The conjurer’s bird by Martin Davies

IF YOU liked A S Byatt s novel Possession, you are going to love The Conjurer s Bird. Like Possession it is structured around two parallel stories, with a modern-day couple trying to solve a historic mystery, competing in an intellectual race against bett

IF YOU liked A S Byatt's novel Possession, you are going to love The Conjurer's Bird. Like Possession it is structured around two parallel stories, with a modern-day couple trying to solve a historic mystery, competing in an intellectual race against better-resourced but unscrupulous adversaries.

Then there's the question of doomed romance - or, in the case of the 21st century, maybe not so doomed. The will-they, won't-they scenario, and Fitz's final choice, between his old flame Gabby and the perky Katya, add yet another ingredient to the melting pot.

The long-ago voyage of rich naturalist Joseph Banks with Captain Cook fills much of the book while, in the modern day, Fitz tries to track down the only example of a preserved ulieta bird, brought back from Cook's second voyage and painted in lyrical colours by a long-dead hand...

Why is it worth so much? Has it survived and if so where is it?