Through Jade's Eyes

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

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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 *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, June 22, 2009


If someone reported a death by shaving, one’s first thought would be a straight razor slip to the jugular. In this case, they would be only partly correct. The death of a Goan man in Nairobi, April, 1920 was actually due to a deadly shaving brush.

Mr. Pereira lived on River Road in Nairobi, In the Indian District. He took ill and, after a day or two, sought medical attention. He became worse. Dr. Mackinnon came in as a consultant on the case and, to his horror, found that the man was “suffering from anthrax in an acute form.” Mr. Pereira perished the next day in a case that was considered hopeless from the onset.

In an investigation, it was determined that the man had used a new shaving brush, just recently purchased and used only once before his death. The brush was contaminated with Anthrax bacillus. That alone wouldn’t have hurt him, but he did, in fact, cut himself shaving and an infection set in.

The brushes, sold by Mr. Jethamal on Sixth street, Nairobi, were Japanese in origin. All the stock was confiscated by the Medical Officer for inspection. It was assumed that the bristles of the brush were made from an animal infected with the disease. Anyone with a recently purchased shaving brush as well as all other dealers who recently imported shaving brushes were encouraged to turn over their stock for examination and sterilization. However, previous attempts at disinfecting brushes, especially those where the bristles and hairs are fixed with glue or cement, without destroying the usefulness of the brush had proven impossible.

Since the tainted brush was made two years before in 1918, and any number could have been imported, it was recommended that everyone with a new brush should soak it for at least two days in a strong disinfectant (one part disinfectant to 10 of water).

Oh, and don’t cut yourself shaving.

The headline taken from The Leader of British East Africa April 24, 1920

NEXT WEEK: More Nairobi Fun.

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, all available in trade paperback.. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, is available in hardcover. TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH will be released Sept. 1, 2009. An excerpt and information on pre-ordering signed copies is available at the website: Follow short updates on

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