Birds of Wonder by Cynthia Robinson

Detective Jesca Ashton has always had a challenging relationship with her mother Beatrice, which does not improve after Beatrice finds her star actress dead on the property of a local lawyer, with whom Jes had a “drive-by.” Jes has held close a secret about her father since her teens that tarnished the memories of her ornithology professor father, who had buffered her childhood from her picture perfect mother. Now she must investigate for murder someone she has known intimately through an adulterous one night stand. The case comes too close to home and Jes makes life-altering decsions.

Robinson fully explores those implicated in the young girl’s death before their questioning by Jes and her colleagues, so they come to life as individuals and not mere suspects. The girl’s friends, twins Connor and Megan, are shown from various perspectives in all the complexities of children in foster care. Unfortunately, Connor’s story abruptly stops on his way to California—even a quick summary of his introduction to this next stage of his life would have sufficed to satisfy a reader invested in his character. Also left unexplored is the beloved father fallen, as Jes jumps to conclusions on circumstantial evidence, with hints that not all was as it seemed. Even with these minor frustrations, this story ends on a note of hope.

I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of this wonderful story through NetGalley.

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