Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waiting for Godwits: A Birder Murder/Mystery book!

Not long ago, I received an email from an outfit known as Bantry Books, a small bookseller based in the United Kingdom. As a birder, I apparently made their distribution list as they peddle some products that purport to cater to the binocular-toting set. This specific missive trumpeted the above book, by Digby Maclaughlin, who apparently has made a bit of a habit of scrawling mysteries that are supposed to appeal to birders.

Here's the brief teaser for Waiting For Godwits:

Foul Murder on the marshes

"Retired American detective Patrick McCluskey is a contented man. He aims to live happily ever after in a 300-year-old cottage on England’s wild and windy North Norfolk coast, sharing life with his new partner, Judith, a beautiful and talented illustrator of birds. Then Rev. Richard Rocastle, the vicar for Chesley-Next-The-Sea, arrives with the news that his church roof restoration fund is missing . . . and McCluskey is instantly plunged into a tangled investigation of abduction, incest, dope-dealing, nudity and cold-blooded murder."

Wait! Incest! Cold-blooded murder! Nudity! Dope-dealing! Now this is a completely out-of-the-box birding book! I don't remember any of those themes surfacing in Kingbird Highway, nor was such subject matter presented in any of Scott Weidensaul's books. Roger Tory Peterson's Wild America never got this wild!
I don't often hear birders clamoring for a dollop of homicide with their fav nature reads, or totally taboo topics such as incest. Abduction and dope-dealing seem a bit at odds with the genteel pursuit of birding, but somehow Digby Maclaughlin has (masterfully?) woven them into a birding storyline.
It might be a while before I get around to picking up Waiting For Godwits and reading it, so if you do, please issue a report to us! And in the interim, someone please book this guy as a speaker at an upcoming birding conference!


Auralee said...

Unfortunately, the Columbus etropolitan Library doesn't have it yet. Oh well, I'm reading/listening to Birdsong by the Seasons anyway. I also have Feathers queued up to read this summer. And, my favorite naturalist (aside from you) Bernd Heinrich just came out with a new one about death and the return to nature that ensues.

Auralee said...

P.S. Birds don't wear clothes, so let's not get TOO excited! :-0