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, January 11, 2010


Mosquitoes and malaria. Gin and tonic. Each pair inexorably entangled with the other in the lives of the early Kenya colonists. Once someone discovered that quinine fought and possibly prevented malaria, it was mixed into Tonic Water. And once someone else found that a shot of gin made the tonic water bearable, the “sundowner,” an evening preventative drink, was born. Over time, the amount of quinine in the tonic water declined and, possibly, the amount of gin increased, but that was not important. By now the drink the more of a social ritual than a treatment or cure.

The ritual was big business, too. Not all sundowners used gin or tonic water. Whiskey and soda (with no quinine at all) was also popular. And for this drink, it was important to have fresh sparkling mineral water and a good gasogene. Tartaric acid and sodium bicarbonate were combined to release carbon dioxide and a siphon shot the carbonated water (soda water) into the glass.

And for a healthful morning drink, mineral water with a squirt of lemon was considered good for the constitution. Sort of a sun-upper.

Next week: Women enter Nairobi politics.
Photos from The East African Standard.

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

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