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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific mystery!
For the Birds, by Aaron Paul Lazar, is a wild ride of a paranormal mystery. The plot twists and turns and keeps you on your toes. The characters, especially Marcella and Quinn, are well-written and they have a great chemistry between them.

I have to say I am not a fan of mysteries. Nor do I care for female protagonists and first person narrative. But Lazar...
Published on November 1, 2011 by Darby Karchut

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice read
For the Birds, is a really nice read that you might enjoy on those days that you just want to sit back with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate and do nothing. Its a warm read that I found to be very enjoyable.

Marcella Hollister, along with her husband and mother (who only wants to be called Thelma) and of course their parakeet Ruby are staying at a very...
Published on January 1, 2012 by Sarita Lopez


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific mystery!, November 1, 2011
This review is from: For the Birds (Tall Pines Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
For the Birds, by Aaron Paul Lazar, is a wild ride of a paranormal mystery. The plot twists and turns and keeps you on your toes. The characters, especially Marcella and Quinn, are well-written and they have a great chemistry between them.

I have to say I am not a fan of mysteries. Nor do I care for female protagonists and first person narrative. But Lazar crafted such a great story, I couldn't put it down. I finished it in just a few days. It's that good. Really.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a clever, well-written mystery with quirky paranormal elements. A great holiday gift!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read with a hilarious twist, March 19, 2014
By 
Joan H. Young "sharkbytes" (Scottville, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: For the Birds (Tall Pines Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book goes in a completely different direction from Lazar's other mysteries in the Gus LeGarde or Sam Moore series. For one thing, it's written from a woman's point of view. Marcella and her husband Quinn are a bit zany to begin with, but then a strange and (as it turns out) hilarious event involving the prizewinning parakeet and Marcella's mother guides them through the rest of the story, which could otherwise be rather dark. This book is not for those who want every detail to be "realistic." This is for those days when you want to pretend that totally off the wall things can happen and you just want to laugh your way through the difficulties of life. All the characters are quirky and one can imagine many more stories in this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Birds of a feather..., March 11, 2014
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This review is from: For the Birds (Tall Pines Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
For someone who does not usually like mysteries, I find myself reading more and more of Aaron Paul Lazar's stories. Why? Because he has some profound insights into what it means to be a genuine human being, and these insights can be found like gemstones everywhere in his books.
This story is a case in point: we are introduced to a wide variety of characters, many of whom are superficially less than attractive, but whom we get to know as genuine - and all of this is incorporated into a lively story of deceit, obsession and redemption. I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn't see THAT coming. Or that. Or that ..., June 6, 2014
I'm a fan of Aaron Paul Lazar's Gus Legarde series. This is the first of his other books I've read. Right from the opening pages, I really appreciated the quality of his writing--narration and dialogue were spot on. Lazar gives this story the rich setting details he's famous for (well, if he isn't yet, he should be!) plus an even more engaging lead than Gus Legarde (and that's saying a lot). Marcella Hollister and her supporting cast of zanies offer loads of raw material for the series.
As for plot, Lazar delivers a kooky sequence of events with a well-developed showdown with the villains. Then the story slowed down. I was thinking with furrowed brow, Hmmm... this is a bit of an anticlimactic tail-off ... Then Lazar sucker-punched me with a twist you'd have to be really psychic to see coming, and then a final zinger to wrap things up.
This is a fun light read (listen, in my case), but it contains occasional glimpses of very poignant subtext--another signature feature of Lazar's novels that make him one of my favorite up-and-coming authors.
This is also the first time I've heard Hannah Seusy's narration. To be honest, my first reaction was that her diction lacked clarity. But within a few minutes I got into the swing of her voice and ended up being completely won over by her outstandingly natural characterization of not only Marcella but also the other characters.
Two thumbs up, all around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining Mystery!, June 9, 2014
This review is from: For the Birds (Tall Pines Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first of Lazar’s Tall Pines Mystery series and it is delightful. The story is written in first person through the main character, Marcella Hollister. Readers will warm to Marcella quickly. Although she is a heroine, she is no super hero. Marcella is very human with doubts and weaknesses, which makes her so appealing. When a crisis hits, Marcella is no rock of strength. She cries, sweats, gets dizzy, prays, and gets sick, but soldiers on with her quest, despite all.

As the story opens, Marcella, her husband, Quinn, and her mother, Thelma, are lost on a road trip to a bird show where they plan to enter their parrot, Ruby, in a judging. Being lost in the woods is about the last normal thing to happen to the Hollister party. Shortly after their arrival at the swanky hotel, Thelma and Ruby have a freak accident that has repercussions throughout the story.

When Thelma is kidnapped from the hospital, Marcella and Quinn are bewildered. They are a simple young couple who own an antiques business. Who would kidnap Thelma and why? These and many other questions will be answered, but first, things will get crazier. Humor is a welcome addition to the puzzling and dangerous situation the Hollisters are experiencing.

The best mysteries are those where characters and readers alike cannot be sure who to trust and there are plenty of strange characters and very little trust. The plot swings and twists, seems to wrap up, and yet, there is more. Mystery buffs will be challenged to assist Marcella, Quinn and the FBI agents in sifting through clues and reaching into the past to find the truth to this mystery. It is filled with surprises and guaranteed to please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bird name Ruby., March 5, 2014
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This review is from: For the Birds (Tall Pines Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book was a great paranormal mystery. It has a bird name Ruby a kidnapping,murder and A loving family. It involves the FBI and a car accident. You all need to read this book to see what happens to all involved..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read!, September 18, 2013
This review is from: For the Birds (Paperback)
'For the Birds', by Aaron Paul Lazar, is the kind of book that gently pulls you in and hooks you. I loved the depth of the characters - and in particular I really enjoyed Quinn. This book is both exciting in its plot twists and unexpected new developments, and satisfying in its scenic description which really makes you feel like you are there with them. I would certainly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys intrigue, mystery and beautiful settings mixed with a gentle edge of comedy. Lazar manages to balance it all in an engaging read that will leave you hoping there is more to come!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great holiday audiobook, August 4, 2013
'For The Birds' makes a great holiday or travelling listening. While the plot has a few twists and turns, it is easy enough to follow while driving or relaxing on a trip. There isn't an overwhelming number of characters to confuse you if you're multitasking while listening. Instead you will be utterly enchanted by Ruby, a sassy, talking parakeet, who is brought to life by Hannah Seusy, the narrator.

For a more detailed review go to: [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Birds, August 28, 2012
This review is from: For the Birds (Paperback)
For the Birds is the second book I read from Aaron Lazar. It's unassuming setting of a peaceful vacation in the Adirondacks leads to an exciting story full of unexpected events that keeps the readers attention through the night. As the story develops, it captures the reader as a parakeet named Ruby has mystic powers and it brings along a kidnapping and a mysterious and dark character Tiramisu with a claim to be a bird psychic. The story is full of unexpected twists and turns with surprising new mysteries that captivated me through long reading nights. The ending is full of surprises and I would expect some sequel perhaps leading to a foreign land full of more mystic developments. Aaron has indeed showing stronger signs of mastering his storytelling skills leading the reader to unexpected adventures. I will soon start reading a third novel FireSongFireSong....Excellent book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much more than just a mystery!, February 24, 2012
This review is from: For the Birds (Paperback)
In the world of literature nowadays, there is a vast array of competition, with new books arriving in stores every day. It's virtually impossible to keep up. Among the authors, there are your one hit wonders, who publish one bestseller and then disappear off the map. There are also authors who do well with their first two or three books and then just seem to lose their touch or become repetitive. Then you have Aaron Paul Lazar, who time and time again digs down deep in his pool of resources and comes out with a compelling winner every time, and he has done it again with For the Birds.

When I write a book review, especially for a mystery novel, I try not to simply re-hash the plot because I don't want to spoil the experience for the reader. Instead, I dive right in to how the book made me feel and what affect the author had on me in the telling of his tale. When I read For the Birds, my feelings and emotions bubbled to the surface right from page one. I clicked with the characters immediately and found myself relating to their lives, relationships and problems, and I was ready and willing to embark on their journey with them. I wasn't observing them from afar or shaking my head in disbelief at their fictional circumstances. I was right there with them, experiencing the same things and feeling all of their emotions. This is because Lazar is a magician with words, and he can accomplish in a two sentence description what others take a whole page to do. His descriptions are like a beautiful picture unfolding under an artist's brush.

In the opening pages of For the Birds, we join Quinn and Marcella Hollister and Marcella's mother, Thelma, a very colourful trio of characters, after four hours driving along a rough dirt road through the Adirondacks of Northern New York, in an old van with no air conditioning, as they try to find their way to their hotel near Lake Placid, New York called For the Birds. The hotel is hosting a bird show where they hope Quinn's pet parakeet, Ruby, will win Best New Breed Color. Now I challenge any reader to not remember an occasion where they were stuck in a hot car with conflicting personalities where everyone is tired and patience is wearing thin. I smiled at my own memories of numerous challenging roads trips I have been on, and I empathized with the characters. This brings you closer to the characters and allows you to form a bond with them as you read the story. They are normal people experiencing normal relationship and life challenges, and they each have their own unique personalities. Thelma is an ornery and overbearing old woman who says what she feels and can be quite judgmental, and Marcella is a penny pincher and persistent and stubborn to a fault. Quinn is obsessive compulsive, and needs everything done a certain way, but he is the strength that holds the family together, and he is a very loving man. Even with their sometimes challenging characteristics, this is a family bound by love so strong that they can get through anything.

I also found myself feeling their pain over the recent loss of Thelma's husband and Marcella's stepfather, Raoul Mendoza, who meant the world to all of them. It seems as if this trip should be the soothing balm this family needs to start the healing process with some rest, relaxation, and a little fun. Well, don't be so sure because in typical Lazar style one event leads to another until the characters are wrapped up in a complex mystery of epic proportions. From a simple car breakdown to a bizarre accident resulting in a hospital stay, a sudden kidnapping, a ransacked hotel room, possible links to an old bank heist, and even a psychic human/bird brain meld, you as the reader are only allowed very brief moments to catch your breath and try and assemble some facts in your head in order to try and solve the mystery before you are thrown another twist. The suspense constantly builds, and when the main part of the mystery was unveiled my jaw literally dropped to the floor. I didn't see it coming at all.

There are so many qualities that make Aaron Lazar's writing so appealing to me. Even though you could say he generally writes mysteries, he manages to include aspects of every other genre in his books as well, which makes for the most well-rounded and enjoyable reads and awakens every emotion while reading them. In For the Birds, you have a definite mystery that is the focal point of the story, but you also have humour when watching Thelma's brash personality interact with the people around her, and you have the clearly loving relationship between Marcella and Quinn which adds some zesty interludes to the plot, and it is heart-warming to see the support they provide to each other.

I also love the way he makes the plot complex and interesting without making it a heavy read. There's something about a heavy book, you know the kind, full of page long, overly detailed descriptions, complicated use of the English language, and complex concepts which make your brain hurt to try and follow. Sometimes, you as the reader are so wrapped up in understanding what is going on that you lose the flow of the story and fall out of the character's world while you try and decipher a passage's meaning. Not so in For the Birds, where I was mesmerized by the story from beginning to end and could not put it down.

Finally, Lazar's use of similes and metaphors is magical. Phrases like, "the bravado I'd worn like a Kevlar vest" and "the elevator doors finally kissed shut" and "my heart flipped like a Mexican jumping bean immobilized for a hundred years and suddenly released" never fail to make me stop and smile because they just fit so well.

In a nutshell, this is an author who puts his heart and soul into everything he writes, and it definitely shows. If I imagine in my head the perfect reading scenario, like sitting in a comfy chair on a cold winter's night in front of a fire with a hot chocolate, or sitting outside on a warm summer day with the birds singing and the wind whispering through the trees, neither picture would be complete without a book like Lazar's For the Birds in my hand.
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