The Serpent's Daughter
A Jade Del Cameron Mystery by Suzanne Arruda
Review: Suzanne Arruda sets her third mystery with photojournalist Jade del Cameron, The Serpent's Daughter, in the spring of 1920 in Morocco where Jade has agreed to meet her visiting mother in Tangier.
But soon after her arrival at the hotel, Inez del Cameron insists that her daughter return to the US and live a proper life, to stop putting herself in danger traipsing all over Africa. The minor quarrel ends with the two women retreating to their rooms. Later Jade finds a note from another guest suggesting that her mother left on a tour of a nearby coastal town. When she doesn't return, Jade gets concerned and sets out to find her, driving down the coast and stumbling over a dead man's body in a cave into which she believes her mother may have been taken. Her actions set into motion a series of events that eventually reunite mother and daughter but expose them to even greater danger in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
As much adventure as mystery, The Serpent's Daughter is a thrilling account of the journey of Jade and her mother take to discover why Inez was kidnapped in the first place. Another significant "character" in the story is the country of Morocco and its people, both of which the author describes in ardent detail. Chapters are prefaced with travelogue-style snippets of information that are not only genuinely interesting but also relate to the narrative that follows. The atmospheric setting adds depth and complexity to the story and heightens the suspense when Jade (or Inez, sometimes independently, sometimes together) find themselves in peril (which, it must be said, happens with somewhat alarming, and amusing, frequency).
From the delightful expressions Jade mutters to herself ("Where in the name of St. Peter's fishing pole is she?", "Spit fire and save the matches."), to the special relationship Jade shares with her mother, and to the intriguing backdrop of Morocco in the early 20th century, The Serpent's Daughter is a treat of a mystery.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a trade paperback edition of The Serpent's Daughter for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Serpent's Daughter: Tangier, Marrakesh, Morocco
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The Serpent's Daughter by Suzanne Arruda — A Jade Del Cameron Mystery
Publisher: NAL Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2008
List Price: $14.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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