Through Jade's Eyes

This blog is about the fictional character, Jade del Cameron (www.suzannearruda.com), and the historical time period in which she lives.

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Location: www.suzannearruda.com, United States

I'm the author of the Jade del Cameron historical mystery series set in 1920's Africa. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery and a dash of romance. Follow me at www.twitter.com/SuzanneArruda *The audio link (view complete profile) is an interview by Baron Ron Herron (9/17/2009, Santa Barbara {CA} News-Press Radio, KZSB, AM 1290

Monday, December 29, 2008

NAIROBI NEWS JANUARY 10, 1920: ANOTHER TRAGEDY

NOTE: The Leopard’s Prey will be available, January 6, 2009.



The headlines of the January 10, 1920 issue of The Leader of British East Africa once again proved that the colony seemed to call to people in difficult straits and that the climate put severe pressure on them. A Mr. Lawson Walton had been found dead “at the soldier settler’s camp.” Mr. Walton was not the only European man living at that camp. Another man, a Mr. Oxland, passed the tent on the afternoon of December 31, 1919 and saw three native askari outside the tent. Mr. Oxland had stopped to tell Mr. Walton that he’d come to walk with him. The askari informed Mr. Oxland, “Bwana na kufa,” (Bwana is dead). The askaris had come to the tent previously when they heard a rifle shot.

Mr. Walton had been in business in Uganda before later joining the Kings Rifles during the Great War. The deceased had been appointed as a political office with power to “arrest native traders” and to destroy their property lest it fall into enemy hands. Mr. Walton later suffered a sunstroke and was in a lunatic asylum for a while. He was told he shouldn’t return to the tropics, but he did. When natives talked about him and accused him of witchcraft to Arabs and Swahilis, it affected him intensely.

The medical evidence “shows that the deceased died from a wound through the roof of his mouth which entered his brain.” The magistrate ruled “suicide during a fit of temporary insanity, brought on by a former sunstroke and a return to the tropics.”

NEXT WEEK: LOVE CHARIOTS IN DOWNTOWN NAIROBI

NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 6, 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Seasonal Surprise

Note: Jade del Cameron's third adventure, THE SERPENT'S DAUGHTER, is available in paperback. The fourth adventure, THE LEOPARD'S PREY, will be out in hardcover on January 6. Go to www.suzannearruda.com for more information.

Instead of taking you back to 1919-1920 Nairobi today, I'm offering you two mystery carols, penned by myself (Suzanne Arruda) for our Border Crimes chapter of Sisters In Crime (SInC), a mystery writer and reader organization. We had a Christmas party for our December meeting and participants were challenged to write a mystery-related song to the tune of any Christmas carol of their choice. Below are my two offerings. Readers are welcome to sing them at their own parties, but please do give authorship credit if you print them out.

FORENSICS WONDERLAND
By Suzanne Arruda

Slay bells ring
A body’s listing
On the snow
Blood is glist-ning
A macabre sight
We’re detecting tonight
Off in a forensics wonderland

Gone away, is the villain
And the corpse is a chillin
We’ll check DNA
The professional way
Off in a forensics wonderland.

Even though the cops are getting tired
And the suspect ain’t a comin clean
We’ve got a body that’s expired
So we dust for prints at the crime scene

At the trial, our testimony
Makes his a---libi look phony
We hope the DA
Will put him away
Because of our forensics wonderland.


UP ON THE HOUSETOP
By Suzanne Arruda

Up on the housetop, burglars crawl
Hoping to make a great big haul
Down through the chimney, lickety split
One is too plump and he’s gonna stick.

Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know
Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know-oh
Hoping to make a haul today
One of them will not get away.

First they were going to raid the rings
Then try for TVs and other things
Now they have got a partner stuck
Here come the cops, they’re out of luck

Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know
Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know-oh
Hoping to make a haul today
One of them will not get away.

Pull out the stuck one, haul him away
Gets a visit from the A – D – A
Offers him time off in a deal
If on his partners he will squeal

Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know
Uh uh OH! Wouldn’t you know-oh
Hoping to make a haul today
None of them going to get away.

Next week: Back to Nairobi for New Years

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Monday, December 15, 2008

NAIROBI NEWS DECEMBER, 1919: CHRISTMAS IN NAIROBI

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

December in 1919 Nairobi had many things in common with modern times including newspaper ads encouraging shoppers to buy Christmas presents. The BEA (British East Africa) Music Store offered a wide list of popular sheet music, shown below.



If you didn’t have a piano, The BEA Music Store would be happy to sell you one, or violin, mandolin, banjo, mouth organ, whistle pipe, ocarina, or even a tambourine.
If you didn’t fancy making your own music, the store also offered Columbia brand gramophones ranging from 150 to 275 Rupees. They also stocked needles and all the latest “up-to-date albums.”

NEXT WEEK: A SURPRISE
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, December 08, 2008

NAIROBI NEWS DECEMBER, 1919: LOCAL AND WORLD NEWS

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

December 6, 1919 issue of The Leader of British East Africa held news of importance in both the local and the world arena and often on the same page. Mr. Eric Hale of a Zoological Trading Company had a want ad asking for “Live Game Reptiles.” Curiously, he also wants to know the reptile’s age, sex, and the length of time in captivity. While the last question might be answered easily enough, one can only wonder at how easily a reptile gave up that more personal information.

On the world news, trouble brewed in Afghanistan, showing that not much has changed in eighty-nine years.



According to the brief article, “representatives of six tribes unreservedly accepted the British terms, but…the turbulent Maddakbel tribe held aloof. They are to be punished if they do not submit tomorrow.”

On the home front, it’s time to renew those motor vehicle licenses which expire on December 31, 1919.


Jade del Cameron and her friends can get an application from any police officer, but the license (spelled “licence” in the paper) can only be issued by a police Superintendent.

NEXT WEEK: MORE NAIROBI NEWS
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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Monday, December 01, 2008

NAIROBI NEWS DECEMBER, 1919: FASHIONS AND FAUX PAS

NOTE: The Serpent’s Daughter is NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!

December marked the beginning of a large holiday season in 1919 Nairobi. Dances, balls, parties, plays and ultimately, race week were all gearing up. This meant that a lot of ladies were going to sport the latest in fashions. Apparently, according a news clipping in the December 6, 1919 edition of The Leader of British East Africa, some of these fashions were becoming a might daring.

The note appeared in a regular column titled “Pardonable Pars” written by someone who called himself “Pardonne Moi.” It began with a brief report on the “football dance” (soccer for the American readers) and how it provided a different sort of sport, “the customary pleasant little competition among our local ladies as to who could dress with the maximum of expense and the minimum of material.” The article went on to report that “a sweet young thing of uncertain number of summers, winters, and autumns . . . (was) indulging in an artistic effect to see how near the hem of her skirt could come to the V-shape in the neck of her blouse. She nearly succeeded in making the two ends meet.”


NEXT WEEK: MORE NAIROBI NEWS
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, will be available in hardcover January 2009. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com

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