Every Trick in the Rook
Marty Wingate     

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Birds of a Feather
Book: 3

Julia Lanchester’s perch is knocked askew when murder hits a little too close to home in this delightful cozy mystery.

Julia Lanchester is flying high. She’s nesting with her boyfriend, Michael Sedgwick, and she’s found her niche as manager of the tourist center in her picturesque British village. Thanks to all her hard work, visitor traffic was up—way up. Her reward is an even more hectic schedule. Michael’s busy, too, traveling all over as the personal assistant to Julia’s father, celebrity ornithologist Rupert Lanchester. With precious little time together, Julia’s romantic weekend with Michael can’t come soon enough.
But the getaway is spoiled when Julia’s ex-husband is found murdered on her boss’s estate. And after a witness reports seeing Michael near the scene of the crime, the press descends, printing lies and wreaking havoc. To protect Julia, Michael vanishes into thin air, leaving her to pick up the slack on Rupert’s show and track down the real killer—even if it means putting herself in the flight path of a vicious predator.

Julia Lanchester is taking a well-deserved romantic weekend with her boyfriend Michael Sedgwick. They turn off their phones to enjoy nature and time alone, but are interrupted with news that Julia’s ex-husband Nick has been found murdered on the estate where she works as a tourist center manager. The press is relentless to get a story and when Michael becomes a prime suspect, he leaves Julia to protect her, but to Julia it seems like a more permanent “good-bye.” With Michael unavailable, Julia takes over his duties as personal assistant to her father, the famous bird-watcher Rupert Lanchester, while still working full-time managing the tourist center. Although Julia is exhausted, she won’t rest until she proves Michael’s innocence.

Anyone who has not yet read a book by author Marty Wingate is in for a treat. She writes two different cozy series and this one is my favorite. Every Trick in the Rook is the third book in the Birds of a Feather series, but new readers can jump right in and enjoy the mystery. Julia is a main character to root for in all aspects of her life – her career, her personal life, and the investigation. She has always been likable, but it’s a pleasure to see how much she has grown and matured since the first book. There are wonderful scenes with Julia and her family as they help her come to terms with Nick’s death and her separation from Michael. I loved Julia’s determination to get to the truth to clear Michael’s name, but also to get justice for Nick, even though their marriage had been less than ideal.

There are cute scenes throughout the book with Julia and a young newcomer to the village and her pet rook, Alfie. Alfie is a highly intelligent bird who ends up playing an important part of the investigation and in the books satisfying conclusion. Every Trick in the Rook will delight readers of the prior two books in the series and it’s also perfect for fans of Agatha Christie or Hazel Holt who enjoy seeing their amateur detectives doing their sleuthing in a quaint English village.

~ Christine