Farewell, My Cuckoo (Birds of a Feather Mystery #4)4 Stars

Published April 10th 2018 by Alibi

I am happy to say that with this fourth book in the Birds of a Feather series, Marty Wingate is back on top of what I have grown to love and expect from this series.

In this story, Julia is hoping that Michael will propose. It is difficult to do when his sister, Pamela (Pammy) shows up and moves in with the couple. I love how they refer to her as a cuckoo, a bird that moves into another bird’s nest and eats its food and takes over. When a body turns up near the Abbey, Julia realizes it is the mysterious man who has been giving tourists information about the area. She does not know who he is and it appears no one else does either. As the story unfolds, once again Julia starts asking some questions. Her strongest characteristic is her ability to listen and observe. Once she gathers information, it doesn’t take her long to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

I enjoyed the plot and development of this story. Once again, Alfie, the rook makes an appearance and drops hints and clues into Julia’s pockets. Pammy, is actually a charming character. Once you get over the fact that she has barged in on Julia and Michael, she was easy to like. She was dealing with a lot of stuff in her life and she works things out well. There are the usual quirky characters we find in this small English Village and they assist without even knowing it. Julia and Pammy find themselves in a bit of a sticky situation, but with the help of Alfie and the loves of their lives, they are rescued and the culprit captured. In this story, I figured out who the murderer was about the same time as Julia, but whether or not he was going to get away with it and how the story would all come together in the end kept me reading. A good addition to the series. The publisher, Alibi. generously provided me with a copy of this book upon my request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book (From Goodreads): Julia Lanchester must defend her love nest from an invasive species: her boyfriend’s sister. And then there’s the little matter of murder . . .

“The cuckoo comes in April and sings its song in May. In June it changes tune and July it flies away.”

Wedding bells are ringing in the small British village of Smeaton-under-Lyme. Julia Lanchester’s second-in-command at the local tourist center is finally getting married, and the lovebirds are giving Julia and her live-in boyfriend, Michael Sedgwick, ideas about their own future. But before anyone can say “Will you,” Michael’s flighty older sister, Pammy, crashes the party, fresh off a breakup and lugging all her worldly possessions around with her in a tangle of plastic bags.

Before long, Julia’s cozy cottage starts feeling more like Pammy’s bachelorette pad. To keep herself from going cuckoo, Julia throws herself into her pet projects at work—until death disrupts her plans. First a body is found on the estate. Then the police discover that Pammy was the last one to see the man alive. And soon Julia gets the feeling that if she ever wants her home—or her boyfriend—back, she’ll have to get to the bottom of this mystery, even if it means breaking a few eggs.

Marty WingateAbout the Author: Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based mystery writer who also lectures about gardens and travel. She is the author of the Potting Shed mysteries from Random House/Alibi, about Pru Parke, middle-aged American gardener who moves to England and digs up more than weeds. Her second cozy series, Birds of a Feather, follows the adventures of Julia Lanchester, daughter of a celebrity ornithologist and manager of the tourist information center in a Suffolk village. Marty is available to visit your book club via the internet. She leads garden tours to European and North American destinations.

Twitter: martywingate