M.M. Kaye was probably best known for her epic novel, The Far Pavilions set in British ruled India. What Kaye wasn't as well-known for were her mystery books. She wrote six of them in the last 1950s that were later published as The Death in... series. I just finished Death in Zanzibar, which was originally published as The House of Shade in 1959. The story was a combination of mystery and thriller. Dany Ashton was to go to visit her mother and step-father in Zanzibar. While she was in London, the step-father, Tyson Frost, asked her to stop at the family lawyer's house to pick up a letter. Dany rescheduled the meeting with the lawyer, got the letter, and later, was shocked to discover that the lawyer had been brutally murdered. The finger of suspicion pointed at Dany. Her room was searched, her passport stolen, and the murder weapon was found in her room. Fortunately, while the room was searched, Dany was locked outside of it in the hallway where she met Lash Holden, son of Frost's best friend. Lash came up with his scheme to get Dany to her the Frost estate in Zanzibar by having her pretend to be his secretary, who had come down with the mumps. More deaths followed, and the letter was a treasure map leading to $3 million dollars! Will Dany figure out who was looking for the letter and committing the murders?
Kaye did a great job describing the scenery in Zanzibar and the atmosphere of tension that surrounded the characters in the story. The mystery was decent. I enjoyed reading the story, and I found myself engrossed in it. I'm going to try some more of the The Death in... series, and I hope they are as enjoyable as Death in Zanzibar.