Sarah Deane takes a break from graduate school-and dreary mid-March Boston-and heads for sunny Southern Texas to join her boyfriend, Philip Lentz, on a birdwatching expedition.
Philip's rare sighting of a pair of hook-billed kites gets things off to a great start. But when he ends up strangled by his binocular straps, the rest of the birders are both suspects and sitting ducks.
Is the killer a member of the Hamburg Bird Club? Major "Big" Foster, who claims he also saw the kites? Or the pair of spinsters who run Cactus Wren Tours? When precocious 13-year-old Jeff Goldsmith disappears, Sarah teams up with Dr. Alex McKenzie for a crash course in detecting, to track down the killer before someone else becomes the next victim.