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Birder Murder Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Birder Murder Mystery Books

A Siege of Bitterns (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Pitying of Doves (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Cast of Falcons (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Shimmer of Hummingbirds (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Birder Murder Mystery is a series of novels written by United Kingdom bestselling author Steve Burrows. The books feature a Domenic Jejeune a disinclined police hero but also an enthusiastic birdwatcher. The series debut novel, A Siege of Bitterns was published in 2014. The second book featuring Domenic Jejeune is A Pitying of Doves published in 2015.

A Siege of Bitterns

Inspector Domenic success at his work has made him popular among the UK police service. However, the problem is that he does not want to be a detective at all and he prefers bird watching. Having recently been reassigned to a small Norfolk town located at the core of Britain’s premier birding country, Domenic worlds clash when he investigates the brutal murder of a famous ecological activist. His zealous police superintendent foresees a blaze of welcome publicity but soon starts to have doubts after Domenic most promising theory involves a feud over bird watching lists. Furthermore, a second murder only complicates everything. To unravel this puzzling mystery, Domenic must first confront his insecurities, the mistrust of colleagues and the unwelcome public acclaim.

A Siege of Bitterns is an excellent series opener from a man who is a passionate birder himself. Steve Burrows is a Brit residing in Canada while his main character is a Canadian living in the United Kingdom, and not just anywhere in the U.K., but in Norfolk an area that is famously known for its birding opportunities.

The first book in Birder Murder Mystery series is a quick read with no graphic scenes. We meet the main character, Detective, Dominic, a Canadian who is often considered by his colleagues of the UK police service as an outsider. He is assigned to a murder case of an environmental activist, but the intrepid detective would rather be bird watching than getting himself involved in a murder case. This novel is well paced with a burst of activities through the forests and marshes that lead in off beaten path and circles.

You get to learn some interesting delicacies about birds and how viciously competitive the birding community is. Apart from the murder cases that Dominic has to deal with, this novel also educates the readers about salt-marshes and their contamination. There are also other subplots in this great narrative. For instance, Dominic has to deal with an officer in his unit who’s willing to undermine his boss. Furthermore, he cannot figure out if his girlfriend regrets moving with him and doesn’t understand whether he wants to be a cop anymore.

The author, Steve Burrows does an excellent job of crafting out these great stories with well-rounded characters and some interesting atmospheric descriptions of the setting. Furthermore, the location in this novel is a main character as well in that the readers get an education of Norfolk history and also the world of bird watching.

Dominic is a compelling and a sympathetic gentleman. He is a quiet, self-reliant and not much of a team player. Ironically, Dom has a gift of solving crimes, but he would rather be out on the marshes with his binoculars.

The author has also sprinkled red herrings everywhere in the novels and plenty of twists before the murder cases a finally solved. Hidden motives, alliances are gradually revealed as the police finally identify the murderer who will leave the reader shocked.

Overall, you will love A Siege of Bittern, as it is not a flashy thriller filled with shootouts and car chases, but instead, it is a character-driven narrative of a rural life where the isolation of the location is mirrored by the isolation of the main character. You will get sucked into the story bit by bit because of the smart, intricate plot and the believable characters.

A Pitying of Doves

In the second novel in Birder Murder Mystery series, we again meet Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune, the man who is not passionate about his career but only loves bird watching. However, after earning a national recognition, he faces a steady demand for his services.

The second novel features a multilayered plot. It all begins with the killing of an odd pair: a senior attaché with the Mexican Consulate and a graduate student who operates a small bird watching sanctuary. These two murders immediately send the investigations in two different directions. First, there is a graduate student’s dishonest PhD adviser, a campaign to convince the local farmer to preserve some lands for bird habitat, reducing their productivity thus resulting in small profits and many other factors.

What you will love most about this novel is how the author manages to create tension and mystery around the lead character, Domenic Jejeune. Steve Burrows has a gift of vividly describing the landscape which carefully anchors his story nicely into their location.

A Cast of Falcons

In the third book in Birder Murder Mystery series, a man falls to his death from a cliff in northern Scotland. Another man watches from a distance, approaches the body and places a book into the dead man’s pocket and then leaves. When the Scotland police show Inspector Jejeune the book, which is apparently a bird guide book bearing his name; he truthfully admits that he has no idea of how the book came to be in the dead man’s pocket. However, what he does not tell the Scottish police is that he recognizes the book almost immediately. So while caught up in this puzzle, he is not surprised when his brother by the name Damian emerges and reveals to him that the dead man is a poacher of wild falcons.

This case turns out personal in such a manner which Dominic has never experienced. He is aware that with each passing day, endangered bird species are being poached from the wild. Moreover, there is an imminent threat that if he gets this case wrong, no one in the North Norfolk Department will escape the rage of the nation’s respected officials. This is a well-plotted police procedural with lots of bird watching information. The characters are well crafted, and some great twists and turns will keep you turning the pages.

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