Mr. Chase was a true master of the mystery genre. I have read about half of his books, and The Vulture Is a Patient Bird is my favorite among them. (The World in My Pocket is a close second.) There is no real crime in the story, so it is a little different from this author's other books.
A millionaire Max Kahlenberg, who lives a secluded life in the Dragon Mountains in South Africa, is in possession of the priceless and infamous Cesare Borgia's poison ring that he has stolen from another art collector. The previous owner wants the ring back; therefore, four very different people are hired to retrieve it. An ex-model, a helicopter pilot, an African tour guide, and a safe/security specialist fly to Africa and set off on their task of entering Max's well-guarded mansion and stealing the ring. It proves to be fairly easy for them to do so, but returning home with the ring is a totally different matter, for Max turns out to be adventurous, game-loving, and mad.
Most of the story is set in South Africa, and the descriptions of the unassailable mountains and the impenetrable jungle with its different animals, smells, and sounds, as well as those of Max's opulent estate and formidable Zulu warriors whom he uses as his guards, are vivid and colorful, yet brief. The characters are flawed, but they are real; the little twist with the ring is unexpected, and the ending is satisfying.
If you are looking for a fast, easy, and action-packed read, look no further. I really enjoyed the book, and I hope you will, too.