The Serpent’s Daughter
Third in the Jade del Cameron mystery series, this outing finds Jade, a photojournalist for The Traveler magazine, traveling in Morocco in 1920 with her Spanish mother, an uneasy reunion to be sure. In previous books, Jade seemed almost too good to be true, but in her relationship with her mother, she reveals her human side, taking a perverse delight in behaving badly in front of her mother’s friends but having the grace to be abashed at her mother’s displeasure. She soon finds herself longing for even that strained relationship when her mother is kidnapped and Jade frantically searches across the country to find her.
Arruda is fond of mysticism, which comes to the fore here when Jade becomes involved with a Berber tribe, who reveal her to be the direct descendant of a legendary Berber woman, and enlist her aid in returning a powerful amulet to the tribe. The mysticism is leavened with the more prosaic smuggling of hashish and gold. The smugglers cross paths with Jade, of course to their detriment. Arruda nicely hearkens back to the first two books in the series, as Jade finds herself meeting an old adversary from the first book and her would-be beau from the second. As usual, the descriptions of African countries are vivid, and the mystery gallops apace like an old-time serial. I’m hooked—Jade, where are you traveling next?