“Murder is for the Birds” is the second book in the Hap Lynch Mystery series by Pat McGrath Avery. Located in the South Texas, I enjoyed the descriptions of South Padre Island and Port Isabel.
Hap Lynch, the main character, is a retired policeman from Kansas City. He works part of the year at the Orzarks Heartland Park and the rest of the year in Southern Texas. Both Hap and his wife Peg volunteer at the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge. Birders and animal lovers will appreciate reading about the various birds and animals found here.
In “Murder is for the Birds” the story revolves around the death of Bernard Miller, a book editor who abused his power, demeaned writers tearing their work apart and requiring excessing and needless rewrites.
Hap volunteers to help his neighbor, Rachel, a single mother who has just been promoted to Investigator in the Port Isabel police force, investigate her first murder.
Hap’s dog, Luke, a Bichon Frise often accompanies him on his travels. I was a little wary when approaching the book that the dog actually investigated. However, as one of Hap’s friends points out, “Dogs, know…they sense more about people’s personalities than we do a lot of the time. We get lost in the words people say-they zone in on basic character.”
Throughout the book there are chapters where the murderer is talking to us directly. We understand his point of view, but we never learn his name or who he is until Hap and the police discover him.
As my son has recently moved to South Texas, I loved reading about the area from visits to Whataburger to HEBs, the local grocery store to the wildlife areas and beaches. This book encourages everyone to visit this fabulous area of Texas. As a novice bird watcher, I also loved reading about the birds in the area and learning a little bit more about them and the animals in the area.
I found the characters strong and compelling. Pat McGrath Avery’s strength as a writer lies in her realistic and fast moving dialogue. The book is both short (151 pages) and a page turner which allowed me to read it quickly in one setting. The plot was strong and kept me guessing until the end. I recommend this book, especially for people who want to learn more about Southeast Texas and birding. Get “Murder is for the Birds” on Amazon for your Kindle for the amazing price of only $2.99.
Four Stars out of Five.
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