Monday, August 15, 2016

Die, Die Birdie by J. R. Ripley - #review #giveaway

For Amy Simms, hatching a birding shop in her hometown of Ruby Lake, North Carolina, hasn’t exactly been a breeze. But could a deadly discovery clip her wings for good?

It’s just days before Amy plans to open Birds & Bees on the first floor of her creaky Victorian house, but delayed seed shipments have prevented the fledging owner from stocking her shelves. And it doesn’t help that Amy’s best friend and business partner is out of town indefinitely. With locals skeptical about the niche shop taking flight, the last thing Amy needs now is a dead man in her storeroom-or for a crotchety tenant to catch her holding a bloody birdfeeder hook over his body . . .

Pigeonholed as a leading murder suspect by police and lacking a solid alibi, Amy’s delving into the victim’s ugly past and buzzing around Ruby Lake for clues on his killer . . . before she ends up like so many of her beloved feathery friends-trapped behind bars!



I'm guessing the area around Ruby Lake, NC, must be somewhat known as a good area for birdwatching, or else I would definitely be hesitant about starting a birding supply store in a smallish town.  But there are things also going in Amy's favor.  The shop is on the first level of her house.  The 2nd floor has two apartments, one which is occupied by a tenant (source of income) and Amy and her mother occupy an apartment on the top floor.

And business challenges are not the only ones which Amy faces.  Early on, she finds a dead body in her house/building.  Well, she found the blood-covered murder weapon first, because the room light wouldn't turn on and then her aggravating renter shows up with a working flashlight, surprising Amy.  Amy thinks to use the weapon to defend herself, not realizing that she holds it up while standing right by the dead body.  Not looking good for our heroine.

After a drought of romantic possibilities, all of a sudden they spring up.  One of her lawyers presents an opportunity, until hears that he is still married.  Then, one of her suppliers piques her interest, but he might be guilty of the earlier murder.  Just where exactly is a lady supposed to look for love then?

That tells us of but one of the strengths of J.R. Ripley.  There are many, many substories going on in Die, Die Birdie.  They all fit the flow of the story and they make sense together.  I was entertained every single page while reading this book. 

My family lives in an area more like where Aaron (birdhouse-builder extraordinaire) lives than a 'town'.  While reading, I got the sense of something between a rural paradise and something stone-cold spooky and dangerous...which is EXACTLY right!  It was definitely heart in the throat time when Aaron found Amy in his barn!

A ripping good read!



J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)


Reading this book helped me fulfill the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

GoodReads Challenge
52 Books in 52 Weeks
NetGalley Reading Challenge


  1. A store dedicated to birds and stuff sounds like a fun read. Can't wait to read.

    1. We get a surprising variety of birds around here, Dianne, but it would still be fun to see more!