Treasure of the Golden Cheetah

Written by Suzanne Arruda
Review by Ellen Keith

1920s heroine Jade del Cameron returns in her fifth mystery set in Africa. Independent Jade is mulling over a marriage proposal from her beau Sam Featherstone. She’s got time to think because she’ll be helping her unwelcome suitor Harry Hascombe lead actors on a movie shoot to Mt. Kilimanjaro while Sam stays in Kenya.

The expedition is threatened before it even begins when the movie’s producer is stabbed to death by an African who then takes the knife to his own chest. Against all odds, the shoot proceeds but continues to be plagued with bad luck, with Jade once again cursed by a native (this seems to happen in every book).

I have been a huge fan of this series and was looking forward to Jade’s response to Sam’s proposal, which occurred at the end of the last book, but I felt curiously let down in this latest installment. Jade and Sam are vividly drawn, but the rest of the characters, especially the movie people, failed to come to life and seemed interchangeable. Sam’s continually thwarted attempts to reach Jade at the end were contrived—realistic, given Africa, but definitely contrived. I hope in the next installment Arruda decides what she wants to do with these two characters.