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Murder Can’t Stop De Carnival
by Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier

My Grandma Lolo keeps a framed photograph in her kitchen of the very first St. Thomas Carnival—the one where the revelers, consumed by glitter and sequins and the thrill of pageantry and rum, met with an unexpected rainstorm. She’s an octogenarian now, but Lolo still tells that story like she’s devouring the plumpest mango from her tree, savoring each word like it’s a juicy bite. The year was 1952. The island was growing into its place on the global stage, taking its first tentative step into the kind of cultural extravaganza that islands like Trinidad had been pulling off for years. Lolo was little then, but she remembers the dark clouds rolling in and the downpour they’d unleashed on the parade. It had washed away makeup and destroyed hairdos, turned the festive streets of downtown Charlotte Amalie into a soggy mess. READ MORE


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The Bijoux Bird
by Max Allan Collins and Matthew V. Clemens


The British navy’s blockade of Nassau Harbor transformed the mood of the pirate republic from drunken revelry into sheer panic. With the harbor’s mouth closed, and the mouths of men open in ragged-toothed outrage, the response of the Ranger’s captain, Charles Vane, proved typically demented.

His long black leather coat flapping like a cape, the pirate skipper ordered his men to load a recently captured brigantine with lamp oil, rope, and extra sails, anything flammable. He bade them double-load the cannon, knowing the big guns when heated up would fire in a random and deadly fashion. Then the crew slathered the entire cargo—the ship’s decks, sails, and all—in viscous black tar. READ MORE

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