumental help comes in the form of a clever and very anti-paparazzi rook named Alfie. His precocious companion, a ten year-old aspiring ornithologist, adds yet another layer of charm and sanity to Julia’s overwhelming duties. Relentless in fulfilling her far-too-many responsibilities, Julia somehow maintains her sense of humor even as she borders on spiraling out of control. Alfie dive-bombing and scattering reporters is almost enough to cheer up her day, although nothing can make up for the gap left in her life by Michael’s absence. Clever writing and delightful local characters continue to make this a very entertaining and charming series, with avian lore sprinkled throughout as a bonus.
To enter to win an EBOOK copy of Every Trick in the Rook, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “trick,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 22, 2017. US residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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