It is amazing what you can learn reading fiction. The background for this book (part of the Meg Langslow series) by Donna Andrews is a former emu farm. Not only did I discover that there is emu farming in the United States of America but when I did a Google search I discovered a website for the American Emu Association.
Meg is asked by Stanley Denton to go with him to visit a lady living in Riverton. He has been employed by Meg's grandfather, Dr Blake, to find the woman who is the mother of his son. Stanley has discovered where her home is but he also discovers that she died recently in a fire, possibly murder. Stanley wants to interview the cousin of the dead woman but she is a recluse. As Meg bears a resemblance to the grandmother she has never known, Stanley hopes that having Meg with him might encourage the cousin to provide some information.
When Stanley is asked by Annabel to help discover who committed the murder he needs to discuss the situation with Meg's grandfather, who not only approves of extending Stanley's contract but also decides to round up and rehouse a flock of emus that were released in the area many years previously. Two further murder attempts plus another murder occur when Dr Blake and his cohorts descend on the area for the emu round-up. Meg, Stanley and the police meanwhile endeavour to discover who is committing these crimes and why.