The Bottom Line
The third book in the Bob White Birder Murder mystery series, A Bobwhite Killing is a fun and entertaining read. Birders will be drawn not only into the Minnesota wilderness in search of an elusive species, but also into the depths of intrigue with murder, vandalism, politics and romance through Jan Dunlap's easy to read writing.
- Includes birding details for character depth that birders will relate to
- Plot discusses habitat and conservation issues relevant to birding
- Non-birding characters add richness and humor for sharing the hobby
- Multiple characters and subplots can be confusing
- Choppy train of thought writing style can be distracting
- Some birds mentioned have questionable ranges for a Minnesota setting
- Title: A Bobwhite Killing
- Author: Jan Dunlap
- Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
- Publication Date: September, 2010
- Format: Paperback
- Page Count: 192
- ISBN: 978-0-87839-375-6
- Price: $14.95
Guide Review - Book Review: A Bobwhite Killing
The third book in the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series from Jan Dunlap, A Bobwhite Killing finds high school counselor Bob White planning a quick birding getaway weekend to search for the elusive northern bobwhite. Before he has a chance to find the bird, however, he finds not one but two bodies, a lost love, political scandal, corrupt authorities and a plot for habitat destruction by ATV enthusiasts. As he admits, "Whoever thinks birding is dull has never been birding with me." In an unexpected twist, White becomes more embroiled in the mystery than he would have wished when an apparent death threat on him is uncovered and reconnecting with a birder from his past causes him to question his future with the woman he loves.
Jan Dunlap's detail-oriented writing offers birders familiar insight into the birding obsession they share with Bob White: extra binoculars in the car, identifying birds while driving and other details birders can relate to. While at times Dunlap's stream of consciousness writing style can seem choppy and repetitive, her writing is easy to read for a relaxing adventure in Bob White's world.
As with all the Birder Murder mysteries, Dunlap not only incorporates birding into the story, but the plot hinges on critical issues for birds and birders alike. Habitat destruction and development is a key focus, but other issues such as birding rivalries, listing and birding ethics are all seamlessly woven into the characters and story.
"To be a really good birder, you have to be both observant and able to make fine distinctions." As Bob White discovers in both his personal and his birding life in A Bobwhite Killing, the same is true to be a good friend and a good detective. The self-styled bird nerd does all three in this book, bringing birders along for the enjoyment.
For more information on the Birder Murder Mysteries, visit JanDunlap.com.