Monday, April 16, 2018

Farewell, My Cuckoo by Marty Wingate - #review

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.



Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Smeaton-under-Lyme, to check in with Julia, Michael, Lionel and all the townsfolk. 

But, a somewhat unwelcome guest was there as well - Pammy, Michael's sister.  While not evil by any means, she does tend to twist the saying to "su casa es mi casa", and apparently missed the day they covered 'overstaying your welcome' in school.  Pammy is the kind of person for which mother-in-law apartments and dower houses were created.

I almost feel bad comparing Pammy to the titular cuckoo birds (whose young tend to be raised in the nests of other birds, if I understand correctly), but there are similarities.

Like Julia, I too, have on occasion *cough* *cough* taken refuge in work when my in-laws descend upon us um, visit.  (I kid, they are really rather nice.)  And, I must admit, I have never had to worry about them being suspects in a murder investigation - always a plus!

In October 2014, I read my first Marty Wingate book (The Garden Plot from "The Potting Shed Mysteries", and positively knew I was holding something special in my hands before I opened it.  Since then, I've read and reviewed several titles in both "The Potting Shed Mysteries" and the "Birds of a Feather Mysteries" (of which this book is installment #4).  (See my reviews for other "Birds" books - The Rhyme of the Magpie and Empty Nest - on this blog.)

Ms. Wingate is one of a very small handful of writers for which reading their latest book is 'de rigueur' for me.  It's like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one when I get my hands on her latest title  Farewell, My Cuckoo is a wonderful addition to the "Birds" series, and a gripping mystery in its own right.



Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and the American Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland, and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:

The Birds of a Feather series

The Potting Shed series: 


Click on the banner above to go to the tour page, where you will find links to more reviews of this title, as well as guest posts and author interviews!  You can also find out how to BECOME A BLOG HOST FOR FUTURE BOOK TOURS while you are there!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)

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