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I spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning the kitchen counter and floor, washing bathroom rugs, doing (clothing) laundry, etc.. Saturday evening, I went to visit [personal profile] drinkingcocoa, who was also cleaning. In between cleaning, I read. Instead of reading all the books I'd already started to read, I read Mark of the Lion by Suzanne Arruda, a mystery novel set in 1919 British East Africa. The detective had been an ambulance driver during WWI, named Jade Del Cameron. As an American raised on a New Mexico ranch, she served both as an outside (American) point of view on the British colonists and had useful skills - hunting and fixing cars.

I wish there had been a more detailed bibliography in back. Mostly, the author mentioned Isak Dinesen and Elspeth Huxley. However, though the book focused on the British, I was pleased that at least the story differentiated Kikuyu from Maasai, even though they didn't have a large part in the plot. And of course one way to know if a character was trustworthy was to look at how they treated the Native Africans. I'm wondering if the African characters will get more space as the series goes on.

I'm thinking of reading more of this series. Anybody else read these books?

I also re-read some Mary Poppins, since I plan to lend the ones I have to Geeklet. I'm wondering if J.K. Rowling read these books. Robertson Ay (the boy servant) hides in the broom cupboard to sleep; Mary Poppins is feted in the zoo's snake house on her birthday; a cracked Royal Doulton bowl reminded me of the Mirror of Erised in the way it twisted one's desires. I wonder how much these stories are part of British childrens' zeitgeist?

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