REVIEW: Death in Berlin by MM Kaye
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.
I read all 6 of them and enjoyed most of them. The settings alone make them worth reading. Death in Kenya, Death in Kashmir and Death in the Andamans were my favourites. Death in Berlin was right there in the middle with Death in Cyprus, and Death in Zanzibar wasn’t too good.
Yes, the settings and atmosphere were great. Kaye really made them such an integral part of the story.
One of the things I like best about this place is the wide range of authors and books you review. Once again you’ve reminded me about an author I hadn’t read in a long time. Thanks.
Thanks for the reminder about this book and that series. I haven’t had any luck at reading right now.
I read a few Death In books years ago. You’re right, they are sort of Stewart-ish. Though I was always disappointed by their lack of strong romance. But the settings are great.
Wow, thanks for giving me a heads up about these. I’m not a big mystery reader, but I loved the Far Pavillions and An Ordinary Princess is one of my favorite novels of all time!