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Monday 11 June 2018

‘A Shimmer of Hummingbirds’ by Steve Burrows

Published by Point Blank,
April 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-78607-233-7 (PB)

A murder has been committed in Saltmarsh, Norfolk, but DCI Domenic Jejeune is on holiday in Columbia, birdwatching – and trying to discover the truth about his brother’s conviction for manslaughter.

This third-person dual narrative moves between the investigation in Norfolk, led by Jejeune’s former colleague, Laraby, and Jejeune’s expedition to the Columbian rainforests. Both locations are vividly described, with the added bonus – this is a ‘birder mystery’ series – of lyrical, but not too lengthy, descriptions of the exotic humming birds Jejeune sees. Jejeune is a likeable but enigmatic character; we see him more through the eyes of others, his lively journalist girlfriend, Lindy, and his loyal sergeant Danny Maik. The murdered woman was part of an investment company interested in drones capable of re-seeding woodland, and Jejeune’s brother was convicted of killing members of an indigenous tribe in Columbia, so both plotlines have a strong environmental theme. The novel had good incidents and a satisfying finish.

A PP whodunnit with a strong sense of place, both Norfolk and Columbia. This is the fourth book in the series featuring DCI Domenic Jejeune.   It is most certainly very enjoyable as a stand-alone, but earlier books in the series are, A Siege of Bitterns. A Piting of Doves, and A Cast of Falcons.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Steve Burrows has pursued his birdwatching hobby on five continents. He is a former editor of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society Magazine and a contributing field editor for Asian Geographic. Steve now lives with his wife in Oshawa, Ontario.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

Click on the title to read a review of her recent book Death in Shetland Waters

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