The Dinosaur Feather-.J. Gazan

The Dinosaur Feather
S.J. Gazan
Quercus, Nov 5 2013, $24.95
http://www.quercus.com
ISBN: 9781623650667

At the University of Copenhagen, as a biology Ph.D. candidate nearing the moment in two weeks she must sell her dissertation to the faculty, single mom Anna Bella Nor feels overwhelmed. Besides the obvious woes of toddler motherhood and student-hood, Anna Bella’s faculty advisor brilliant Professor Lars Helland, known for his work into the evolutionary path from dinosaurs to birds, displays no interest in her thesis.

Frustrated Anna Bella knows she is not alone with ire towards Helland, but that provides her with no comfort. Obviously she is not as outraged by the pompous professor as someone else who murdered the genius, found dead in his office. Copenhagen police superintendent Soren Marhauge leads the inquiry into academia in which only the fittest survive. He soon finds plenty of suspects including Anna, others employed in the biology department and a rival scientist. At the same Anna investigates the homicide though she lacks the time and skill while placing her life in peril.

The Dinosaur Feather is a suspenseful academic murder mystery. The exciting storyline superbly merges a single mother raising a toddler with academia and scientific rivalry for prestige and grants, and Anna Bella’s thesis connecting the evolutionary line between dinosaurs and birds. Although Helland’s death occurring over several months feels almost comedic over the top of Tivoli Gardens, readers will enjoy this taut Danish noir.

Harriet Klausner

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