This book is an interesting mystery featuring Jade del Cameron, an intrepid photojournalist living in British East Africa. Fascinating glimpses of the society of the 1920s interspersed with descriptions of the hazards attendant in capturing wild animals to populate zoos and animal exhibitions as well as vivid thumbnail descriptions of the native peoples, including the Maasai warriors. Jade and her beau, pilot Sam Featherstone, end up in the middle of a murder investigation while they try to survive the normal hazards of living in Africa (man-eating leopards, rhinos, malaria, etc.).
This is a very colorful tale that gives the reader the flavor of both the country and the attitudes of the era. Suzanne Arruda does a masterful job of describing the disparate lives and experiences by both the native and non-native peoples of British East Africa. The reader gets the flavor of the life and hardships faced during this time period in the guise of a murder mystery that entails the victim being discovered in a coffee dryer that has been delivered to Jade’s friends. Jade’s friend Sam is implicated in the crime and she is compelled to both attempt to clear his good name and examine her feelings for him more closely while fulfilling her duties to the men who have hired her to assist them with capturing a variety of animals to ship back to the United States. The Leopard’s Prey has an eclectic cast of colorful characters, both human and non-human, add dimension to the story and piques one’s interest about the prequels to this episode in Jade’s life.
Jade del Cameron's latest endeavor—helping a company collect wild animals for U.S. zoos— finds her lassoing zebras and posing as bait for a leopard. But the real danger begins when Jade's friends find a merchant's body on their coffee plantation. Authorities determine the cause of death to be murder. Their prime suspect: Jade's beau, moviemaker and World War I flying ace Sam Featherstone.
To clear Sam's name, Jade launches her own investigation, questioning the dead man's partners and clients. But nothing can prepare Jade for the journey that lies ahead, as she must make an emergency landing in Sam's plane deep within the vast African wilderness, then risk the long trek back to Nairobi to confront more than one kind of brutal killer face-to-face...