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- Author: Jan Dunlap
- Publisher: North Star Press
- Publication Date(s): 2008-2015
- Pages: 192-282
Be Your Own Birder’s Thoughts
A clever series of richly birding-themed mysteries, the Bob White Birder Murder Mystery series follows the lucky-in-birding-unlucky-in-bodies Bob White (his real name, which he knows is a quirk in the birding world) as he chases birds, enjoys some of the country’s best birding hotspots, and encounters some hot button and controversial conservation issues.
Written in a conversational style, these books have a casual, relatable vibe but still dive deeply into intrigue with plot twists, red herrings, and fun characters every birder can recognize as parts of themselves. Unlike so many mysteries that rely on extraordinary circumstances – ultra-rich characters with access to unlimited resources, unreachable dream destinations readers can never visit, or outright unrealistic storylines with legal or ethical loopholes – Jan Dunlap’s stories touch birders in realistic ways and provide a comfortable escape into birding when readers might not be able to venture into the field as much as they would like. When the stories themselves might be a tad unrealistic – has any birder ever found multiple bodies when they’re in the field? – the characters readily acknowledge such impossibilities and improbabilities.
Each book also explores conservation topics well-known to birders, including habitat loss from commercial development, the illegal feather trade, wind farms, climate change, and much more. Issues are presented through a bird-related lens, but without controversial hyperbole or one-sided arguments that lack the true depth of such issues.
Adding even more richness and realism to each book is very in-depth research that brings readers right to individual settings with mentions of popular local eateries, backroad routes, popular real-life birding celebrities, hidden hotspots, and more. Birders who are familiar with the books’ settings will feel right at home as they instantly recognize each locale, while readers who haven’t visited each destination will feel as if they have once they’ve finished each book.
Try each book to delve more deeply into the birding world and recognize the quirks you share with passionate birders:
- The Boreal Owl Murder
- Murder on Warbler Weekend
- A Bobwhite Killing
- Falcon Finale
- A Murder of Crows
- Swift Justice
- The Kiskadee of Death
Through the seven-book series, each main character is continually developed, yet individual books can easily stand alone for an enjoyable read. Together, the series showcases passionate birding and the birding world – chasing rarities, meeting other birders, finding lifers, and more – in a wonderfully relaxing read, with great surprises, thrills, and fun on every page.
Worth Reading? Absolutely! 9.8/10
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