I've discovered a new (to me) author and mystery series--in addition to Vish Puri! Set in 1920's Africa, with its green-eyed heroine the gutsy daredevil Jade del Cameron, the series is written by Suzanne Arruda and has garnered an impressive amount of praise. Both the exotic setting and the unique heroine make this book a fun read, but I have to admit that my mind keeps straying both while I'm reading and in between opportunities.
It's straying to the Banana Republic stores I remember from the 80's. And I've started to feel a little nostalgic. My mom usually worked weekends when I was growing up, so my dad towed us around the city. First stop would be some tool store, lumber yard, flea market, or other objectionable spot to a tween-age girl. After that, it'd be lunch out and a trip to the mall--my dad's version of fair play. We went to the Houston Galleria A LOT. My sister and I would split up from my dad and brother and shop for a prearranged amount of time. We'd occasionally venture into Banana Republic, just to look.
If you don't remember Banana Republic in the 80's, it was NOTHING, NOTHING like it is now. It sold 'Travel & Safari Clothing' and was decked out like something from an Indiana Jones movie: wooden crates abounded, stamped with travel destinations, dark wood played against rattan, with animal accents scattered throughout. They sold buttery leather jackets, safari hats, and loose, flowing white blouses and khaki slacks. Oh how I wished I had a reason to dress that like! But I was a tween in the 80's--the era of ghastly fashion--even I couldn't bring myself to buck the trends that significantly.
Doing a quick search on Google brought all the memories flooding back: the J. Peterman-like catalogs, the logo: a star bracketed with two bananas, the classic style with a hint of African mystique... Where, oh where, did that store go?
Images from here. I'm so glad this person had the good taste to save these!