A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows

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A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows

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Buy A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A Tiding of Magpies is the fifth book in the Birder Murder series featuring DCI Domenic Jejeune. It could be read as a standalone, but you'll get more out of it if you've read the earlier books in the series first - and it's hardly an imposition.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: September 2018
Publisher: Point Blank
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1786074386

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DCI Domenic Jejeune’s most celebrated case was his rescue of the Home Secretary’s daughter when she was kidnapped. It’s always been his deep regret that he failed to rescue the man who was kidnapped with her and this has all resurfaced now that the case is being reviewed. Long-buried secrets are bound to come to light, even though the officer reviewing the case, DC Desdemona Gill, is a fan of his to the extent that it’s almost embarrassing. The review isn’t the only problem he has though: a body has been found on some waste ground, but it’s so badly burned that identification is difficult - and made more difficult by the indecision of the Medical Examiner.

Once again the birds of the north Norfolk coast sparkle. If you’ve an interest in birds you’ll be in heaven but if you’re not an enthusiast, you might find that you get a bit too much of our feathered friends. For me it was borderline and redeemed by the descriptions of the coast line and the theme of invasive species which runs through the book. Jejeune is reluctant to notify a sighting of two ducks which are regarded as invasive as he knows that they would be shot - they’re beautiful. But how does this principle apply to other invaders: Japanese Knotweed is rooted out rigorously, but rhododendrons are left to thrive even though they’re invasive. Then there’s the question of people: some of the local Polish community are resented, but Jejeune, a Canadian, is valued because of the job he does. It’s a thought-provoking theme.

A Tiding of Magpies is the fifth book in the Birder Murder series. It could be read as a standalone, but you'll get more out of it if you've read the earlier books in the series first - and it's hardly an imposition. Many of the usual cast are there with DS Danny Maik being even more than his usual grumpy self, possibly because of the absence of Lauren Salter. There’s news on the problems which Domenic’s brother, Damian, has been having - and Domenic is doing his best to keep from Lindy the fact that there’s a credible threat to her life.

And it was this threat to Lindy’s life which annoyed me. Yes - the threat is credible, but I really couldn’t understand why Jejeune couldn’t tell Lindy about the problem. As an adult she had every right to know what the situation was and she’s the last woman who should be patronised. What happens takes something away from the characters of both Jejeune and Lindy, particularly as Jejeune spends a lot of effort on this topic and not an awful lot on the live murder case. It’s a good story, but it’s not one of the best in the series so far.

It does end on something of a cliffhanger and even though this book wasn’t one of my favourites in the series I’ll be keen to find out what happens next. I’d like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Steve Burrows is resident in Canada but writes well about north Norfolk. Alan Bradley who writes the Flavia de Luce mysteries also writes about England from Canada. It’s not a police procedural series but the books are all well written and if you’re looking for a new series to follow this might be the one for you.


Steve Burrows' DCI Domenic Jejeune' Birder Murder Mysteries in Chronological Order

Buy A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows at Amazon.co.uk


Buy A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Tiding of Magpies: A Birder Murder Mystery by Steve Burrows at Amazon.com.

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