512XrHd5G7L._SL500_About the Book: “When the eight-year-old daughter of an Oxford College Master vanishes in the middle of the night, police turn to the Scottish nanny, Dee, for answers. As Dee looks back over her time in the Master’s Lodging – an eerie and ancient house – a picture of a high achieving but dysfunctional family emerges: Nick, the fiercely intelligent and powerful father; his beautiful Danish wife Mariah, pregnant with their child; and the lost little girl, Felicity, almost mute, seeing ghosts, grieving her dead mother.
But is Dee telling the whole story? Is her growing friendship with the eccentric house historian, Linklater, any cause for concern? And most of all, why was Felicity silent?
Roaming Oxford’s secret passages and hidden graveyards, Magpie Lane explores the true meaning of family – and what it is to be denied one.

My Review

This was so good, it hooked me right from the beginning, as Dee the nanny revealed more about her time in Oxford with this dysfunctional family.

I liked Dee, although I wasn’t too sure if I should like her, as she came across as was quite a cold person, although not towards Felicity. She really cared for her and took her job as the nanny very seriously.

I liked Mariah at first, mostly to do with Susie Riddell’s portrayal of her which was just brilliant. I loved her accent and enthusiasm. I must confess I was horrified at what she was doing to the house though, and couldn’t understand that someone who was involved with restoration would blatantly change a listed building. I didn’t like Nick, Felicity’s father, he was not a nice character at all, so entitled and arrogant.ย 

I really liked Linklater the house detective who took Dee and Felicity around some of Oxford’s old graveyards. He was a very interesting character who seemed friendly enough and Felicity really liked him.

I felt very sorry for Felicity but she also spooked me especially when Dee was describing her night terrors! I loved how she developed throughout the story as Dee cared for her and also opened up about her own past.

I had so many questions going through my head as I was listening to this. Why was Felicity reluctant to speak? What exactly happened to Felicity’s mother? How did she die? Why didn’t Nick and Mariah pay more attention to Felicity? Why were they so keen to hire Dee as their nanny when they knew so little about her? Why was Dee holding back certain information from the police? I could go on but I think I’ll be giving some of the plot away.

Oxford was a wonderful setting, I loved hearing familiar place names that I used to know so well. I learnt lots about the city and some of it’s very famous residents, Tolkien in particular. I also learnt where the nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander came from! ย 

Susie Riddell, a new-to-me narrator was superb. I particularly enjoyed her portrayal of Dee and Mariah. I’m definitely adding her to my favourite narrators list!

Highly recommended, especially on audio!

Book 18/20