Although this can most certainly be read as a stand alone novel I would suggest you read the first in the series Downstream-A Witherston Murder Mystery (see my review here) first--what a delightful read that was!!
And the story continues--now that all the townspeople of Witherston have received the money bequeathed to them by the deceased town benefactor--and all is somewhat back to normal there is to be an auction held in town. It seems that Witherston was once Cherokee territory--that is before gold was found there and the Cherokees were sent on the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma. There is quite an interesting history before chapter 1 and throughout about this part of history. It is the artifacts that were essentially stolen from the Cherokees that are being auctioned off. Along with an African Grey Parrot----
As with the first book a lot of this one is told through a web page by a tenacious reporter!!
This book does delve into whether animals have souls and should be considered "little furry people or feathered people" (I agree with that sentiment!). Chickens are liberated from an 18 wheeler during a blizzard--Doolittle-the Parrot is stolen (or kidnapped) and then ransomed back--and a small group of young people with Cherokee backgrounds have set up to live in a village as their ancestors did.
People keep dying or getting murdered--strange happenings in this small town where they are beginning to learn that although you can't change history you can learn NOT to repeat it and all get along with each other and all other living things on this planet.
About the Book: (from Amazon)
On a cold winter evening in the small mountain town of Witherston, Georgia, antique dealer Hempton Fairfield auctions off rare Cherokee artifacts, Appalachian antiques, and a young African Grey parrot. Late that night, a blizzard stops traffic for a three-mile stretch of the Witherston Highway, prohibiting anyone’s arrival or departure and stranding an eighteen-wheel semi full of chickens. The next morning two bodies are discovered in the snow, the chickens are running free, and the parrot is missing, leaving a number of unanswered questions. What happened? Where’s the parrot? How did the chickens escape the stranded truck? Who rightfully owns the remnants of the thousand-year-old Cherokee civilization? Who killed the two men? And, most importantly, how many more bodies will turn up before the killer is caught?
Read a chapter or two here
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About the Author: (from the author's website)
I grew up in El Paso, went to Pomona College for a B.A. in Spanish Literature and to the University of Washington for an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, spent a formative year in Madrid, and then came Athens, Georgia, to join the faculty of Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. All that was a long time ago.
After thirty-eight happy years at the University of Georgia, I retired in 2011 as University Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts.
Along the way I published seventeen academic books in the fields of literature, literary translation, art, and history of ideas, including the biography Eugene Odum: Ecosystem Ecologist and Environmentalist.
The theme of almost everything I've written and taught since the early 1980s is the shift from dualism to holism in our culture's understanding of reality. I believe that in our social structure, in our concept of nature, and in our environmental practices we are developing a view of the world as an ecosystem, or like an ecosystem, whose parts are interconnected and interdependent. When we humans comprehend our dependence on the stability of the whole system, whether organic or political, we will acknowledge the necessity for healthy interaction with the system's other components, human and non-human.
A century and a half after Darwin showed humans' evolutionary kinship with the planet's other animals, we have continued to assume, dualistically, that we humans alone have consciousness. Living with multiple dogs and a parrot, I became convinced that their thoughts and feelings were not absolutely distinct from mine. So I started investigating cognition and communication in non-human animals.
In July of 2012 I was thrilled to read that top neuroscientists had signed a Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness proclaiming that "the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates." Everybody thinks. It's official.
When I turned my attention from the mental life of human animals to the mental life of non-human animals, including that of my own bird, I wrote the non-academic book Conversations with Cosmo: At Home with an African Grey Parrot. Later I wrote the weekly newspaper column "Cosmo Talks."
Finally I realized that I could have fun expressing these ideas in fiction. So I wrote the novel Downstream, to be published by Black Opal Books. It is a murder mystery with an environmentalist message.
I received a paperback edition to this book for review purposes only. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.