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Birder’s Holiday Reading

December 12, 2014
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“When you see a herd of pigs soaring above this marsh, Mr. Senior, that’s the day I’ll become a birder.”

Think of a satisfying mystery on a winter’s evening, when it’s too late to go birding, unless of course you love owling in the dark of night. You don’t have to leave your cozy world of birding this season, thanks to Steve Burrows’ new mystery A SIEGE OF BITTERNS. This is not just a typical mystery built on a background of birding. It is a whodunit entirely based on observations of birds and habitat. You’ll get the notes of local (Norwich) species identification as well as some of the best quotes I’ve found in a wealth of documentation that makes only the most clever reader able to predict the ultimate outcome. Domenic Jejeune is a young, believable, boy-wonder detective who should reappear in many episodes to come. A native of Canada, he’d rather be birding than policing (his profession) in Britain. Like most good protagonists, he is an unpredictable bundle of bravado and self-doubt as the story line carries him on the bumpy ride of his new assignment. However, you’ll also recognize a number of other typical birder and conservation types as the story winds its way through the shoreline habitats. (isbn 978 1 4597 0843 3 ppb) Available at the Santa Monica Public Library.

A trivia question: Who is Juliana de Berniers? And why does she get mention in this book?

LucienP

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