Death of a Songbird by
A Birdwatcher's Mystery
Berkley - July 2001
ISBN 0425180441 - Paperback
Reviewed by Mary Lynn,
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Lark Drummond, owner of the Victorian Hotel, The Drummond and avid bird watcher, is horrified, when, while on a bird watching outing, she witnesses the murder of her business partner, Esther Mills through her scope. There are plenty of prime suspects to go around: including the young illegal girl living with the victim (heard threatening her hours before her death), Mills' common law husband (who arrives at the murder scene all to quickly for the local authorities likes), and her secret lover (her only beneficiary.) Or is the murder a member of a freedom-fighting group from Mexico?
Forced to take over Mills' business (in which she was a silent partner), Lark finds a ledger where the numbers don't add up. Soon there's another murder and an attempt on Lark's life. She then has to decide if she'll wait for the police to crack the case or if she'll give them a helping hand.
There are enough red herrings to keep lovers of cozy mysteries guessing who the murder is. Near the end when I thought I knew the identity of the killer, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was wrong. However, the mystery was crafted in such a way that I didn't feel as if I'd been blind-sided.
Death of a Songbird was just a little too rich in detail pertaining to coffee beans and bird watching for my particular taste. However, Ms. Goff aptly and skillfully described the Colorado terrain so that I felt as if I were actually there with the other birders, peering through my scope in hopes of catching sight of some rare and beautiful warbler. Readers who enjoy books full of local color, terminology, and fully fleshed out three-dimensional characters will find Death of a Songbird to be a birder's delight.
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