Saturday, July 18, 2009

Treasure of the Golden Cheetah-Suzanne Arruda

Treasure of the Golden Cheetah
Suzanne Arruda
Obsidian, Sep 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780451227898

She is known as the lioness Simba for her courage, honesty, strength and ability to get out of tough situations. Photojournalist Jade Del Cameron likes Africa and constantly risks her life for a story. In 1920 she is part of a safari that is heading towards Mt. Kilimanjaro with actors filming a movie on the treasures left by King Solomon’s son Melinek.

While she is doing a feature on the Hollywood group, she also considers Sam Featherstone’s marriage proposal. Jade loves Sam, but fears marriage will confine her as she knows he will want to keep her safe while she is a risk taker needing her freedom. The trek proves dangerous with people dying starting with the producer. The deaths initially look like tragic accidents until Jade finally concludes there is a predator amongst the safari. Doing her job, Jade knows she is caught in a precarious situation, but with her friend Jelani the healer and her pal Biscuit the cheetah, Jade vows to end the serial killing spree.

1920 Africa as always owns this fascinating amateur sleuth tale starring a brave heroine who marches to her own drummer. Jade is independent and tough but is also tender and caring. With a nod to Hemingway, the whodunit is fun, but the TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN CHEETAH is as much a great historical as it is a mystery.

Harriet Klausner