Thursday, January 25, 2007

Stalking Ivory - Suzanne Arruda

Stalking Ivory
A Jade del Cameron Mystery
Suzanne Arruda
New American Library


In 1920, WWI is over and with it, the need for female ambulance drivers. In search of further adventure, the ever-resourceful Jade travels to East Africa with her friends Beverly and Avery Dunbury. The group is headed for Mount Marsabit to film the indigenous elephants there. But their trip is sidelined by the shocking discovery of a group of corpses. Three are elephants, clearly slain for their ivory tusks; the other is human.

Local authorities attribute the crimes to local poachers, but Jade isn’t so sure. Her former, and persistent, boyfriend, Harry Hascombe, is also in the area, leading safaris of all things. Jade knows that Harry’s sliding scale of ethics would hardly prevent him from leading elephant-hunting expeditions. When she learns that he’s currently leading a group of suspiciously well-armed Germans, her doubts increase. She, with a bit of help from American pilot Sam Featherstone, decides to solve the murder case and try to put an end to the poaching.

Jade is a wonderful creation. She’s independent and intelligent without being abrasive. She’s fearless without surrendering her femininity. And she’s not afraid to take a moral stand. Readers who followed her adventures in MARK OF THE LION (1/06) know all of this already. New readers will be happy to meet this engaging amateur sleuth. The African setting provides a perfect backdrop for the action; and the author's experience with animals shines through clearly. Superior characterizations and a well-plotted mystery make for a worthy addition to this fine new historical series.

Rating: 8 ½
January 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22026-4 (hardcover)


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