A driver who developed a taste for adventure while behind the wheel of a Model T ambulance in WWI travels after the war to Africa to fulfill the dying request of her almost-fiancé.
David Worthy died in Jade del Cameron’s arms when his Sopwith Camel crashed during combat with a German Fokker. She’s eager to honor his last words: “Find my brother.” The only problem is that he doesn’t seem to have a brother. Impetuous and courageous, Jade heads off to East Africa, where David’s father was improbably killed when a hyena attacked him in his posh hotel room. Once she’s in Nairobi, her striking beauty, boldness and sponsorship by an English peer who’s the husband of her best friend ingratiate her with the Anglo-Saxon elite, a jungle within the jungle, a mix of enterprising and decadent colonials. Her skills with both rifle (she grew up on a ranch in New Mexico) and automobile, on the other hand, keep her alive in the natural jungle on a hunt for a witch’s hyena preying on a small native village. And they stand her in good stead on a safari when lions hunt her and she discovers David’s brother and David’s father’s killer.
Arruda’s debut is an enjoyable romp through a colorful place and period in which the heroine has a Douglas-Fairbanks-in-a-split-skirt-charm and the mystery serves mostly as an excuse for an early 20th-century Nairobi safari.