1921-22 – “AFRICAN GUIDEBOOKS -PART 14 – CROCODILES CONTINUED!”
There is one other Guidebook that Jade del Cameron might have had access to in the 1920’s: A Handbook of Kenya Colony (British East Africa) and the Kenya Protectorate (Protectorate of Zanzibar), 1920, Prepared by the Geographical Section of the Naval Intelligence Division, Naval Staff, Admiralty and published by His Majesty’s Stationery Office.
This massive handbook devotes but little attention to crocodiles, mainly to state when an area such as Lake Jipe is “infested with crocodiles.” On page 213, in a section titled: Reptiles and Fishes, the handbook states “Crocodiles, ranging to 30 feet or more in length, are common in the rivers and swamps, and some of the lakes, but do not occur in Naivasha.” What is most notable about this statement is the monstrous, nearly prehistoric size credited to these reptiles. One wonders if this was perhaps an error in the text or if such incredible creatures had existed in some of the more remote portions of Africa. Jade and her friends will have enough trouble with a sixteen footer in the upcoming adventure: The Crocodile’s Last Embrace.
Photo credits: Crocodile shot at Entebbe, from May 29, 1921 weekly edition of the East African Standard, Tinted (by me) photo of dead croc taken from July 9, 1921 issue of the East African Standard
Next week: Crocodiles colors: basic model and options
By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace just received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.”
MORE MYSTERY TOPICS:
1) Does mystery have to equal murder? I weigh in with the Suspense Sirens on their blog posting at : http://bit.ly/cpprpx
2) Interested in some insight into what makes me and Jade tick? Go to SCENE OF THE CRIME http://bit.ly/ao2gjg for an interesting interview at a great website by author J. Sydney Jones.
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. THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE will be released Sept. 7, 2010. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda