`DOWNLOAD KINDLE ↿ Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery (Jade del Cameron Mysteries) ⇬ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Jade del Cameron is an American woman attached to a British ambulance corps serving in France during WWI One night as she s transporting injured soldiers from the front to the evac hospital, she sees an air fight in progress and recognizes the plane s marking as belonging to her RAF pilot friend David David s plane crashes and she is able to be with him in the final moments As a dying request, he removes a ring from his finger and gives it to Jade with instructions to find his brother After the war, she begins investigating and learns that the brother was illegimate and that the father died mysteriously while searching for this son Jade uses her job with a travel magazine as cover and travels to British East Africa now Kenya to try to fulfill David s request I d happened upon this and thought it sounded really good Since I was going to be on travel for most of a week, I took this along figuring it would last me the trip which it did but only because of limited time to read There s a bunch of history in here from the credits at the end, it sounds like Arruda did her research to hold true to the period both during the war and in the colony The story is fast paced and certainly kept my attention My only negative comment is the extent of witchcraft in this, but it is an integral part of the storyline A couple nights, I had some reallty strange dreams after reading and feel that my mind had been opened up to the witchcraft which directed those dreams I could make some comparisons from this to the Maisie Dobbs series women who served during WWI who go on to investigation after the war, while dealing with war memories The difference is that Maisie s profession is investigation, while Jade is doing it to fulfill a friend s request I m glad this is a series I m looking forward to reading the other books and seeing how Jade s character develops further This one certainly ended with a possibility to go in a number of directions. jade is a fantastic character look forward to having her fleshed out in the future books.The story takes place after Jade served as an ambulance driver in WW1 France She undertakes a journey to fulfill her boyfriend David s last request to locate his brother A brother that his father sired while in East Africa.Her journey, coupled with an introduction by a rather high ranking member of the British aristocracy, opens her world to what is now Kenya and its environs.Characters Harry Hascome, Roger Foster, Pili David s brother by Ethiopian woman and Jenali porter at Nairobi hotel Biscuit, Harry s pet cheetah. I admit, I went into this book with preconceptions, which probably increased my disappointment with it Being such a huge fan of Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series as I am, a series concerning the exploits of an adventurous Victorian woman, I had been on the lookout for another similarly themed book or series When I saw Arruda s book, I was excited, thinking I d found an Amelia Peabody stand in for those long lags between Peters book publications After all, it s a story of a bold American woman, Jade de Cameron, a former ambulance driver on the French front lines during WWI, who undertakes the fulfillment of a dying man s last wish, a quest which takes her to the wilds of East Africa and into the heart of darkness ooh, such a clich , but I had to use it.The concept is great and sounds wonderfully exciting, but the actual execution is disappointing After the initial chapters set on the French battlefields, full of explosions and near misses and heart pounding action, the excitement quickly drops off and the story dissolves into a weak mystery in which the perpetrator is quickly identified by any astute reader, leaving us to suffer through many pointless chapters of characters running around like chickens with their heads cut off as they try to solve the murders, poorly done red herrings, and unnecessary breaks in the story to allow brief babbling excerpts from the villain s P.O.V., a feature which does nothing to enhance the narrative As we wait for the mystery to be finally resolved, we re treated to what basically amounts to a travelogue of East Africa in the 1920 s with a bland quasi romance thrown in for good measure.Halfway through the book, with my patience worn thin and the culprit already figured out a few chapters back, I couldn t help thinking that if this were a tale of Amelia Peabody, she would ve already gotten into a scuffle with some minor miscreants, been kidnapped by the Master Criminal, escaped, figured out what treasure had inspired the M.C s interest, and been on her way to grabbing it first, as well as had a loving quarrel or two with the requisite romantic making up afterwards with Emerson who would ve been knocked on the head at least once already and depending on his age at the time of the story corralled rescued disentangled Ramses from some sort of perilous situation In comparison, Arruda s story had barely gotten off the ground And while the landscapes of Africa are lovingly and lavishly detailed the aspect in which Arruda s writing talent shines , narratives rich enough that you can hear the cough of lions in the sunset shadowed savanna, the laugh of hyenas on the prowl in the inky night, passages where you can almost smell the earth baking under the noon sun and hear the crisp grass bending in the breeze, it almost clashes with the flatness of writing when it comes to the rest of the novel The characters are 2 D and uninspiring, with no real purpose other than to orbit Jade and provide motives for her movements Jade herself is rather jarring, her independent spirit coming off at times as heavy handed and anachronistic Again, to compare probably unfairly , while Amelia Peabody is feisty, independent and bold, those traits are always with the context of the times in which she was born and raised and lives So while she ll wear Bloomer s bloomers and defy certain conventions when and how they become cumbersome to her, to other rituals and s she ll adhere fiercely and become quite shocked at the idea of doing otherwise Jade comes off as a woman of the 21st century plonked down in the 1920s there s no obvious chafing from her at the constraints against women of that period, no indication that she s of her time yet slightly ahead of her time, no evidence that her independence costs her anything either socially or emotionally She s bold and everyone simply accepts that, attributing her independence to the fact that she s American and just doesn t get the social niceties of the society around her, a cop out that doesn t sit well with me.I won t say this is a bad book, but I will say, in order to finish it because I was so bored, I skimmed over the last third Otherwise, I don t think I d been able to force myself to slog through and finish the book in a normal fashion With a plodding storyline and a lackluster plot, I fear this book has little to recommend it It s possible the succeeding books in the series improve, however I doubt I ll give them a try to find out. If I could, I would rate the descriptions of East Africa at least 3 stars, all the rest a grudging 2 stars I wanted so much to like both this book and this heroine, both of which should have been right up my alley, but they were steadfast in their refusal to give me the slightest hook of appreciation The mystery was patently obvious and hamhandedly presented the text tells us the heroine is smart and clever and then has her utterly oblivious to the easily obtained answers to the mystery And, really, the heroine is at the root of most of the problems with this book I can handle sketchy stock characters to flesh out a scene, but when your heroine seems to be mostly a compilation of Designated Personality Quirks she hates tea and loves coffee, because it s less stuffy har har, we re going to tell you this at least twice in every scene where she might possibly consume a beverage she s anachronistically modern and egalitarian and independent, and god help us all, spunky and a lot of telling entirely mismatched with the showing, it s hard to hang a novel on the strength strength of that This was also hurt by the imprecision of the POV, which was alternately deep in Jade s head then making descriptive, flattering commentary about her lithe figure, effortless style, and entrancing green eyes I just I wanted to like her so much Former ambulance driver in World War I An adventuress striking off as a reporter on her own to fulfill a dying request And instead she was this slapdash amalgamation of Cool Girl she s too practical to be interested in all that lesser girly stuff she has no truck with fashion and her own appearance but is effortlessly beautiful and attracts all the boys while being admired by all the other girls did we mention she likes coffee and thinks tea is silly also she s the best shot, the best mechanic, and the bravest hunter ever with genuinely moving, well written moments of PTSD flashback And let s not even get started with some of the race issues Our independent she s American, you see , anachronistic heroine thinks the way most of the Happy Valley set treat the local populace is kind of despicable and she s right , but the narrative hardly backs her up with her and I will treat them better and no different from anyone else prospect The one character of color with any sort of significant onscreen presence and a personality beyond mysterious, possibly wise, possibly crazy mystical person, is a little boy who just, like, stops showing up halfway through with scarcely a handwave, and the glaringly obvious MacGuffin has hardly any dialogue at all I can t really penalize them for being poorly sketched stock characters, because that s true across the board It s hard to believe in the heroine s protestations of equality when the author doesn t even come close.All that, though, and I may still seek out the next book in hopes that the author gets better at writing people, because gosh her writing about landscape and animals was enjoyable. GOOD read Indiana Jones jas nothing on Jade The setting was Nairobi, cant wait to see it in person. Now this was a Ripping Yarn, something I haven t read for a while A quest, a doughty female heroine, adventure in Africa in the aftermath of WWI remember The African Queen The war touched Africa too, as Germany, England, and France all had colonies there And, a touch of the supernatural.It might not do to enquire too closely into the believability of everything in the story Just enjoy Highly recommended, I ll be reading of this series. This book really surprised me I have to be truthful and tell you I only really bought it because I wanted to read a mystery and the heroine s name was Jade My name is Jade so my vanity was definitely at play in my choice of book here As I began reading I had my doubts as to whether or not I would really enjoy this book As I had been discovering and loving historicals though, I thought I d give it a try even though the period is not what I m used to I m glad I stuck with it.I will say this book started off very slowly The heroine as an ambulance worker during the war was pretty brilliant to me I love that she had a great purpose outside of her own wants and comfort zone But the story kind of dragged in the beginning From almost the beginning we know what her mission is to find her recently deceased friend s lost brother, and discover how his father died as the circumstances were suspicious So when she gets to Nairobi, I m expecting her to just jump right into her assignment since she is so driven by her friend s last wish But she meets some locals and gets familiar with the area and the people before anything really starts happening.I will say the author does almost immediatley start playing up the back story that will eventually tie into everything And strange things do begin to happen to and around Jade but to me it doesn t seem as if she is actively looking for clues to Gil Worthy s death or the loction of his other son There are many opportunities to ask questions and inquire about things that she just lets slip by or she s not as firm or persistant as she could be Especially considering she s from the West But when her friends Beverly and Avery arrive, things finally seem to pick up and Jade begins to slowly uncover the mystery surrounding Gil Worthy and his lost son Once they go on their Safari things really begin to start happening and that s when I finally found myself really engrossed in the book But unfortunately the Safari starts when than half the book is done I would have like to get to all the action a bit sooner, or at least have a bit in the first half But as slow as the first half began is how fast the second half picked up and it did not disappoint With several animal attacks, the uncovering of the identity of Gil s surviving son, and the discovery of the map of rings , Jade thinks she has it all figured out until the true intentions of her traveling companions surface Fueled by David s last dying wish and an uncanny will to survive, Jade finally learns the truth of Gil s second son and discovers a murderer in their midst.Overall it was a great story and I recommend reading it if you like mysteries and period pieces Jade del Cameron is a great heroine with great personality She s very likeable and definitely believable Great story, pick it up I ll defintely be getting the other books in this series. Read the second book of this series because this one wasn t yet available as ebook which it now is That was intriguing enough to make me want to read this one to see what went before Just finished first chapter and I m hooked.Jade del Cameron is an ambulance driver for the French in the war She is often teased for liking the Model T ambulances, but she could fix them and find parts for them when she needed to She is an excellent driver and a crack shot because she grew up on her parents ranch in New Mexico and was quite independent, managing in the remote areas of the ranch on her own killing predators and dealing with other things that came up Jade had turned down a proposal of marriage from David Worthy, a pilot, who swore to win her with his feats of daring One of these caused his plane to crash near the hospital With his dying words, he asked Jade to find his brother and that his father s death was suspicious No one knew he had a brother When Jade returns to London, she visits his mother who declares that such was not the case no brother, nothing suspicious about his father s death in Africa She takes a solicitor s card from the silver tray of people who called on his mother and finds out something very different from the solicitor Feeling that she owes David, Jade goes to Africa Being so independent she has little patience for the customs among the colonials and begins to impress that fact upon them, by killing a dangerous witch hyena and punching a drunken fellow at the club It helps that her best friend, Bev, has married an English duke who has insisted she have letters of introduction which impress many of the people she meets She acquires several allies among the population because of her spirit and courage She is paying her way through Africa by working for a travel journal and writing an article for publication There are several quite a few obstacles thrown in her way in the effort to discover David s younger brother and she eventually figures out what is going on There are also episodes of drug smuggling, witches, and prospecting The most serious encounters are caused by the witch and his animal familiars But she has received protection from the shaman of the village she protects by killing the hyena.The headings of the chapters are brief descriptions of Africa that supposedly appear in her article, showing the love she has developed for the country.Now, I shall have to reread the second book and read the rest of the series and so it goes.. This series opener, Arruda s fiction debut, came to my notice back in 2006, from reviews in the library trade publications when it was first published I m delighted that I finally got to read it it definitely didn t disappoint It did, however, surprise me in one respect All of the marketing for the book and series is oriented towards the mystery genre, and the review s I read didn t hint at any cross genre appeal I knew, from the cover copy, that it featured skulduggery which the African natives attributed to sorcery but I assumed that, as usual in the genre, this would prove to be a Scooby Doo type device maybe The Hound of the Baskervilles would furnish a grown up example , in which a faked supernatural disguise was unmasked as a cloak for natural crime But as my recommendation and choice of shelves telegraphs, that s not the case here Readers who are put off by the supernatural should be duly warned although my wife, who initially wanted no part of an actually supernatural premise and only agreed to the choice of the book I read it out loud to her, as our car book because I told her honestly that I d be very surprised if it had any real supernatural elements, was hooked early and hard and didn t mind the premise, when it became clear, one bit Readers like me, for whom supernatural elements are a plus, will find that an added bonus Arruda takes the reader on an exciting ride, from the trauma and dangers of the Western front in the closing months of World War I, to the polyglot bustle of the unpaved streets of 1919 Nairobi, and on to the beauty, mystery and deadly danger of the colonial African bush These settings are evoked with a skill that s the fruit of obviously serious research the short Author s Notes in the back of the book cite several solid primary source books on the Africa of that day, as well as on the experiences of WWI women ambulance drivers , but that s integrated into the text without info dumps or display for its own sake The plot holds reader interest every minute, and the author s prose style makes for a quick read Jade herself is a wonderful character, brave, smart, caring, tough and capable definitely Barb s and my preferred kind of heroine She did not, as the Goodreads description implies, pick up her rifle skills during the war she grew up on a New Mexico ranch, where she was used to hunting She s not without physical and emotional damage from the war, and has a hot temper which she doesn t always control well and in some respects Arruda makes her appear somewhat slow on the uptake, in not tumbling to the identity of the culprit s sooner If the book has a weakness, it s that this is too easily guessed, despite the author s attempts to mask it by not allowing Jade to suspect it this wasn t a prohibitive flaw for either my wife or myself, though But she s a very easy heroine to like, admire, and root for all the way The other characters are well drawn and likeable or hate able as well.The colonial Africa of Arruda s literary vision is realistic far so than Burroughs , but it s balanced than either the Africa of Conrad s Heart of Darkness, which evokes mostly its fear and menace, or of Graham Greene s The Heart of the Matter, which tends to stress the grungier and sordid aspects Fear and menace is present here, as well as a sense of age old mystery, but it s balanced by beauty and a feeling of invitation to adventure and the grungy and sordid is there, as it is anywhere, but we get the feeling here that life doesn t have to focus on that unless we choose to The wonder of the continent is captured here, at a moment in time when it was still relatively unspoiled, when the wildlife was hunted but not yet endangered, and when the native cultures weren t totally assimilated by the steamroller of modern civilization Arruda makes her native characters real people as well, not stick figures there to tote loads and wait on the whites though they do some of that , and she gives us a heroine commendably free of race prejudice Jade has Hispanic and possibly some Moorish blood herself We re not exposed to the full brutality that British rule sometimes entailed, as readers are in James Ngugi s A Grain of Wheat but we get glimpses of the racism of the time happily not shared by all the Brits here This is as much action adventure fiction as it is a mystery or tale of the supernatural and like most action adventure, it has some violence However, none of this is graphic or dwelt on Arruda may have one character vomit on discovering a mangled body, but she won t make the reader join in Bad language is relatively mild and there s no obscenity though there s a bit here and there Jade will cuss some herself if circumstances evoke it, but she often prefers creative, and sometimes humorous, expletives probably derived from the slang of the Southwestern frontier There s also no sex, either explicit or implied.I d highly recommend this book to most readers that I know The sequel, Stalking Ivory, is already on my to read shelf and BookMooch wishlist and this time, I hope I don t wait eight years to read it `DOWNLOAD KINDLE ☘ Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery (Jade del Cameron Mysteries) ⇵ After Driving An Ambulance Along The Front Lines Of World War I, She Can Fire A Rifle With Deadly Precision Still Suffering Trauma From The Great War, She Sets Off For Africa Determined To Fulfill A Man S Dying Wishnever Expecting To Become Involved In MurderRich With Romance, Mystery, And Adventure, Mark Of The Lion Introduces A Fascinating New Heroine And Explores The Elusive Heart Of A Compelling And Exotic World