Gold and Jewelry, Kelantan Style

The first major (well, major for me at the time) purchase of gold was a pair of earrings, thick huggies called pacat kenyang, or full leeches.  Not the most endearing of names, but these earrings were beautiful, and very yellow gold.  Ordinarily, I must tell you, I look appalling in yellow, definitely jaundiced and close to dead, but I make an exception for gold jewelry which isn’t really yellow in the same sense and anyway, I think everyone looks terrific in gold, including me.  They do kind…

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Gold and Jewelry: It Belongs to You and No One Else

What makes the collection of gold jewelry so attractive to so many women?  In this pursuit, I must report that attitudes in Kelantan and Brooklyn are very similar.


‘Jewelry is your own,’ was my mother’s mantra.  ‘It isn’t joint property, it doesn’t belong to the family, it’s yours.’  My mother also believed, with religious fervor, that jewelry passed from mother to daughter, like mitochondrial DNA.  Sons, and son’s wives in particular, had no place in the line of inheritance.  Miriam’s law…

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How I came to write the Kain Songket Mysteries

I’m thrilled to announce that the first book in the Mak Cik Maryam series, Shadow Play, is now coming out in the United States, published by Felony and Mayhem Press (it actually sounds more like a law firm to me). There are currently four books in the series, called the Kain Songket Mysteries in Asia, but they haven’t been easily available here until now.

I began writing in my fifties, having never written fiction before. I love mysteries, and read them like popcorn. I examined the brief…

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