Book Review: A Rant of Ravens by Christine Goff

Full disclosure: when I was approached about reading and reviewing “A Rant of Ravens” by Christine Goff, I knew absolutely nothing about birdwatching. I knew nothing about that world. I knew nothing about the monetary values assigned to birds in trade situations. I knew nothing about nesting patterns, etc. But there was still something intriguing to me about the story of Rachel Wilder Stanhope and the mystery at Bird Haven, so I decided to take the plunge.

I’m very glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave the book a chance. It’s quite a good mystery that takes you on a journey through environmental activism, birding and the twists and turns of human motivation. Not everyone who has good intentions is a positive character and not everyone with commercial aspirations is what he/she seems. I liked that it kept me guessing and that just as I thought I had it all figured out, a new turn would come along.

The heroine, Rachel Wilder Stanhope, is dealing with a dissolving marriage and looming divorce when her aunt suggests a trip out to the family ranch turned bird sanctuary, Bird Haven, as a kind of caretaker while her aunt headed out on a Mid-East birding tour. Little did she know when she agreed that she would quite literally stumble upon a murder that would lead her down a path almost as treacherous as the back roads of mountains around her.

If you are at all interested in birdwatching, the environment, nature or a ripping good mystery with engaging female leads, “A Rant of Ravens” could be a good fit for you. It’s the fifth in an ongoing series of birdwatching mysteries, but you do not have to have read the others in order to get full enjoyment out of this one. Good news for those of you who do get hooked on the series – another new installment is due out in September 2015.