Friday, December 19, 2008

REVIEW: A Rant of Ravens

Title: A Rant of Ravens
Author: Christine Goff
ISBN: 0425173607/ Berkley Prime Crime
Cozy Mystery/ #1 in the Birdwatcher's Series
Protagonist: Rachel Stanhope, creative designer for a PR firm
Setting: a bird sanctuary in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
Rating: C

First Line: Dipped out?

Rachel Stanhope, a talented designer for a public relations firm in New York City, has a marriage in shambles. When she learns that her Aunt Miriam is going on a birding tour of the Mid-East and needs a member of the family to keep an eye on Bird Haven, Miriam's 2,500-acre ranch/ bird sanctuary in Colorado, Rachel makes arrangements to telecommute and packs off to the Rocky Mountains. She barely has a chance to unpack before word's out that there's been a rare sighting of a LeConte's sparrow. When she joins the birdwatchers in an attempt to find the sparrow, she finds the body of a journalist instead--a journalist who'd just threatened to expose Miriam's late husband for illegally selling raptors from Bird Haven. Knowing that her aunt will be the police chief's prime suspect, Rachel decides to do her own investigating, but then Aunt Miriam and three rare birds go missing.

Anyone who's taken a look at my other blog, Kittling: Personal Observations, knows that I've been known to watch a bird or two. When I learned that there was a birdwatcher's mystery series, I simply had to track down the first one and give it a try. I have mixed emotions about A Rant of Ravens. The Colorado setting was well-done, and I did learn about the illegal traffic in raptors and the laws protecting them. Unfortunately, none of the characters really stood out as particularly interesting, and I knew the Bad Guy as soon as he walked into the room. All in all, I'd say this book was average. Will I try the second in the series? Yes, but I'm not going to break any speed records in doing so.

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