Jessica Speart: Bird Brained

Tangling with animal smugglers in southern Florida - from the Customs counter at Miami Airport to the lush estates of the rich and corrupt - is all part of the job for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter. Working on a hot tip, she investigates the compound of an alleged smuggler of exotic cockatoos and parrots. But once inside, Rachel finds her prey laying in a pool of his own blood - and all of his winged bounty has flown the coop. Though her ornery Cuban boss tells her that birds are her business, not killers, the indomitable Rachel sets out to find both. With a list of suspects that includes a sleazy snake dealer, Cuban cigar smugglers, airboat cowboys, and exiled anti-Castro terrorists, Rachel finds the field spread as wide as a peacock's tail - and just as colorful. And if this dedicated wildlife chick isn't careful...she might end up a sitting duck.