A Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows, (c) 2016, my copy Point Blank Books 2018 trade paper, mystery fiction, 344 pages – 2015 Arthur Ellis Award — Winner, Best First Novel
Detective Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune’s success has made him a poster boy for the U.K. police service. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds.
Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds collide when he investigates the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. His ambitious police superintendent foresees a blaze of welcome publicity, but she begins to have her doubts when Jejeune’s most promising theory involves a feud over birdwatching lists. A second murder only complicates matters.
To unravel this mystery, Jejeune must deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues, and his own insecurities. In the case of the Saltmarsh birder murders, the victims may not be the only casualties.
I found this a little slow at first, but as it went on I became caught up in the quest for who did murder, and how could that person be caught? The new copper in a new environment was interesting. Note that there’s no need to be a birder in order to enjoy the book. I liked it a lot and have the next in the series, A Pitying of Doves, on hold at the library.