The Bottom Line
Murder on Warbler Weekend takes place shortly after The Boreal Owl Murder and continues to follow the birding and crime solving life of high school counselor Bob White. Birding details and spring warbler migration are woven together with a complex mystery plot, political intrigue and human compassion for a fine story for birders and non-birders alike.
- Murder plot connected to relevant bird conservation issues
- Cast of characters shows birding passion at all age levels
- Romance and career subplots add lifestyle depth to characters beyond birding
- Stream of consciousness writing can be choppy and distracting
- Intricate murder suspect connections can be confusing
- Minor sidetracks are distracting but eventually relevant
- Title: Murder on Warbler Weekend
- Author: Jan Dunlap
- Publisher: North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
- Publication Date: September, 2009
- Format: Paperback
- Page Count: 220
- ISBN: 978-0-87839-221-3
- Price: $14.95
Guide Review - Book Review: Murder on Warbler Weekend
The second book in the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series, Murder on Warbler Weekend takes place just a few months after The Boreal Owl Murder and protagonist Bob White seems to be developing a habit of discovering bodies and getting involved with bird-related controversies. While his tongue-in-cheek quip “I really want to find corpses when I go birding. It’s so boring when all I find are birds,” shows the character’s surface nonchalance, author Jan Dunlap carefully illustrates his compassion, determination and curiosity through a series of misdirections that point to a number of murder suspects and subplots. The surprising resolution solves not only the murder, but also resolves a tricky conservation issue that ensures Bob White and his fellow birders have even more habitat to explore in future stories.
Dunlap’s writing style is a stream of consciousness deluge of Bob White’s thoughts, including tangents and sidetracks that may seem initially distracting to readers. Those sidetracks, however, create a full lifestyle picture for the character while simultaneously weaving birding into each stage of the book in ways readers can easily relate to. Minor errors in bird names will stand out to experienced birders, but all the birds mentioned are easily within their expected ranges during the warbler spring migration of the book’s duration.
“Good birders notice details other people miss,” and good birders will enjoy the details in this easy read and cunning mystery. Murder on Warbler Weekend is an enjoyable book that can be a fun and relaxing diversion for birders, provided they aren’t used to finding bodies themselves when they’re out in the field.
For more information on the Birder Murder Mysteries, visit JanDunlap.com.