Book Review: Birds Alive! by Jen Dodrill

Posted February 22, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, Christian, contemporary, cozy mystery, Jen Dodrill, mystery/suspense / 6 Comments

Birds Alive book review

Birds Alive by Jen DodrillBIRDS ALIVE! by Jen Dodrill
The Empty Nesters #1

GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2024
PAGES: 252

Finding a new cozy mystery series to follow is always fun for me, and I’m delighted to start at the beginning with Jen Dodrill’s Empty Nesters series and Birds Alive! As the bodies pile up in this mystery, so do the layers and the danger … and the clues. The author did a good job of including red herrings and possible suspects, and at one point I wasn’t sure I could trust anyone except Peg & Hazel. I very much enjoyed trying to piece it all together, though the ultimate answers stayed just out of my reach until they were revealed at the right time.

I loved that Peg – our main character – is both a blogger and a birder, two things that I have in common with her. Ok… so my birding is limited to being entertained by the bright colors and funny personalities of the birds who visit our backyard feeding station, from the safety of my living room window (because y’all know about my bird phobia). And my blog makes zero income, unlike Peg who has been quite successful with her mom blog, BUT it nevertheless helped me relate to her right away. Beyond that, I also really enjoyed getting to know her character, and I had to laugh at how this 13-year-widow suddenly wakes up to all the hot guys in her purview now that she’s an empty nester lol. I’m still processing how I feel about her eventual romantic choice but I understand her reasoning and I may change my preference (or she might! lol) as the series progresses.

Much as I loved Peg, though, it’s her feisty mother-in-law Hazel that stole the show for me. At first, I thought “oh mercy, she’s raising my blood pressure” with her selfish demands and ordering Peg around like a servant. But Hazel quickly grew on me and I absolutely adored her quirks and her straightforward personality. It seems odd to say that breaking into a crime scene made someone come alive right before my eyes, but that’s exactly what happened with Hazel and she kept me chuckling throughout the story from then on. Not to mention her endearing pets – Charlie Brown the dog and Roscoe the bird – who added heaping doses of personality to this story.

Bottom Line: Birds Alive! is more than just an entertaining cozy mystery – though it is certainly that. It’s also the story of an empty nester on the brink of a new chapter or two, inspiring readers that it’s never too late to redefine yourself. The characters are engaging, with sweet moments of family & friendship as well as humor, romance and faith. Author Jen Dodrill sets up the mystery well, and the dangerous attention that Peg’s sleuthing attracts makes it a mystery that readers will stay invested in to the end. A charming start to a new series, perfect for fans of V.M. Burns, Lena Gregory, or Lynn Cahoon.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

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Jen Dodrill

Jen Dodrill is living her dream and using her faith and passion for healthy families by writing novels that encourage and inspire hope. A retired Navy wife, former homeschool mom, and mother of five, she is thrilled to be called Grandma by three of the most amazing little humans. When she isn’t writing, reading, or drinking coffee, she spends time with her family in West Tennessee.

What about you? What makes you want to read Birds Alive! by Jen Dodrill?

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6 responses to “Book Review: Birds Alive! by Jen Dodrill

  1. Mj

    This sounds like an interesting new cozy series! Just ordered it and can’t wait to read it! Thanks for the wonderful review and introduction to a new, to me, author!

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