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Cover image for A shimmer of hummingbirds
A shimmer of hummingbirds
London : Point Blank, 2018.
Physical Description:
372 pages ; 20 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
[book 4]
The desperate departure of his fugitive brother has left Chief Inspector Jejeune rattled, and those around him nursing lingering suspicions. When evidence surfaces that may prove his brother's innocence, Jejeune decides to take a leave of absence to pursue it. But his replacement looks as if he may want the position to be more than temporary.


Call Number
MYSTERY Burrows, S.

On Order



Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune hopes an overseas birding trip will hold some clues to solving his fugitive brother 's manslaughter case. Meanwhile, in Jejeune 's absence his long-time nemesis has been drafted in as cover to investigate an accountant 's murder. And unfortunately Marvin Laraby proves just a bit too effective in showing how an investigation should be handled.
With the manslaughter case poised to claim another victim, Jejeune learns an accident back home involving his girlfriend, Lindy, is much more than it seems. Lindy is in grave danger, and she needs Jejeune. Soon, he is faced with a further dilemma. He can speak up on a secret he has discovered to Laraby 's case, knowing it will cost his job on the north Norfolk coast he loves. Or he can stay silent, and let a killer escape justice. Turns out that sometimes the wrong choice is the only one there is.

Author Notes

Steve Burrows has pursued his birdwatching hobby on five continents, and has written widely on birding. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Two cases propel Burrows's riveting fourth Birder Murder mystery (after 2016's A Cast of Falcons). Chief Insp. Domenic Jejeune travels from Saltmarsh in Norfolk, England, to Bogata, Colombia, ostensibly for a birding tour, but his real purpose is to gather information to exonerate his brother, a fugitive sought by the Colombian authorities for criminal responsibility in the deaths of four people. Meanwhile, Domenic's superior, Det. Chief Supt. Colleen Shepherd, brings in Det. Insp. Marvin Laraby, his nemesis from his former job, to lead the investigation into the murder of Erin Dawes, found smothered with a pillow in her cottage in the wake of an apparent burglary. After Domemic returns to Saltmarsh, Shepherd assigns him to the Dawes case with strict orders to use only evidence that backs up Laraby's findings. Nevertheless, suspecting that the police have the wrong man in custody and knowing he's jeopardizing his position by defying Shepherd's orders, Domenic sets out to catch the real killer. Burrows keeps the tension high all the way to the chilling climax. Bird lovers will enjoy the avian lore. Agent: Meg Wheeler, Westwood Creative Artists. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

A Canadian detective living in Britain pursues cases on two continents.Chief Inspector Dominic Jejeune's brother, Damian, who put Dominic's career in jeopardy in A Cast of Falcons (2016), has gone missing in Colombia, where he's wanted for causing the deaths of Indigenous people while leading a bird-watching tour. Dominic is a brilliant police officer whose outside-the-box reasoning and sudden flashes of intuitive thinking set him apart as he risks his career to help his brother. Both Jejeunes are avid birders, but when Dominic signs up for a tour with the company Damian worked for, the tour owners and the Colombian authorities rightly think he has an ulterior motive. Back in Saltmarsh, England, Dominic's boss, Colleen Shepherd, has drafted DI Marvin Laraby to take over Dominic's cases, beginning with the murder of Erin Dawes. With the help of evidence provided by Sgt. Maik and Constable Salter, Laraby arrests Robin Oakes, a wildlife photographer living in the gatehouse of his ruined estate. Oakes, a partner in a scheme set up by the murdered woman to provide land and capital for a drone company specializing in reforesting remote areas, is just the kind of person the class-conscious Laraby despises as a useless parasite. Laraby, a solid detective who has a troubled history with Dominic--whose brilliance is sometimes off-putting to his colleagues--soon worms his way into the good graces of everyone but Sgt. Maik. In Colombia, Dominic is joined by lifelong birding friend Juan "Traz" Perez, who pretends not to speak Spanish in hopes of learning something about Damian. Their tour is filled with the joy of seeing exotic birds and a near-death experience for Dominic, whose girlfriend in Saltmarsh, Lindy Hey, is nearly killed herself in what's apparently an accidental gas explosion. Dominic returns when he's done all he can for his brother only to find that Laraby, who released Oakes and arrested another man involved in the scheme, has gotten it wrong again, leaving Dominic to cleverly clean up the mess.Skillfully written, full of moral ambiguities and artful puzzles, with a spine-tingling final sentence.

Booklist Review

Burrows' splendid Birder Murder Mystery series, originally published in Canada, is finally getting a wide distribution in the U.S. This is the fourth installment in the series, and in many ways it's the best of the bunch. Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune, a Canadian expat working in Norfolk, England, is currently on leave. He's gone off to Colombia, ostensibly on a birding holiday but really to see if he can find something to dig his fugitive brother out from under a manslaughter charge. Back home in England, Jejeune's colleague, the much-despised Marvin Laraby, is investigating a homicide; when Jejeune uncovers some surprising truths about the murder case, he's torn between sacrificing his job or letting a killer go free. Burrows' writing improves with every novel, and Jejeune continues to be an exciting, multidimensional, thoroughly engaging series lead. A splendid installment in a fine series.--Pitt, David Copyright 2018 Booklist

Library Journal Review

CI Domenic Jejeune's boss doesn't believe that his trip to Colombia is only to watch birds. The detective's brother was involved in the manslaughter death of four indigenous people, and now he's on the run. While Jejeune is serious about his birding trip, he's also looking for answers in the rain forest, where it's easy to have an "accident." Despite being on vacation, he keeps in touch with his team in Norfolk, England. In his absence, Marvin Laraby, Jejeune's nemesis, takes over and steamrolls a murder investigation that involves a team of investors. It's a complex case, made more difficult when Jejeune realizes Laraby is blundering toward the wrong conclusion. The Arthur Ellis Award-winning author (A Siege of Bitterns) casts his fourth "Birder Murder" mystery with characters whose secrets are not yet fully revealed, and the main plot is threaded with ongoing story lines, even at the conclusion of this mystery. The atmospheric, well-described settings will appeal to armchair travelers fascinated by the Colombian rainforest, the cold Norfolk coast, and birding details. VERDICT Readers don't have to be birders to appreciate the two parallel investigations, and the solid police work in a mystery marked by well-developed characters and topical environmental issues. For aficionados of British procedurals.-Lesa Holstine, -Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.