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 07, 2010


This blog made the short list for Best Author's Blog as awarded by Thank you everyone who voted for me.

By 1921, Jade del Cameron’s friends, Lord and Lady Dunbury, were raising horses as were many of the well to do Kenya Colonists, and horses were susceptible to one form of sleeping sickness. Luckily, Kenya seems less troubled by this pestilence than Uganda, Nyasaland, and Rhodesia. The South and East African Yearbook and Guide (1922) had this to say about the disease and the tsetse fly that carried it.

“There is little absolutely determined as regards Sleeping Sickness except that it is a very deadly disease and that it is introduced into human beings by means of the bite of certain flies.” Several committees were formed in 1914 to research the disease but war delayed most of that investigation. What the various committee members and medical missionaries of the time determined was the following:

In Uganda, the tsetse fly Glossina palpalis never goes far from water. Moving the African populations away from riverbanks and lakes “has been followed by the practical elimination of the disease.”

“White residents run little risk” as the fly “will not readily settle on anything of a light colour and most Europeans in the tropics wear white clothes.” The guidebook also recommended cutting down bushes and planting lemon grass, a practice that seemed to work at Entebbe, Uganda.

Since this fly only hatches a single egg from “within the abdomen” it did not increase in population size very rapidly.

More problematic was the sickness as spread by a different species of tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans in Nyasaland and Rhodesia. This fly was “less restricted in its movements.” It appeared to move from district to district by means of “certain animals” and it also was “asserted that the tsetse fly itself does not depend upon animals for its food, but that it can thrive upon the sap from plants.”

Hope emerged in Nyasaland in the form of a dragonfly that “has been observed to prey on the tsetse, a discovery which may have far reaching results.”

But the real hope for Nairobi, which was built on swampy ground, was the fact that “it is unusual to find either species of fly at a greater altitude, even in the tropics, than 4,000 feet.” Nairobi sat at 5,450 feet.

Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.

Next week: More from the African manuals: Kenya Colony Facts circa 1921.

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, The Leopard’s Prey, and Treasure of the Golden Cheetah are all available in trade paperback. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: Follow short updates on

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Blogger Doc_Floyd said...

I rather enjoy your novels - and find them having a quality which is quaint, sepia-toned, consistent with the time period in which they are set. Because I am unequivocally an elderly curmudgeon, I am amused at how much I enjoy them...

Houston, TX

Mon Jun 14, 08:32:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Suzanne Arruda said...

Dear Doc Floyd:
Thanks. I really like this description of my writing. And I think I may be a middle-aged curmudgeon at heart.

Mon Jun 14, 09:21:00 AM CDT  

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