Sunday, January 18, 2015

Death in Berlin

Death in Berlin is my favorite of the M.M. Kaye "Death in ..." series.
I just finished Death in Berlin by M.M. Kaye. This was originally published in 1955 as Death Walked in Berlin. Miranda Brand was on a month-long vacation with her cousin, his wife, their daughter (Lottie), and Mademoiselle (the nanny) in Berlin. As you can tell from the original publication date, the story was set in the time after World War II when the Russians and British/Americans were in Berlin, but before the Wall went up. Miranda's cousin, Robert Melville was in the British military, and his wife, Stella, was older, and a bit concerned about losing Robert to someone younger. While on their way to Berlin, Miranda and the Melvilles joined up with others heading to the city, such as Sally and Andy Page, the Leslies, and the Marsons. While at dinner the night before the group arrived in Berlin, the Melvilles dined with Brigadier Brindley, who told a story about a German SS officer named Riddler who had gotten a fortune in diamonds to only disappear with his wife. The story was that they killer their man-servant and his wife, and escaped. Brindley mentioned that they had a daughter, and a girl had escaped to Britain with a doll full of Riddler's wife's jewelry. Imagine the shock when Miranda said that she was that girl, and that she wore the ankh that was found in the doll. Things took a turn for the worse when on the train to Berlin, Miranda couldn't sleep, went to took for the coachman, and then accidentally walked into Brigadier Brindley's cabin to find him stabbed to death. Fortunately for Miranda, Simon Lang was also on the train, and he investigated the death. More deaths followed, making Miranda appear either responsible or the intended victim. Lots of thrills ensued until the mystery was solved.

I have to admit that Death in Berlin in Berlin is my favorite of the Death in ... series of Kaye's. The mystery is not obvious, and the tension and suspense build as the story continues. Miranda is a very likable character, and I found myself rooting for more action between her and Simon Lang. If anything, the romance part of the story is a tad underdone, but that means that most of the concentration was on the action and the suspense. All in all, this was an an enjoyable and entertaining read.

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