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The Money Bird (An Animals in Focus Mystery #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  83 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Animal photographer Janet MacPhail knows that trouble is in the air when Labrador Retriever Drake fetches a blood-soaked bag holding an exotic feather and a torn one-hundred-dollar bill during a photo shoot at Twisted Lake. One of Janet's photography students reports seeing a strange bird at the lake, but he turns up dead before Janet can talk to him. When she learns that ...more
Paperback, 321 pages
Published September 8th 2013 by Midnight Ink (first published September 1st 2013)
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Kim Reads (Read Your Writes Book Reviews)
Reviewed by Kim
for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

This is my first animal related cozy mystery. I loved how Sheila was able to mix in her love of Australian Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, animal training and sports into the story. THE MONEY BIRD is the second book in Sheila Webster Boneham's An Animal in Focus Mystery Series and is completely standalone.

The story is told from the point of view of Janet MacPhail, an animal photographer and an animal lover. THE MONEY BIRD starts out with Janet and
Tracy Weber
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A mystery romp so fun it will sneak up and bite you in the rear! (If you want to get that joke, you'll have to read the book.) ;-)

The tone is lighthearted, the descriptions so vivid I could feel myself in each scene, and the subject matter of illegal bird smuggling is topical and covered compassionately. Add in great dog scenes, loveable characters, and a wee touch of romance, and you can't go wrong. Second in a series that I hope continues for a very long time.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Probably classified as a 'cozy' mystery, this story has more depth in plot, characters and writing that the cozies. While it does have a theme, (dog lover) that does not overwhelm the story, nor is that fact pushed to the forefront with cute puns all through the book. Not a heavy read, but an enjoyable one. I liked the characters, the plot and the dogs.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it


The Money Bird made me think I want a puppy. Then looked around at my two sleeping dogs in my bed and thought again. Their dogs are so well trained of course they go to train them once a week or so. The animals are a big cute part of the book.

Janet MacPhail is a animal photographer. She owns a Australian Shepherd named Jay and a orange tabby Leo. She is dating Tom. She is very caring and curious. Janet's mom is in a nursing home and a lot of the time does not know who she is. Or does and
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2013
Janet MacPhail, is a photographer that sees much more through the lens than just her subjects. Trouble just seems to follow her. On a simple trip to Twisted Lake to take some pictures of Labrador Retriever Drake she is very surprised when he fetches a blood-soaked bag holding an exotic feather and a torn one-hundred-dollar bill instead of his usual decoy. Then one of her photography students is found dead after calling Janet about seeing a strange bird at the lake. Add to this a mysterious retre ...more
Lis Carey
May 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, dogs, fiction
Janet McPhail, photographer and serious dog enthusiast, is back, along with her Australian shepherd Jay, her ex-flower child friend Goldie, and hunky botanist and Labrador retriever owner Tom, as well as the rest of the Fort Wayne dog sports community.

Janet, Tom, and their dogs are out at a privately owned parkland popular for training and exercising retrievers when Tom's Lab, Drake, abruptly abandons the exercise, leaps into the river, and returns from a small island with a blood-soaked canvass
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Photographer Janet MacPhail is back for her second “Animals in Focus” mystery, along with Jay, her Australian Shepherd, and Leo, her cat. It is actually Drake, her boyfriend Tom’s black Labrador Retriever, who sets this mystery in motion. During hunting trails at Twisted Lake, near Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Tom hopes that Drake has retrieved the “money bird” (the last “bird” the winning dog retrieves earning a cash prize), but instead Drake finds a strange canvas bag with some exotic feathers and perh ...more
Kate Eileen Shannon
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Janet MacPail is a photographer and her boyfriend Tom Saunders is an ethnobotanist and they are both dog lovers and owners. Tom with his black lab Drake and Janet with her Australian shepherd Jay (and cat Leo). They are out with the dogs when Drake discovers a blood soaked canvas bag containing a rather exotic red feather. Janet is convinced there is something amiss and that sets them off on a trail of discovery about the import of illegal exotic pets, in particular rare tropical birds. It all s ...more
Jeanie Jackson
Excellent! I am so glad that I discovered Sheila Boneham's books a while back her writing is amazing. I hate to call her books cozy because for many people that term means so much less than what this series brings. The characters are well developed people with real emotions and problems even beyond the strong mysteries.

In the Money Bird Janet is photographing a retriever training session when Tom's dog makes a odd discovery. Nothing too big but the hint of blood catches Janet's attention even th
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
I very much enjoyed the other book of hers, Drop On Recall much more. This one was okay, but one thing in it really bothered me. The book deals with the illegal trade in exotic birds. All throughout the book the author refers to how the main character is sickened by the very thought of what the animals go through and can't even discuss it or think about it at any length. Yet the very title of the book is Money Bird, a term used in reference to hunting trials where birds are killed in sport for t ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very good read. If you love dogs, then this is a book for you. Janet has an Aussie named Jay and her boyfriend, Tom, has a Black Lab named Drake. I learned a lot about dog training from this book and I also learned a lot about exotic birds. Janet and Tom end up having to solve a crime centered around the smuggling of exotic birds. This cozy had humor in it also, Janet was somewhat of a smart-aleck at times, but still likable. Great job Sheila. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

I received
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Set in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the main characters are Janet MacPhail, a professional photographer that specializes in animals, and the man she is seeing, an anthropology professor. Their dogs play a significant role in the story, as peculiar things are happening near where the local Hunting Retriever Club practices, including a mysterious death. Well-plotted story and a realistic portrayal of the animals involved. Recommended.
Jul 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
I kind of wish I could have my time back. It was well written enough with an ok plot, but if you have ever read mystery or suspense it isneasy to piece together. I have read animal focused books before, but this one had more of a old-cat-lady feel to it. Even though the main character has a boyfriend, she seems happier sleeping with her dog. I am glad to return this book to the shelves.
Nov 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved the main protagonist, Janet MacPhail! She was reminiscent of
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, but a little older and wiser.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dog-books, mystery
Another clever, well-rounded, great read!
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Janet and her dog, Jay, are back and investigating some strange goings on. Exotic bird smuggling , and a shady preacher make a great murder mystery.
Lori Walker
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I blew right through this book, and I kind of wish I had taken my time because it is going to be a while until the next one. I find myself caring about even the peripheral characters in this series.
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Enjoyable mystery/dog read. Will look for her next book.
Andrea Guy
Review to follow on 9/20 for Great Escapes Book Tours
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This got so ridiculous at the end...

321 p.
Joan Skinner
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! But since I own Australian Shepherds and show them I have an inside track on some of the happenings. Fast moving story and good characters kept my interest throughout!!
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sandra benson
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Feb 03, 2016
Andrea Hughes
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May 28, 2016
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Mar 04, 2014
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Sep 05, 2013
Levina Goon
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Sep 22, 2015
Ski Croghan
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Nov 19, 2014
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Sep 08, 2015
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Sheila Webster Boneham writes fiction and nonfiction, much of it focused on animals, nature, and travel. She doesn't like to be labeled -- just as she reads across genres, Sheila also writes across genres. She is currently working on a novel, a series of short stories, a series of essays about traveling the U.S. by train, and a book-length meditation on the human-canine connection. Sheila teaches ...more
More about Sheila Webster Boneham...

Other Books in the Series

An Animals in Focus Mystery (4 books)
  • Drop Dead on Recall  (Animals in Focus, #1)
  • Catwalk (An Animals in Focus Mystery, #3)
  • Shepherd's Crook

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