"A Tiding of Magpies", by Steve Burrows

A Tiding of Magpies - Steve Burrows
Book #5, in the Birder Murder Mystery

No doubts, reading this book you will soon see how the author’s passion for birds is the driving force throughout the mystery. Mr. Burrows knows how to spin a very intricate web of intrigue and weave the threads in a very particular way. It may take some time to get familiar with his style. I admit to have had a bit of trouble staying focused with “A Tiding of Magpies” and by the end this story never truly gelled. 

To enjoy this book (and series) at its maximum I highly suggest reading the previous installments in order first. I have yet to read book 2 and 3 and I must say I missed out and was a bit lost at time not to have done so. This is the main reason I did not enjoy the story to the max. The author barely goes back in time so you are left out.

This latest continues the saga in Detective Chief Inspector Jejeune when his most celebrated case is suddenly reopened and his long-buried secrets threaten to come to light. Skillfully written, neatly constructed police procedural and a mystery centered on an inexplicably confounding murder of a young man. At the same time, his girlfriend, Lindy faces threat of her own and Jejeune needs to go all out to protect her.

This is one convoluted mystery that unfolds through the eyes of a bird loving Canadian detective extraordinaire. He is still unenthusiastic about his work but solving puzzles is his forte and Jejeune this smart detective will get his man at any cost…..or will he.

I have mixed feelings about this book, my fault I should have read the installments I missed, no excuses I have them in hands and I should definitely have read them sooner. I felt lost at times and often questioned where things came from, although I finally understood where all of this was going. Slow in pacing, this story trots along like a tired but stubborn old mule and like the mule needs a good push and less fuss. The characterization is good but trying to remember where they fit in is a challenge, some are recurring players. The plot is interesting, suspenseful in its own way and has some surprises to twist things around. Creating a captivating story around birds is an enterprise not all can master and weaving it into an entertaining mystery is a feat in itself, Mr. Burrows does hold up as an expert in both. This book may not have been my preferred by this author but I am not giving up on him…oh yes I will catch up before the next installment comes out.

I received this ARC for review by the publisher Dundurn.com via NetGalleys