A special agent focused on protecting nature looks for clues there when a local detective won’t share any information that might help her solve the murder of a woman found in her park.
Angela Dimato isn’t thrilled when she’s assigned to lead a tour for a bunch of middle schoolers on a field trip to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal’s Visitor Center. Even if the kids pay no attention to what she has to share, though, Angela thinks the natural history of the area is pretty interesting. Protecting the area and its inhabitants is why she became a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent to begin with, before her job veered into investigating some human cases (Death Takes a Gander, 2015, etc.). Unfortunately, Angela’s tour is also the start of another investigation into a human death: she and the students come upon the body of a murdered woman in the prairie dog habitat. On top of that, the victim, Sheila Henderson, happens to be the mother of one of the boys in the class. Worst of all, Angela suspects a connection between Sheila’s death and several other local crimes. This connection forces Angela to get information from Adams County Sheriff’s Detective Sykes, a man with whom she has a romantic past. Sykes acts like such a jerk that it reminds Angela why it didn’t work out in the first place—he's rude, entitled, and too handsome for his own good. Instead of pairing off with him again, Angela opts to work the natural world’s side of the case. Why was Sheila way out in the prairie dog habitat, and why would anyone have been unhappy that she was there? Though Angela can’t rely on human help, it’s possible the eponymous local owls may have clues to the case.
Although her stories are billed as bird-watchers’ mysteries, Goff’s writing is accessible, and her plot—cozy and predictable yet enjoyable—may well appeal to a wider audience.