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4 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “The Professor and the Bird” by Roberta Franklin

The Race To Get The “Most Important Find In History” To The Museum Is On!

“The Professor and the Bird” is typical of most May-December romances, beginning with a chance encounter between a much older man—an archaeologist set in his ways—and a flighty, modernized younger woman who has just embarked on an exploration of life and what it has to offer.

Franklin’s plotline is steady and predictable, like a leisurely stroll through the park, until an unprecedented discovery is made which results in a major calamity for our two main protagonists. From this point forward, the story winds its way through the challenges the newly minted couple face as they desperately try to save their priceless discovery from falling into the wrong hands and each other’s lives.

Franklin’s cast of stereotypical characters fall in line with the standard achetypes, including a jealous and matronly assistant to the Professor, a shy lab assistant, a Middle Eastern gigolo, a gaggle of giggling women to tend camp and spread gossip, and—of course—a bad guy and his henchmen. Her dowdy Professor Nikos Angelopoulos, a 60-year-old experienced and renowned archaeologist who keeps watch over his entourage like a benevolent father, is plucked straight out of the Victorian era despite being a modern-aged, well-educated man. His overall profile seems rigid and too well-mannered, as though the author had difficulty coming up with a proper modern match for her heroine, 27-year-old Irishwoman Sally Burns.

Meanwhile, Sally—billed as a well-travelled, worldly, and independent young woman who is savvy and daring enough to participate in a solo race through the embattled Middle Eastern desert, comes across as unbelievably naïve and helpless, failing to ward off the advances of the camp gigolo. Since her arrival at the dig camp, she seems desperate to find a man, and her interest in the Professor—the next eligible man in line—comes across as impulsive and self-indulgent while the Professor, who falls head over heels for Sally, lovingly refers to her in acronyms better suited to one’s child than one’s lover.

Aside from the issue with her characters, Franklin’s tale picks up significantly once the relationship between the Professor and Sally is established and the race to get the “most important find in history” to the museum is on. Her magnificent descriptions of the bazaars and locals, and the amount of historical background and research, including the snippets on ancient Hittite, Greek, Assyrian, and Macedonian cultures that she has packed into “The Professor and the Bird”, may have history enthusiasts and language buffs joining romance lovers in lauding this read.

Find “The Professor and the Bird” by Roberta Franklin on Amazon & Kindle at


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