Death in Kashmir, by MM Kaye

>> Wednesday, March 12, 2003

On the cover page of Death in Kashmir, by MM Kaye, I found a quote from the Boston Globe which pretty much sums up what I found so appealing about the "Death Abroad" books: "...the mystery novels of MM Kaye have the charm of being utterly predictable: a touch of mayhem in an exotic location, some wholesome romance and a plucky young English heroine to put things to rights.". Yup, that's it.

This particular entry in that series was one of the strongest. My grade: an A

Sarah Parrish has traveled to the mountainous paradise of Kashmir for some skiing and much needed relaxation. But a pall is cast over the snow-capped peaks when two women in her party are found dead on the treacherous wintry slopes.

Unable to shake off her conviction that these accidents were in fact murder, Sarah heads down to the lush, alke-rimmed capital city of Srinagar where the women once lived. There she meets the mysterious Charles Mallory, who sparks both passion and foreboding in her heart. And there too she discovers something that chills her very soul . . . and may soon cost her life.

At first, it seemed that this one wouldn't be what I was expecting, but more of an impersonal international spy thriller. It wasn't, and even though it was a spy plot, it was also in a sense the cozy whodunnit I wanted.

Especially interesting was the Kashmir setting. This is a place which is scene to so much violence now, that it was bittersweet to see it as it had once been. And Kaye makes the setting so vivid! It's almost like being there.

The plot was clever and intrincate, and provided for genuinely chilling moments. The cast of characters was very well-drawn, the heroine appealing, the writing style lots of fun... I just loved this one. Too bad I have only one other book in the series left to read.

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