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January 01 , 2010

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa


For lovers of Alexander McCall Smith, Nicholas Drayson introduces the charming Mr Malik and the East African Ornithological Society in A Guide to the Birds of East Africa.

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Authoritative edition of one of the enduring classics of English poetry — 63 poems on the nature of friendship, the passing of youth, the vanity of dreams, other human concerns. Long prized by literary scholars for their perfection of form and feeling, and loved by generations of readers for simplicity, sensitivity, direct emotional…

Reserved, honourable Mr Malik. You wouldn't notice him in a Nairobi street - except, perhaps, to comment on his carefully sculpted comb-over - but beneath his unprepossessing exterior lie a warm heart and a secret passion. Not even his closest friends know it, but Mr Malik is head-over-heels in love with the leader of the local Tuesday-morning bird walk, Rose Mbikwa.

Little can he imagine the hurdles that lie before him. Even as he plucks up the courage to ask for Rose's hand, thieves, potential kidnappers and corrupt officials, not to mention one particularly determined love rival, seem destined to thwart Mr Malik's chances.

Will an Indian gentleman in the heart of Africa be defeated by the many obstacles that stand between him and his heart's desire? Or will honour and decency prevail?

'A funny, ingenious and touching love story' Joanne Harris, The Times

'A delightful comedy... It invites comparison to The No.1 Ladies' Detective A gency books, but it's original and, if anything, has more depth' Daily Mail

'Sweet, charming and utterly wonderful on the subject of birds' Metro

Nicholas Drayson was born in England and has lived in Australia since 1982, where he studied zoology and a PhD in 19th century Australian natural history writing. He has worked as a journalist in the UK, Kenya and Australia, writing for publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Australian Geographic. He is the author of three other novels, Confessing a Murder, Love and the Platypus and A Guide to the Beasts of East Africa.

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