Title: Birds of a Feather (Bellingham Mysteries 5)
Author: Nicole Kimberling
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Buy Links: Amazom.com Amazon,
Genre: Contemporary Murder (kinda) Mystery/Romance
Length: Novella (123 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn
Review Summary: A wonderful addition to this series.
Peter Fontaine just wants to get married. He’s got a willing man, a house, a cat and the official permission of the State of Washington. Everything should be peachy, but weddings mean guests and guests bring the magic of friends and family–the enthusiastic, the vengeful and the weird.
But figuring out a seating chart that won’t result in homicide isn’t Peter’s only problem. He’s a reporter and reporters need stories. Fortunately Peter has one. When he finds a dead, dismembered bald eagle near his home, he’s on the case. As guests converge upon his home, Peter searches the county for the person responsible…
Bellingham Mysteries 1-6 Box Set
Birds of a Feather is book five in the Bellingham Mysteries series (the other books are reviewed here) that follows our narrator, reporter and amateur sleuth Peter Fontaine, and his lover (and soon to be husband), artist Nick Olson in Bellingham, Washington. I hesitate to say that it can be read as a standalone; there are some references to prior incidents and you will miss the building of character personalities/histories/interaction that are shown here, so I recommend that you start at the beginning and pick up the other books first.
In this installment we find Peter and Nick in the final stages of preparing for their nuptials (pretty much like anyone else, so pay attention, you anti-equality shits). Along the way they have to deal with a dead and dismembered eagle, the green-haired teenage neighbor who rides his bike to the danger of everyone who lives nearby and is the bane of the local state park rangers’ existence, parents on both sides who show up early and create havoc, flying bullets, a catering emergency, bachelor party shenanigans, Nick’s army buddies, and an organic chicken farm investigation. Oh, and Peter’s columns.
It’s no secret that I love Nicole Kimberling’s writing. It’s tight, to the point, very visual and descriptive and, in this series, quite funny. There were numerous laugh-out-loud moments and I found myself chuckling even after I finished the story.
Peter is a wonderful, flawed narrator and I really enjoy spending time with him (and his humorous internal musings). I’ve liked watching him grow out during the last four stories, such as how he reigns himself in instead of bashing a person whom he thinks is a threat, not venturing out alone to investigate, and distinguishing between the right and wrong times to push Nick.
As with the other installments, you can count on colorful characters – old favorites and new – crossing our pages. While Alec, the green-haired neighbor is cute (and I suspect we’ll see more of him if there are additional books in this series coming our way), it is Erik, Nick’s father, who charmed and tickled me. He’s a hoot and a half, that one. And his wedding present for Nick and Peter? Outstanding, hilarious and quite useful apparently!
A single niggle: I thought that the connection between Nick and Peter was a bit lacking here, ironic considering this is the story about their wedding. They are not in many scenes together, the chemistry felt off, and they felt at odds. Not very romantic, regardless of the ending. And I know that a) this kind of thing creates conflict, which is a good thing in fiction, and b) there is a point where Peter muses internally about the fact that they hadn’t spent much time together since the ‘rents showed up, but, I don’t know, it didn’t make up for it for me. But this is a small thing and I liked the story as a whole.
Recommended to fans of the author and/or series. Just start at book one, Primal Red.