February 7th, 2010


Death in Kashmir

Death in Kashmir: A Mystery22. M. M. Kaye, Death in Kashmir

Sarah Parrish just wants to enjoy her relaxing holiday at a ski hotel in Kashmir, but her vacation takes an unpleasant turn when one of the other hotel patrons is found dead. Everyone believes that Mrs. Matthews’ death was an accident, until Sarah discovers that another hotel guest, Janet Rushton, is actually a British Intelligence agent – and that she and Mrs. Matthews were working together. When Janet herself dies “accidentally” shortly thereafter, Sarah is plunged into a mysterious network of criminal intrigue and espionage. But the more she learns about the sinister plot that Janet had uncovered, the more dangerous her own search becomes.

This was my first book by M. M. Kaye, but it definitely won’t be my last. Death in Kashmir is an entertaining cozy mystery set a year before India gained its independence from Britain – so, in addition to the mystery plot, the book documents a significant cultural shift from the perspective of the British occupants. And since M. M. Kaye actually did live in Kashmir for a while, her descriptions of the country are (most likely) accurate! The mystery was well done also; there was a comfortable number of suspects, and I didn’t discover who the villain was until Sarah did. Overall, the novel reminded me strongly of Agatha Christie’s books, and I think anyone who likes Christie will like M. M. Kaye as well. I’ll have to go find Death in Berlin now!