by Kathleen Costa
& Marty Wingate
This week in honor of Earth Day we are primarily featuring ebooks. Along with our review of Farewell, my Cuckoo, we have a guest post by Marty Wingate, and some fun DIY projects that relate to the book. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Farewell, my Cuckoo, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Farewell, my Cuckoo: A Birds of a Feather Mystery by Marty Wingate
Review by Kathleen Costa
From Flora to Feathers!
I became a fan of Marty Wingate after reading books in her very popular Potting Shed Mystery series, so it was easy to become a fan of her Birds of a Feather series trading flora for feathers and gardens for the tops of trees. First published in June 2015, The Rhyme of the Magpie introduces Julia Lancaster whose personal life is in a bit of a shambles. She decides on a fresh start, resigns her job working for her father/celebrity ornithologist, and accepts the position of manager of the tourist center in a quaint village in the English countryside. The village of Smeaton-Under-Lyme is part of the estate of Lord Fotheringill which includes his home Hoggin Hall, several outlying villages, the abbey ruins, various farms, fields, orchards, and woods. There she blossoms gaining friends, popularity from tourists, and a hint of romance, but murder and mayhem lurk testing her resolve in Empty Nest (December 2015), Every Trick in the Rook (March 2017), and in April 2018 with Farewell, my Cuckoo.
Farewell, my Cuckoo earns 5+/5 Chirps, Squawks, Peeps…Murderously Fun!
Weddings always seem to bring out romantic notions and queries about who could be next. However, Julia’s expectation that Michael’s desire to ask her “something” may be a proposal is interrupted when Pammy, Michael’s older sister (“Barely older,” she would say.), shows up asking to send the night. Another broken relationship and the “just tonight” turns into “end of the week;” they hope. Another uninvited visitor, Tony Brightbill, arrives in town. Julia has witnessed a few incidents that dub him as the “Man-Who-Could-Not-Be-Pleased.” Gavin Lecky, former one-night stand and pushy self-taught ornithologist, has also arrived eager to finalize the television spot he coerced Julia’s father into producing. Then, of course, several tourists pop in and out enjoying the farmers’ market, festivals, fishing, and historical landmarks. So, when a dead body is tripped over near the pond in the backside of the St. Swithun’s Church, the inspector indicates the body has been dead for a few days, head injury makes it suspicious, and questions if anyone new had been seen in the quaint English hamlet. It has to be a visitor, or else one of their neighbors could be a killer.
Marty Wingate has once again provided an entertaining story even for newbies, like me, who started with this newest release, but reviewing the synopses of the first three books and her revisiting the background and character connections without any spoilers in this book, it was so easy to join in. She penned a clever mystery starting by keeping the identity of the victim hidden and building the suspense with all the possible deserving characters, and the subsequent investigation by the amateurs and professionals is extremely engaging with more than a few nail-biting predicaments. Marty’s description brought to life the flora, the fauna, the feathered creatures along with the village and all of its shops, cottages, and ruins. But, she didn’t rely on just the narrative, she provided engaging dialogue to illustrate the emotions and personalities of a rich group of characters. Julia Lancaster, strong and more capable than she believes, is the best part of the story, and the supporting cast of fathers, boyfriends, BFFs, and a few quirky visitors adds humor and a few incidents of “they need a bite from Karma.” I highly recommend this book, and am very eager to read the rest of the series.
Birds of a Feather!
By Marty Wingate
I like to take a guided tour each visit; it sort of grounds me in the right atmosphere. Minsmere has a habitat for water birds as well as woodland and heathland birds. They also have a great cafe and shop! I have met a fellow in Long Melford (the model for Smeaton-under-Lyme) who takes us out on bird walks. In Long Melford, our bird guy takes us out for a half day just walking the lanes and fields and woods round the village. I was amazed the first time I saw a green woodpecker (pixabay.com). Green! They love to eat ants and can often be seen in fields and gardens poking their long beaks in the ground. It’s great fun!
I think anyone can help the birds and encourage them to come into the yard just by planting trees and shrubs that can provide cover as well as berries and the like for food. A water feature is a fantastic way to draw birds, too. And feeders, of course!
DIY For the Professional or Wannabe Bird-friendly Gardener
Life Creatively Organized 20 – Fanciful DIY Bird Feeders 2/6/17
Create a bird-friendly garden with any of these fanciful bird feeder designs. Pam Hoepner, the economical organizer, shows how common household items can be repurposed. From wine bottles and glasses to tea pots and tea cups, from ladles to tin cans your garden could just be the perfect bird sanctuary.
On Little Project – Birdseed Ornaments 2/21/17
A delightful project by Debbie Chapman would be perfect for the feathered visitors in your garden sanctuary. “Do you love to cook, bake, craft, or create? Join us as we make things one little project at a time! We’ve got fun recipes, kids crafts/activities, DIY/craft projects, holiday projects, and more!
Bird Watcher’s Digest – How to Make a Bird Watching Journal
Now that your garden is set for a plethora of feathered friends, prepare your “Guest Book.” The Bird Watcher’s Digest has the perfect DIY project and guidelines for your bird watching journal. Keep it on the patio for your two-legged, featherless friends to note their own discoveries. “Look! It’s a bird…”
To enter to win an ebook copy of Farewell, my Cuckoo, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “cuckoo,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 21, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section, including more ebook giveaways and reviews in this week’s issue.
You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.