Saturday, May 22, 2021

REVIEW: Death of a Songbird (book) by Christine Goff

Death of a Songbird is the second book in Goff's Bird Watcher's Mystery series. I bought my copy used.


Lark Drummond is a partner in the business that supplies coffee to her luxury hotel, as well as a friend of the owner, Esther, so it's a surprise when she learns that Esther has cancelled all of the hotel's current and future coffee orders. The timing is particularly terrible - the hotel has completely run out of coffee and is currently hosting a birding convention - so Lark heads over to Esther's cafe to figure out what's going on.

She doesn't get a chance to talk to Esther much, but she does witness an argument between Esther and Teresa, the 18-year-old daughter of one of the Mexican coffee growers Esther works with. She decides to save her questions for a better time, and unfortunately never gets a chance to ask them at all. While out bird watching, Lark witnesses someone stab Esther to death.

This is an unusual cozy mystery series in that all or most of the books star different characters. The characters do seem to have intertwining relationships and interactions, so I felt like I missed out on a little by not having read the first book, but overall it wasn't too difficult a series to jump into.

That said, it didn't really work for me. I learned a bit about coffee and why, if you care about birds and the environment, it's so important for coffee to not only be organic but also shade-grown. The book also worked in information about illegal immigration and bird watching.

Unfortunately, this was the most boring cozy mystery I'd read in a while. I didn't particularly care about any of the characters, and the mystery itself wasn't terribly interesting. Lark was a bit of an idiot, telling the book's top murder suspects the location of a ledger that almost certainly contained an important clue, and as annoying as her one staff member, Stephen Velof, was, he seemed to have a better handle on the hotel, its atmosphere, and the rules it was bound by than Lark. Lark seemed more dedicated to bird watching than to her hotel.

I can't really speak to the accuracy of the bird watching aspects. I didn't think they were particularly exciting, but I was at least semi-interested in the red-face warbler sightings: Colorado wasn't considered to be part of its range, so I wondered if the sightings would somehow be incorporated into the mystery. I maybe shouldn't have expected quite that much.

All in all, I'm glad to be done with this and don't plan on reading any other books in this series.

Additional Comments:

This book had an awful lot of typos - a character's name all in lowercase, "later" instead of "latter," etc. I wasn't impressed with the editing.


A page about Wood Warblers and a page about the Migratory Bird Conservancy.

No comments:

Post a Comment