Where the Crawdads Sing presents nature through finely crafted prose with a murder mystery attached. It is not surprising that nature takes center stage since the author, Delia Owens, wrote several nature books prior to producing Crawdads as her debut work of fiction.
Here is an example of the prose:
“Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh.”
The murder mystery does not stand on its own. I would not recommend the book on the merits of that story divorced from the other material. The characters of the small southern coastal town are well developed, but none would appear to be a suspect. With that said, the murder perpetrator is revealed toward the end and the author does a good job in diverting suspicion of the identify.
Bottom line: Excellent, easy reading, transporting the reader to swamps and backwaters with a reasonable mystery attached.