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MM Kaye

Dear Author

REVIEW: Death in the Andamans by MM Kaye

Dear Readers,

“Beautiful Copper (it’s a nickname) Randal had come to the exotic Andaman Islands off the coast of India to visit her former school friend but before long she falls under the sultry spell of sun and ocean…and of handsome Nick Tarrent. But undercurrents of violence and betrayal run deep beneath the polite society of British colonists on this tropical isle…and now danger seems to stalk the night as Copper holds her breath in fearful anticipation. Then as storm clouds gather beyond the dawn horizon a plan of murder and revenge turns a romantic outing into a day of terror…in a paradise where love is mixed with suspicion and a killer is ready to strike again.”

Set in the exotic locale of the Andamans Islands just off the coast of India, Kaye does a great job using the “Characters cut off and isolated while a murderer is loose among them” plot. In the author’s note, she states that the idea came to her during a real life experience she had on the islands when she visited them before WWII. The timing of this story isn’t mentioned (she got the idea pre WWII but didn’t write the story til about 1960) but the feeling is prewar. The atmosphere is well done and reminded me a bit of Morag’s Blood Moon Over Bengal with everyone smoking and drinking and that slight condescension of the British towards the natives and all people not English. The romance gets its payoff at the end and the murder mystery is well thought out. B

~Jayne

Dear Author

REVIEW: Death in Berlin by MM Kaye

Dear Readers,

In addition to her novels about India, M.M. Kaye also wrote a series of mystery novels set in exotic places. In “Death in Berlin,” she uses war torn 1953 Berlin as a backdrop to mystery and romance.

“The strange beauty and terrible past of war-scarred Berlin. Miranda Brand
is a beautiful model visiting Germany for what is supposed to be a month’s
holiday. But then a story about a fortune in lost diamonds — a story in which Miranda herself figures in a remarkable way — transforms the holiday atmosphere into something more sinister.

A handsome intelligence agent and the shadows from her past throw Miranda into a turbulent whirl of emotions. And when murder strikes on the night train to Berlin, she finds herself unwillingly involved in a complex chain of events that place her life in deadly peril. M.M. Kaye, one of the finest storytellers of our time, has written a consummate mystery rich in romance and intrigue.”

If you enjoy Mary Stewart mysteries, you might want to check this one out. Kaye uses the same idea of a young, innocent woman thrown into conditions outside of normal who has to try and survive deadly peril. She uses period details to place you directly in the time and place (having been stationed with her Army husband in Berlin in 1953; the story was first published in 1955). She does a good job of leaving hints and clues and there were only a few minor details that had to be left for the post denouement wrap-up. It is also typical in that the heroine’s POV is the only one we see. I’d give this one a B and am looking forward to the rest of the “Death in” books.

~Jayne