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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

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

10 Comments

  1. Belinda
    Dec 27, 2007 @ 10:09:49

    Years ago my husband (a die-hard WEB Griffin and Tom Clancy fan) was doing a lot of traveling and devouring books on tape to pass the time. I’m not sure where he picked them up, but he LOVED MM Kaye’s “Death In” books – Kashmir was his favorite, I believe. He was quick to recommend them to his buddies, which always made me smile.

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  2. Jayne
    Dec 27, 2007 @ 10:15:49

    This is the second “Death In” book I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed them both immensely. I believe I’ve got all of them collected now. I just love the “feel” of the books. Definitely from a bygone era.

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  3. vanessa jaye
    Dec 27, 2007 @ 10:16:08

    Well what do you know? Here I am with a 100 dollars worth of Chapters-Indigo giftcards rec’d for Xmas and lookee what I stumble over but a verra intriguing recommend. I’ve been meaning to get the Blood Moon Over Bengal for awhile too, so thanks for the reminder there.

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  4. Jayne
    Dec 27, 2007 @ 10:19:45

    And if you’re buying “Blood Moon” don’t forget the one set in England. I liked it even better.

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  5. sula
    Dec 27, 2007 @ 20:32:31

    I read all of the MM Kaye “Death In…” books that I could get my hands on while in high school. I loved the exotic settings and the romances even though they were rather subtle. Growing up in the tropics and being a foreigner in what I suppose would be considered exotic locales, I could easily insert myself into the picture. Shame that I never ran across any of the hot sexy heros that were in these books tho. lol.

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  6. vanessa jaye
    Dec 28, 2007 @ 14:12:07

    This is the same MM Kay of FAR PAVILLIONS? I read that book years ago, and while I can’t remember specific details, I do remember really enjoying it. I ended up requesting this book through the library, as for the Blood Moon of Bengal, it’s not available anywhere, not at Chapters-Indigo or Amazon, and not in the library catalogue. :-/ For some reason I vaguely remember that the feed back on the second Blood Moon book was as good so I didn’t bother with it, but I’ll see if the library has it.

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  7. MaryK
    Dec 28, 2007 @ 18:25:42

    I love MM Kaye. She and Mary Stewart were my first steps toward romance reading. I think Kenya and Berlin were my favorites of the Death In … books. I still perk up when I see an author likened to Kaye or Stewart.

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  8. Francois
    Dec 30, 2007 @ 15:33:37

    Mmmmm, MM Kaye. I happily read the lot years ago. Thank you for reminding me.

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  9. MOjo
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 16:05:02

    I read the book this past weekend and it was well thought out and narrated. Having lived in the islands breifly as a kid I find it amazing that she had a lot a details (pre internet era the 40-60′s) correct and well described. Sure there is the disdain and snobbish outlook to the natives but she is merely narrating at how life was back then. Murder mysteries are not my cup of tea and yet I was riveted.

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  10. Jayne
    Dec 27, 2010 @ 18:27:48

    @MOjo: I need to go back and try the rest of the “Death in” books. I think I have most of them on hand now.

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