Arruda, Suzanne M. 1954–

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Arruda, Suzanne M. 1954–

(Suzanne Middendorf Arruda)

PERSONAL:

Born 1954, in Greensburg, IN; married; children: two. Education: Purdue University, B.S.; Kansas State University, M.S.; Washburn University, M.Ed.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Pittsburg, KS. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, instructor. Kansas State University, Manhattan, lab technician, research assistant, biology instructor; Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, museum worker; Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, biology instructor. Has also taught high school science and worked part time at a zoo.

MEMBER:

Mystery Writer's of America, Joplin Writer's Guild (past president and secretary), Missouri Writer's Guild, Sisters in Crime, Kansas Center for the Book, Women in the Outdoors (charter member of the Southeast Kansas chapter).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best fiction award, Missouri Writer's Guild, 2007, for The Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery.

WRITINGS:

(As Suzanne Middendorf Arruda) From Kansas to Cannibals: The Story of Osa Johnson, Avisson Press (Greensboro, N.C.), 2001.

(As Suzanne Middendorf Arruda) Freedom's Martyr: The Story of Jose Rizal, National Hero of the Philippines, Avisson Press (Greensboro, NC), 2003.

(As Suzanne Middendorf Arruda) The Girl He Left Behind: The Life and Times of Libbie Custer, Avisson Press (Greensboro, NC), 2004.

A Stocking for Jesus, Pauline Press (Boston, MA), 2005.

"JADE DEL CAMERON" MYSTERIES

Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, New American Library (New York, NY), 2006.

Stalking Ivory: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.

The Serpent's Daughter: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, Obsidian (New York, NY), 2007.

Also the author of a Web log; contributor of science articles for adults and young readers to magazines and newspapers.

SIDELIGHTS:

A part-time zookeeper and a teacher, Suzanne M. Arruda has published both biographies for young adult readers as well as a popular historical mystery series for adults that is set in East Africa following World War I. Arruda, as she noted on her Web site, has been "an armchair explorer ever since I first picked up a book of missionary tales." Growing up on stories of the adventures of such historical figures as African bush pilot Beryl Markham and museum collector Roy Chapman Andrews, who was used as an inspiration for the Indiana Jones character in popular films, Arruda was well equipped to give her mystery series a ring of veracity. Her fictional protagonist, American Jade Del Cameron, drives an ambulance in France during World War I. In the debut title, Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, Jade travels to British East Africa where she hopes to find the brother of her fallen betrothed, David. It was his dying wish that she do so, and the trail leads to Africa, for it is there that David's father died. Securing a position as a travel writer to finance her expedition, Jade is soon over her head in an investigation that turns up mystery upon mystery in this novel that provides the reader an "exciting early 20th century safari," according to Crescent Blues Book Reviews writer Augusta Scattergood. Further praise came from Booklist contributor Stephanie Zvirin, who wrote, "Arruda manufactures an intriguing backdrop for the debut of her new series," and from a Kirkus Reviews critic who concluded that this first installment offered "an enjoyable romp through a colorful place and period in which the heroine has a Douglas-Fairbanks-in-a-split-skirt-charm." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly reviewer found Mark of the Lion a "charming book."

In Stalking Ivory: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, Jade is on assignment at an elephant sanctuary only to be shocked by the slaughter of several of these protected pachyderms by poachers. She vows to find the perpetrators, whether they are Abyssinian raiders or the mysterious safari leader, Harry Hascombe. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted, "The resilient Jade will charm readers as she asserts her independence." A Kirkus Reviews critic, on the other hand, was less impressed with the heroine, but commented that the "poaching/elephant lore … is unimpeachable."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 2005, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Mark of the Lion: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, p. 25.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2005, review of Mark of the Lion, p. 1211; November 15, 2006, review of Stalking Ivory: A Jade Del Cameron Mystery, p. 1153.

Publishers Weekly, October 24, 2005, review of Mark of the Lion, p. 42; October 23, 2006, review of Stalking Ivory, p. 35.

School Library Journal, November, 2001, Michele Capozzella, review of From Kansas to Cannibals: The Story of Osa Johnson, p. 167; May, 2004, Karen Sutherland, review of Freedom's Martyr: The Story of Jose Rizal, National Hero of the Philippines, p. 160; October, 2004, Lynn Evarts, review of The Girl He Left Behind: The Life and Times of Libbie Custer, p. 184.

Voice of Youth Advocates, December 1, 2006, John Charles, review of Mark of the Lion, p. 390.

ONLINE

Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (August 25, 2007), Kathy Perschmann, review of Stalking Ivory.

Berkley Prime Crime,http://www.berkleysignetmysteries.com/ (August 25, 2007), "Suzanne Arruda."

Catholicmom.com,http://www.catholicmom.com/ (August 25, 2007), Lisa M. Hendey, review of A Stocking for Jesus.

Crescent Blues Book Reviews,http://www.crescentblues.com/ (August 25, 2007), Augusta Scattergood, review of Mark of the Lion.

Missouri Writers Guild Web site,http://www.missouriwritersguild.org/ (August 25, 2007), "Suzanne M. Arruda."

Suzanne Arruda Home Page,http://www.suzannearruda.com (August 25, 2007).