The Conjurer's Bird is
a beautiful story in the spirit of Possession that is as exciting as The
Club Dumas, inspired by one of the great puzzles of natural history: that of
the Mysterious Bird of Ulieta. Seen only once, in 1774, by Captain Cook's second
expedition to the South Seas, a single specimen was captured, preserved, and
brought back to England. The bird was given to famed naturalist Joseph Banks,
who displayed it proudly in his collection until its sudden, unexplained
Two hundred years later, naturalists continue to wonder if the world will ever
get another glimpse of the elusive bird. Were it not for a colored drawing done
by the ship's artist, there would be nothing to say that the bird had ever
The Conjurer's Bird is a gripping literary mystery and passionate love
story that tackles the intrigue surrounding the celebrated Banks, his secret
affair with an enigmatic woman known only as "Miss B," and the legendary
bird that becomes a touchstone for their love.
Seamlessly spanning two time periods, The Conjurer's Bird is at once the
story of this romance and of a present-day conservationist named Fitz, who is
drawn into a thrilling and near-impossible race to find the elusive bird's only
The 'mysterious bird of Ulieta' refers to a rare bird that was caught during Captain Cook's second voyage to the South Pacific in 1774. It ended up in the collection of famed naturalist Joseph Banks (who accompanied Cook on his first voyage) and, according to this book, was then given by Banks to his mistress, Mary Burnett a naturalist and gifted botanical artist (who the book jacket bills as the enigmatic "Miss B")...
If you enjoy intelligent historical mysteries you should take a close look at The Conjurer's Bird. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
A good-natured combination of hammy modern and more sensitive historical mysteries, amounting to something rather less
fabulous than The Maltese Falcon.
Booklist - Sarah Watstein
This novel will not disappoint fans of literary mystery and readers who are drawn to naturalist accounts.....Readers who like Andrea Barrett, Arturo Perez-Reverte, and David Liss will find this a page-turner through and through.
Library Journal - Lisa Rohrbaugh
Suspenseful, intriguing, and romantic, this is great entertainment and an excellent choice for book discussion groups; highly recommended for all libraries.
Starred Review. A few farfetched plot twists aside, this is a captivating novel.
India Edghill, author of Queenmakerand Wisdom's Daughter
Elegantly written and exquisitely researched, The Conjurer's Bird is
an engrossing read, a true page-turner as its story twines through past and
present. I hated to put it down until the final revelation. Anyone who loved
such books as Possession or Girl with a Pearl Earring should be
delighted by The Conjurer's Bird.
Andrew Taylor, author of An Unpardonable Crime
Like all the best novels, The Conjurer's Bird left me with the sense
of having learned something. . . . Poignant and beguiling.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Anno The Conjurer's Bird Loved this book. As an Aussie I learned in history about Cook and Banks but this book brought them alive and had me going to the internet to find out more of Banks and Miss B. and the lost bird.
Rated of 5
by Frances Tate The Conjurer's Bird Not too often are we favored with a spellbinding page turner such as this one written by Martin Davies. For anyone who leans towards history and mystery, it is a wonderful find. Some people are fortunate enough to have the blend of history and... Read More
Ulieta? The island of Ulieta,
or Ulietea, is too small to
appear in our atlas but if you
were to travel roughly
North-West of Tahiti you'd
likely come across it. We
"Google Earthed" it (16° 49' 60, 151° 25' 0 W) and
it looks like a very nice place
to spend a few days - green
island surrounded by blue seas
and a barrier reef (if you
haven't yet discovered
Google Earth you should give
it a go - it's a lot of fun!)
Captain Cook visited Ulietea on
his second voyage to the South
Pacific - you can read his
observations of the island and
its people in chapter 15 of
Volume 1 of A Voyage To
The South Pole and Around The
World, and this
engraving will give...
The Coral Thief, as riveting and beautifully rendered as Ghostwalk, Rebecca Stotts first novel, is a provocative and tantalizing mix of history, philosophy, and suspense. It conjures up vividly both the feats of Napoleon and the accomplishments of those working without fame or glory to change our ideas of who we are and the...
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A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...