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The Blackbird Papers

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  276 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
A rainy night . . . A stranded motorist . . . A Good Samaritan passerby … a Nobel Prize–winning professor . . . The setup for a shocking murder designed to cover up an even more sinister crime . . .

The Blackbird Papers marks the debut of Ian Smith, a major new talent in crime fiction, and of Sterling Bledsoe, his smart and occasionally combative sleuth.

World-renowned Dar
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 14th 2005 by Broadway Books (first published 2004)
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Mar 20, 2016 Ij rated it really liked it
Great debut novel!!!
Mocha Girl
Oct 14, 2009 Mocha Girl rated it really liked it
prominent, award-winning African American Dartmouth etiologist is murdered in rural Vermont and his brother, FBI Special Agent, Sterling Bledsoe, spearheads the investigation. When circumstantial evidence points to white supremacists, Sterling senses a cover-up and digs deeper to find the truth. The story then follows his methodical steps as he conducts interviews, observes autopsies, and delves into his famous brother's clandestine research project involving thousands of dead blackbirds found ...more
Jan 05, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
The Blackbird Papers is a mystery novel by Ian Smith. It is his debut novel. On his way home after receiving a prestigious award, Professor Wilson Bledsoe, who teaches at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is murdered. His brother, FBI agent Sterling Bledsoe persuades his boss to allow him to lead the investigation into the murder. Carved into his brother’s chest is the word “nigger.” At first the trail leads to a group of white supremacist. Sterling, however, is skeptical. The men hav ...more
La Tonya  Jordan
Mar 22, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Suspense, Mystery
Recommended to La Tonya by: Circle of Friends Book Club
Shelves: good-read
A novel which will leave you in suspense: introducing Sterling Bledsoe a FBI agent with finesse, ingénues, cleverness, and a way at getting to the truth. He is investigating the untimely and mysterious death of his brother Wilson Bledsoe, a world-renowned professor at Dartmouth.

The murder takes him through twist, turns, and valley leading him finally to dead blackbirds. (view spoiler)
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 Elaine Meszaros rated it it was amazing
When the going gets tough, some of the tough read cheesy murder mysteries. I grabbed this one at random (ok, the cover was red and shiny). Blackbird turned out to be one of the best and most imaginative mysteries I have read in ages. While most mysteries fit into a category of one or another (cozy, medical, true crime), Smith doesn’t pigeonhole himself. The plot is good and fast moving, lots of action without getting really squishy, bits of interesting science and medical fact thrown in and real ...more
Linda Boyd
This is a debut book by written Dr.Ian Smith. Dr. Wilson Bledsoe, a scientist and professor at Dartmouth college has been working on the untimely deaths of blackbirds. One night on his way home from a party celebrating another award, Wilson Bledsoe is murdered, the question is why, his brother Sterling Bledsoe is a FBI agent and is called in to find out what has happened to his brother. This is a good first novel by Ian Smith.
Murder in a small college town..a distinguished scholar stops to help a fellow pedestrian and it ends up being his last night--but why? As his estranged brother tries to piece the puzzle together more questions are raised and the surprise at the end will definitely catch you off guard..Good but not great read.
Don't pass this thriller by..guaranteed to satisfy the detective in you. Ian Smith should be writing more books...he is really good.
Oct 07, 2007 Carol rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: urban-romance
Ian Smith is a creative writer.
I read this book in two days.
This books is full of suspense, detailed plots, and very intense.
Easy to read!
A well writing book.....
Donna Bennett
The plot was good but not executed in a way that excited me as a reader. Quite obviously there was a lot of research put into this book. The ecological thriller bored me. I was lost with all of the scientific terminology, etc. Ian Smith did ok breaking down concepts. The mystery became so deep that the plot was hard to keep up with. Many of the clues throughout the story were too easy for Sterling to find. If he needed certain information, he found it. The number of supporting characters clouded ...more
May 28, 2012 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Homewood Public Library
Feb 20, 2012 Homewood Public Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Dr. Ian Smith is famous for trying to get America to lose weight and get healthy. He has written several books on the subject. Several years ago he got the fiction bug and penned a book entitled The Blackbird Papers.

The Blackbird Papers centers on the disappearance and death of a prominent African-American Ethologist at Dartmouth College. The lead FBI investigator happens to be the professor’s estranged brother who still suffers from being the number two son. As a reader you are left wondering w
Apr 23, 2016 Diogenes rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
The plot is imaginative, clever, and potentially believable, but the dialog is stilted ('the chance is between none and none') and the pages are full of clutter that gets in the way, such as the price of a motel room to the penny, descriptions and technical information far beyond what is necessary - almost as if the author were getting paid by the word. Throughout there are extra words that aren't needed: 'he released the safety catch on his gun' that impede a smooth and enjoyable read
Casi K.
Jun 30, 2011 Casi K. rated it it was ok
I expected to really like this book. I didn't. Probably one of the most boring "thrillers" I've ever read. It felt like someone did a whole bunch of research and wrapped a story around it. It didn't have that natural flow that it should have had. A lot of the phrases and metaphors were very common and cliché. I was glad when it finally ended. On a positive note, it was very well researched and I learned a lot about blackbirds and sunflowers.
Paul Parsons
Oct 25, 2014 Paul Parsons rated it liked it
Sometimes, I read a book to take me back in time. This murder mystery, written by Ian Smith, better known now for his TV persona and self help efforts, opens in Hanover New Hampshire on the campus of Dartmouth College, my alma mater. The story itself is a better than average one, but what I enjoyed most was the feeling of being back in Hanover. I was a bit surprised, when reviewing Smith's bio, to find he did not get his degree there. If you love this genre, this book might be worth your time.
Christy Walker
Feb 18, 2010 Christy Walker rated it it was amazing
I had some time to spare and thought I'd give this a try since I watched celebrity fit club. Boy was I surprised. I read the whole thing, had a hard time putting it down, in one day. The characters were imperfect and the story line intriguing. I was pretty sure I wnew whodunit as soon as it was done, but there was a gutpunch at the end that threw me, even though I saw it coming.
An entertaining "whodunit" with elements of corporate conspiracy. This is author Ian Smith's debut novel and that showed at times in that plot movement and character development was occasionally clunky, but I would definitely be interested in more novels from this author like "The Blackbird Papers."
Jan 23, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it
I though the book was really well written and gave you the feeling of being out in the wild with the characters....although i had my suspicions about one character...which later turned out to be true....the twists and turns and conspiracy against human kind at the end were unseen and thrilling.....def a good read
Jul 10, 2015 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Maybe some of you know who this author is - apparently he's a doctor who is sometimes on "The View" ? Whatever. I picked this up because the blurb intrigued me. A mystery novel complete with dysfunctional family relationships, potentially racially motivated crimes, and small-town secrets. Pretty enjoyable.
Jul 11, 2012 Sholeen rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Seems the only draw is the descriptions of the Upper Valley, and those don't really ring true from my experience. I think I made it to page 15 or something. Life is short and there are tons of great books out there....
Marie Halloran
Jan 30, 2016 Marie Halloran rated it did not like it
Ian Smith should stick to his medical career. I listened to his book on CD and he recorded it himself. I did find it quite comical - the different accents he tried to do including male / female. His writing style was also pretty bad.
Oct 29, 2007 Kanesha rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads
This was a very good book! Before this I only knew of Ian Smith as Dr. Ian Smith on Celebrity Fit Club but he took this book to a new level. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for a good exciting read.
Michelle Patterson
Sep 04, 2009 Michelle Patterson rated it it was amazing
Loved it; page turner. The characters are so fresh and vivid. I enjoyed this debut novel and hoping Ian Smith writes another follow up one. It was refreshing to see a well written, thought out plot.
Jul 30, 2012 K rated it liked it
good 1st. some typos in arc, some dangling scenarios, but overall good popcorn. wonder about some of the factual info re redwing blackbirds, sunflower oil corps, etc.
Tiffany Robinson
Nov 11, 2016 Tiffany Robinson rated it really liked it
This was a good read. It kept you on the edge of your seat because you want to know what happens next.
Oct 20, 2015 Fareeda rated it liked it
It was okay. You can tell a lot of research was done. It only got suspenseful at the end, however, by page 7 at least one of the people involved. Lol
Kathryn Harriet
Mar 27, 2014 Kathryn Harriet rated it it was amazing
Engaging all the way through with a few unexpected plot twists that added to the, could-not-put-it-down-until-I-finished-it, thrill of the story.
Feb 17, 2013 Eboni rated it really liked it
Excellent murder suspense! Definitely did not expect the ending and hate there has not been a follow up to this book.
Shureka Bolden
Shureka Bolden rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2013
Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Mar 09, 2008
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