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Posts Tagged ‘a birder murder mystery’

A Shimmer of Hummingbirds: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Shimmer of HummingbirdsDetective Chief JeJeune is one of the most unusual protagonists I have run across in my reading. Canadian by birth, he fled Canada amid a family scandal which continues to threaten his new life in Norfolk, England. Jejuene, besides being a Detective Chief is also an avid birder giving these books an interesting twist. Though filled with birds, birding terms and bird facts, these are not the cozies one might expect. Make no mistake, the Domenic Jejuene books are police procedurals.

There are three main threads interwoven in A Shimmer of Hummingbirds. Jejuene has planned a birding trip to Colombia to capture as many of the varieties of native hummingbirds as he can for his life list. He also has every intention of doing a little nosing around to see if he can find out more about the legal problems his brother is facing. His superior is well aware JeJuene’s real purpose in the trip, but realizes that nothing she says will change his mind. So off Jejeune goes on his South American adventure while back home Norfolk life continues. Marvin Laraby, JeJuene’s former boss has been named JeJeune’s temporary replacement. The two men did not part on friendly terms so those who worked under Jejuene are at a loss as to how much to share with JeJeune when he calls in. When JeJuene hears of an apparent accident which injures Lindy, JeJuene’s love interest, he asks one of his colleagues to on the sly look into a particular criminal that he and Laraby helped put away. Lastly, a woman is found murdered in her home. All of the evidence points to the motive as something to do with an offer on a project involving drones and reforestation.

Burrows seems to have some environmental twist in some part of the plots in each of his books. This one has two. The obvious one is the need for there to be reforestation in England and the second concerns the natives of Colombia being put at risk by tourists and specifically birders. He includes some notes at the end concerning the second. Read the rest of this entry »

A Pitying of Doves: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrow

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

A Pitying of Doves. Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune is one of the most interesting protagonists I’ve run across in crime fiction. Though he has an excellent “solve” rate in his department, his methods are unorthodox to say the least. Sure, I know there are plenty of detectives in crime fiction that regularly run afoul of their superiors, but while Jejeune does do that, the thing that puts him in his own little category is that it is abundantly clear to everyone around him that he really does not enjoy his job. His mind, and especially his heart is out birding most of the Instead of being a copper, he would much prefer to be in bird research as a career. So with his overwhelming interest in the field one would think the murder of just such a person in her aviary would hold his interest. But in this case, the problem as his superiors see it, is that he can’t get past the birds. Read the rest of this entry »