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Joanna Hines
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3.16  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
When acclaimed poet Kirsten Waller is found dead in the bath, the police claim it is suicide. But her daughter refuses to believe it, especially when the manuscript of her poem 'The Murder Bird' and her personal journal both go missing.
Published (first published 2006)
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THE MURDER BIRD is the story of a young woman who refuses to believe that her mother's death was a suicide. Sam is the young girl, her mother, Kirsten Waller is a famous poet who was working on a major new poem when she is found electrocuted in her bath in a remote Cornish cottage. Sam refusal is strengthened by Kirsten's estranged third husband, Raph Howes, being one of the first on the scene at the cottage and Kirsten's current poem "The Murder Bird" and her journal are missing.

Sam is stranded
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
THE MURDER BIRD gets better as it goes along. I picked this one up because one of the main characters is a cellist, and I love music. While this wasn't a book that made me feel the music as some do, it had an interesting storyline: a mother presumably commits suicide, and her daughter is convinced she was murdered, though no one else does. It took a while to get into this one, perhaps because of the changing viewpoints (side note: maybe it was the advance e-copy I received, but there wasn't any ...more
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot of the story seems a little weak and didnt come upto the expectation created by saying "a psychological thriller". For the starting few pages it didnt seem like a book that could not be put down before getting to the last. Though the literary skills shown by the author are commendable at many places and I liked the language used.
The story seems to virtually end with the culprit being identified even when an odd twenty five pages are left and you might be tempted to stop reading after th
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
The Murder Bird is a tale of artistry, revenge and and love. The characters are built well around a very satisfactory plot. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters. I could see all of the main characters in my mind. I enjoy books where the author to take me along on the journey and I certainly got that from Ms. Hines. The story wove quietly through until the end. This is a very good mystery and I highly recommend it to mystery fans - particularly English mysteries. I look forward to rea ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Kirsten Waller, a famous poet, is found dead in her bath in a lonely Cornish cottage. The verdict is suicide.
Ms Waller’s daughter, Sam refuses to accept this. Is she right? Kirsten’s journal is missing as is the poem she was working on – The Murder Bird – just before she died. This novel combines Sam’s search for truth with aspects of the lives of others who are also (however inadvertently) caught up in the circle around Kirsten, Sam, and her mother’s former partner Raph. Sorting red herrings fr
Paula Brandon
Oct 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did I miss something? Was this supposed to make sense? Who on Earth writes a poem about a suspected real-life murder instead of going to the police? I don't know what sort of poetry is highly popular today, but I found it a bit hard to swallow that someone might read this poem and go "Hey! This sounds a lot like that murder that was never reported that happened to a family nobody has heard of or really cares about!" At least not to the degree that the real murderer would have to hunt down and ki ...more
Naomi Blackburn
Compared to the other story, Improvising Carla, which I read for review at the same time as this one, this book failed on numerous levels. First, I felt that the story either bumped around or because it was told in various periods of time, it wasn't separated out clear enough. Normally books give some type of heading to identify changes in settings. Second, the characters and storyline were bland given the potential. I would put this more at a 2.5 Stars out of 5.

I received this book from Open R
Deb Novack
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The characters are centered around a decent plot. I liked getting to know the people of the book and was taken on a journey through the reasons Sam does not believe her mother Kristen a well known poet, killed herself.
I would recommend this to people who love British mysteries. This is my first read written by Miss Hines, she is now on my new authors list.
*** I received this book from the publisher for an honest review****
Diane S ☔
I really liked that the main character, although she is dead, was a poetess and that the title of this book was the title of her poem. The storyline itself was good and my two favorite characters were Sam and Johnny. At times the conversations were a little stunted and the mystery a little convoluted, but on the whole I was entertained and I see a good future for this writer as she develops greater skills in her craft. Believe this is an author to watch.
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very easy to read, not at all taxing. I felt the plot was a little feeble - it would have benifited from a little more focus. But the characters were interesting and likeable, and the book was overall entertaining and worth reading.
Heather Fineisen
Predictable and a bit messy. I liked the idea of the plot, famous poet dies leaving journal and final poetry collection for cello playing daughter to sleuth out, but there were just too many characters and not enough flow.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two out of five stars looks so harsh but it says two stars means 'it was okay'.
And that's exactly right. It was okay. Nothing too exciting in my opinion, but a good read if you like crime/murder books.
Jana Elston

I found this one hard to get into. The beginning was confusing with the stories jumping across timelines.
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