Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Death in Kashmir by M.M. Kaye

Death in Kashmir is a taut, spy thriller
I just finished my last M.M. Kaye mystery Death in Kashmir. In this book, Sarah Parrish gets involved with Janet Rushton, who turns out to be a spy for the British government at the time that the Raj was handing over India to self rule. Sarah is on a ski vacation, and she doesn't want to take the situation seriously until Janet turns up dead. Sarah knows it is murder, but the others in the ski party think that it was an accident on the slopes. However, Sarah knew that Janet was waiting to transfer important information to her superiors, and it did not seem that had happened. A few months later, Sarah gets a letter from Janet's solicitors that Janet had left her boat rental in Kashmir to Sarah. Sarah knows she should just ignore it and go back home to England. However, she can't get over a feeling of obligation to help Janet since Janet took trust in Sarah. Of course, this leads to Sarah being the object of unwanted attention from the person that killed Janet. Can Sarah find the information that Janet left behind and get it to the proper authorities?

As with the other Kaye mysteries, the heroine is some backbone, but lacks in common sense because she gets herself into trouble, which could have been avoided if only the heroine thought about it. Death in Kashmir is a good thriller, and Kaye did keep my guessing about who was the bad guy. Kaye did a great job describing the situation in India in the late 1940s. In the Author's Note, Kaye mentions that the literary agent who was assigned to her was Paul Scott, who went on to write the Raj QuartetDeath in Kashmir.

It's a shame that Kaye only wrote six mysteries. I'll have to check out Far Pavilions and The Ordinary Princess.

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