Xylophones Above Zarundi: A Chaotic Tale of Melody by Geoffrey McSkimming

Xylophones Above Zarundi: A Chaotic Tale of Melody by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

While on a stopover in the mysterious African country of Zarundi, Jocelyn Osgood – that well-known Valkyrian Airways Flight Attendant and ‘good friend’ of Cairo Jim – becomes unwittingly embroiled in the theft of a priceless royal tiara.

She and her companions find themselves thrown into a world of subtle chaos, which carries them across an intriguing and colourful landscape as they try desperately to locate the stolen regalia and two renegade Tropical Xylophonists…

My Perspective

Xylophones Above Zarundi: A Chaotic Tale of Melody follows Jocelyn Osgood and Joan Twilight as they become mixed up in the theft of the royal tiara while on stopover in Zarundi. In order to get it back, they find themselves on the trail of the two xylophonists who went missing at the same time as the tiara…

As much as I love the Cairo Jim novels, I LOVE the Jocelyn Osgood novels even more. I’m not sure why, there isn’t a specific thing that I can pinpoint, they are just a really great read.

In saying that, this story was probably my least favourite of the Jocelyn Osgood novels as I found the mystery and adventure of the other books far more fascinating because they had a lot more history involved. This was still good, it just lacked that extra oomph.

Jocelyn is extremely easy to like and is a fantastic female lead. She’s strong, capable, smart, and kind as well as still having real emotions and moments of self doubt. Joan is hilarious and one finds it hard not to like her despite her obvious “blonde” personality. They make a great team and bounce off one another well. The other characters were in usual Cairo Jim form – extremely quirky and unusual and slightly silly. The villain in this story was EXTREMELY unlikable.

The story was interesting, well written and held mystery for the reader. It had me guessing right up until the very end.

I would definitely recommend this book however it’s probably better to start with the first Jocelyn Osgood novel, After The Puce Empress, so you can read how Jocelyn and Joan first met.

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Cairo Jim

When i was in year four at school, we had an author come and visit us. His name was Geoffrey McSkimming and he is the author of the series, Cairo Jim. I remember being in awe of him, and how funny and vibrant he was. I started reading his books and from memory i think I’ve read every single one of the Cairo Jim stories. The other day on eBay i saw someone selling a bunch of his books and i couldn’t resist. I bought them. They are such a fun read, and books that i can’t wait to introduce to the children we hope to have one day. As a kid, i read them over and over again and i remember thinking to myself that Geoffrey McSkimming was actually Cairo Jim, he was just pretending to be Geoffrey McSkimming.

When Geoffrey McSkimming was a boy he found an old motion-picture projector and a tin containing a dusty home movie in his grandmother’s attic. He screened the film and was transfixed by the flickering image of a man in a jaunty pith helmet, baggy Sahara shorts and special desert sun-spectacles. The man had an imposing macaw and a clever looking camel, and Geoffrey Mcskimming was mesmerised by their activities in black-and-white Egypt, Peru, Greece, Mexico, Sumatra, Turkey, Italy and other exotic locations. Years later he discovered the identities of the trio, and has spent much of his time since then retracing their footsteps, interviewing surviving members of the Old Relics Society, and gradually reconstructing the lost true tales of Cairo Jim, which have become the enormously successful Cairo Jim chronicles.”

Cairo Jim Books