Monday, April 28, 2014

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

Betting on Birds (Charming)

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson is a novel that centers on two men who want to ask the same woman to the annual Hunt Club Ball, but they don’t want to put her in the awkward position of having to choose between them.  So, how do they settle which one of them should invite Rose, a lovely widow, who leads a bird walk every Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenya?  The men engage in a wager. Whoever can identify the most number of bird species in a week’s time will have the privilege of inviting Rose to the dance. And just to keep things honest, there are three committee members in the Asadi Club to officially record their bird spottings every evening and see the rules are adhered to. You do not have to be an ornithologist, or even like birds to read this book. Human relationships prevail over the feathered variety. Of all the people he’s competing against, Mr. Malik’s opponent happens to be his old high school rival. Harry Khan is a loud, boisterous, and a somewhat cocky character. Of course, I was rooting for Mr Malik especially when faced with unexpected obstacles.  Apparently, crime in “Nairobbery” is as common and natural as a small oxpecker bird resting on the back of an enormous rhinoceros.  And this proves to be a hindrance for the honorable and more reserved of the two gentlemen.  The story was original, charming, and left me feeling good.  In fact, the last line made me chuckle out loud. I loved this book!  It was as beautiful and welcoming as sighting a great blue turaco.

Chances are if you like Alexander McCall's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, you'll like this one. 

Happy Reading,


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