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, January 31, 2011

1920's NAIROBI - A FEW FUN ADS

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me.”

After three weeks of riots and racial troubles in 1922 Nairobi, I thought perhaps readers needed a respite. For that reason I'm presenting you with a trio of ads taken from the Leader of British East Africa (April 8 and 22, 1922)

Have you ever thought of Gum as being “indispensable to athletes?” Wrigley’s made that claim in 1922.

And with claims of being “self-filling, self-cleaning” and “self regulating”, it’s no wonder this pen was touted as “Absolutely the pen.” But did it do your correspondence for you?

Of course, Jade had to deal with some forgeries in The Crocodile’s Last Embrace so it’s a shame that those around her didn’t make more use of this brand of ink which was “forgery proof.”

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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, and The Leopard’s Prey, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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Monday, January 24, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “AFRICAN UNREST PART 3”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me.”

After over 14 hours of Kikuyu protest over Harry Thuku’s arrest, the protesters charged the police lines under agitation of several women and a few male leaders who told the protesters not to worry as the “askaris are only bibis” (women). In the resulting brief gunfire, several protesters were killed. Initially sixteen were dead and five more soon added as they died in the “native hospital.” Eventually, the death toll rose still higher as more Kikuyu died of their wounds.

In with the crowd were a few Europeans and several Indians. Subsequent discussions led many British to believe that this riot was not the work of the Kikuyu. At least, it was not in keeping with any previously seen Kikuyu behavior. It was unfathomable that they would push their women forward to the front lines. What was never suggested was that the women moved up to the front on their own. If the Kikuyu men were not considered capable of fomenting a riot, the women were ignored even more. However, no one could come up with anyone else to blame for the riot.

In the days after the tragic shootings, the “Chief Native Commissioner issued a pamphlet in Swahili for circulation among the Natives of the Colony.” The pamphlet briefly described what happened and ended by putting “the question straight to the natives, whether they are going to be ruled by Thuku or by their own chiefs and government. It accused the “Thuku movement” of being “a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Chiefs and defy the Government.” (It should be noted that the Kikuyu had not traditionally had a Chief, but were governed by the elders. The concept of a village Chief was established by the British government to make rule easier.) In Nairobi, the Town Council voted to cut the “native staff’s” wages “as a lesson.”

And what happened to Harry Thuku? The Leader reported that he was removed to Kismayu where he was detained.

NEXT WEEK – More News from Jade’s time?

Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 25, 1922.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: More Nairobi news:

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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Monday, January 17, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “AFRICAN UNREST CONTINUED”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me.”

Last week’s blog covered the arrest of Harry Thuku, a Wakikuyu man described as “a native agitator.” His arrest resulted in large crowds of angry Africans, demanding his release. The crowd had been ordered to disperse, and most did but during the night, the crowd increased again until, on the morning of the 17th, it was announced that a deputation of six “natives” and no more would be received by the Colonial Secretary. It was up to the crowd to determine which six men should represent them and their grievances. The Colonial Secretary saw these six men in “witness’s presence” and the men were told to go back to their people and order them to disperse which they attempted at 10:45 am.

By then “the crowd had considerably increased” and “the attitude of the crowd had changed from being a rather quiet sort of assembly to a rather truculent one.” This was due to “certain natives walking amongst the crowd and haranguing them. Some were calling on the people to throw away their kipandis (working and identification papers) and to withhold the hut and poll taxes. The talk was seditious and inflammatory.”

By 12:15 pm, the deputation appeared at the “Caledonian football ground” where they again asked the crowd to disperse. This time, it nearly worked but “about 250 women who had been with the crowd all morning… shouted at the men and called them cowards.” This served to enrage the men who surged forward toward the fences. The forty men who defended the South Gate “came down to the charge with their bayonets, the front rank kneeling.” The 3rd King’s African Rifles were called upon for another fifty men to assist. Twenty men were held in reserve at Mr. Thuku’s cell.

At “four minutes to one o’clock” a shout was heard coming from near the South Gate and “almost simultaneously” a shot. Cease fire was blown on the bugle and the whistle

NEXT WEEK – WHAT HAPPENED?

Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 25, 1922.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: More Nairobi news:

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter in the UK. Brand new covers! ********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “AFRICAN UNREST”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me.”

Note: this entry is posted earlier than the usual Monday due to celebrating my 30th anniversary.)

The name “Harry Thuku” has appeared in the Jade del Cameron mysteries as a man who inspired the Kikuyu, Jelani, to protest colonial treatment of the Kikuyu. In particular, Jelani protested the travel restrictions and imposed labor.

But who was Harry Thuku? The Leader of British East Africa (March 18, 1922) characterizes him as “a native agitator” who has held “frequent meetings in the reserves where he gathered together on several occasions thousands of Wakikuyu and discussed alleged grievances and political questions.” He also was alleged to have written and produced “a quantity of literature couched generally in biblical terms on native political affairs.” They were considered “not particularly violent or anti-European.” And he was arrested.

But why was he arrested if his meetings and literature were non-violent? That question wasn’t addressed by the newspaper, however, the results of the arrest were. And they were violent. “As an immediate result of the above arrest, a mass meeting of natives was held in Pangani village yesterday evening, which terminated in a large body of natives marching into town and heading for the police lines near the Norfolk Hotel where Thuku is incarcerated.” By the time they reached their destination, they were “1,000 strong”
and many were “armed with heavy sticks.” Rickshaw drivers “turned out” their European passengers and joined the massive gathering. All the makings of a decent riot were in play.

Every available officer and askari was called on to form a line complete with fixed bayonets. The crowd of Kikuyu “immediately seated themselves in the thoroughfare and demanded the release of Thuku.” The crowd was ordered to disperse but their reply was that they intended to stay all night if necessary. They were then warned by the police “that force would be resorted to if necessary.”

The crowd did disperse before anyone could be harmed but only after the Chief of Police “had agreed to see a representative deputation of Wakikuyu regarding any alleged grievances this morning.” Not all the Kikuyu left Nairobi. “Bands of natives patrolled the town until late into the night. There was an ugly feeling abroad and the police stood to arms.”

Readers of the Jade del Cameron series will recall Jelani’s arrest for agitation as well in both The Leopard’s Prey and The Crocodile’s Last Embrace.

Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 18, 1922.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: More Nairobi news:

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion and Stalking Ivory in the UK. Brand new covers! The Serpent’s Daughter will follow in January.********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

Africa, Jade del Cameron, Kenya, Nairobi, Harry Thuku, Wakikuyu, The Leopard's Prey, The Crocodile's Last Embrace, The Leader of British East Africa, protests

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Monday, January 03, 2011

1920’s East Africa– “FOSSILS IN THE RIFT – before Louis Leakey”

I’M NOW ON FACEBOOK. Come to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts and look around. Hope you “like me.”

Professor J. W. Gregory’s 1921 volume: The Rift Valleys and Geology of East Africa, was reviewed in the March 18, 1922 issue of The Leader of British East Africa. For those who lived in Kenya Colony but had taken their land and that of neighboring Tanganyika (formerly German East Africa) for granted, the publication was guaranteed to be eye-opening.

Besides discussing the volcanic activity of the region including Mount Kenya and Mount Kilima Njaro, Professor Gregory expounds on the (at least) fifteen glaciers that grew and marked Mt. Kenya in its past. “The peak was once covered by an ice-cap from which glaciers flowed outward and descended about 5,000 ft lower than the existing glaciers, which end at between 14,000 and 15,000 feet. The evidence is clear that the ice once extended on Kenya about 5000 ft below its present limit” as evidenced by the different plant fauna of the upper elevations where isolation allowed them to evolve into “different species on different mountains.” The crater of Kenya itself was probably at least 3000 ft. above the present summit.

Another fascination portion of the book dealt with “Relics of Prehistoric Man.” Professor Gregory found “obsidian flakes of a Neolithic type.” Some came from the Athi plains but the best were found on the Rift Valley floor “from an ancient camp beside the Gilgil River.” A settler named Harrison had, at one time, collected some Paleolithic axes which he loaned to the Nairobi museum. However, he refused to disclose the find’s location after learning that such items were considered valuable. Unfortunately for science, Harrison “subsequently went to war and was killed, the secret of the locality whence the implements were derived perishing with him.”

More important discoveries would have to wait for Louis Leakey.

Headline and quotes taken from The Leader of British East Africa, March 18, 1922.

By the way, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace received a starred review by Publishers’ Weekly who called it “rip-roaring.” Romantic Times gave it 4 Stars and called it “Enormously fun” and Library Journal’s starred review stated “Do not miss this one.”
And Mark of the Lion is now available in the U.K. via Piatkus Books. Stalking Ivory and The Serpent’s Daughter will soon follow.

Next week: More Nairobi news:

SPEAKING OF NEWS!
*****Piatkus UK is offering Mark of the Lion and Stalking Ivory in the UK. Brand new covers! The Serpent’s Daughter will follow in January.********* http://www.piatkus.co.uk/Genre/Crime-and-Thriller

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, Treasure of the Golden Cheetah and THE CROCODILE’S LAST EMBRACE. An excerpt and information on ordering signed copies is available at the website: www.suzannearruda.com. Follow short updates on http://twitter.com/SuzanneArruda and on facebook to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Arruda-Mystery-Writer/165784103431688?ref=ts

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