Read Death in Zanzibar by M.M. Kaye Online


Written by celebrated author M. M. Kaye, Death in Zanzibar is a wonderfully evocative mystery ...Dany Ashton is invited to vacation at her stepfather's house in Zanzibar, but even before her airplane takes off there is a stolen passport, a midnight intruder--and murder. In Zanzibar, the family house is Kivulimi, the mysterious "House of Shade", where Dany and the rest of tWritten by celebrated author M. M. Kaye, Death in Zanzibar is a wonderfully evocative mystery ...Dany Ashton is invited to vacation at her stepfather's house in Zanzibar, but even before her airplane takes off there is a stolen passport, a midnight intruder--and murder. In Zanzibar, the family house is Kivulimi, the mysterious "House of Shade", where Dany and the rest of the guests learn that one of them is a desperate killer. The air of freedom and nonchalance that opened the house party fades into growing terror, as the threat of further violence flowers in the scented air of Zanzibar. Richly evocative, Death in Zanzibar will charm long-time fans and introduce new ones to this celebrated writer....

Title : Death in Zanzibar
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312241247
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Death in Zanzibar Reviews

  • Carol Clouds ꧁꧂
    2019-03-04 04:09

    3.5★I'm wondering if I'm having so much trouble finding M.M. Kaye Death in series books is because readers, when they finish one of her books , toss it into a rubbish bin in sheer exasperation!There is a lot to love, excellent (for the most part) dialogue, beautiful evocative descriptions of a country Kaye knew & loved, travelling in a time when air travel was still glamorous Zanzibar! Even the name sounds so romantic!This is a country Ms Kaye clearly loved.“Oh don't be pompous and gloomy,darling," chided Amalfi. "There are thousands of places just as lovely as this. And as peaceful.""That's where you are wrong," said Tyson,leaning his elbows on the warm stone. "I've seen a lot of the world, A hell of a lot of it!But there's something special about this island Something that I haven't met anywhere else Do you know what is the most familiar sound in Zanzibar?-laughter! Walk through the streets of the little city almost any time of day or night, and you'll hear it. People laughing. There is a gaiety and good humour about them that is strangely warming to even such a corrugated, corroded and eroded heart as mine and this is the only place that I have hit upon where black and white and every shade in between 'em appear to able to live in complete friendliness and harmony, with no colour bar. It's living proof and a practical demonstration that it can be done.”But there were a lot of things that make you go hmmm starting with nineteen year old Dany making a whole series of decisions that make modern teenagers look like masters of responsibility. I have to say I found Lash & Asbestos's entry into the story very funny & felt like I had been swept into a P G Wodehouse novel. But I felt the story did drag in the middle & I became very bored with the author's fixation on a relatively minor character. The book became a very uneasy mixture of a romantic supense/whoduunit/ spy novel & Kaye just doesn't pull this off the way Mary Stewart does.

  • Bobby Underwood
    2019-02-27 23:56

    If you like old-fashioned mystery and romance set in an exotic locale, this is a very fun read. M.M. Kaye wrote several of these atmospheric mystery romance novels which always incorporated some exotic setting she had been to as she and her husband moved all over the world. In the forward she writes that it is a Zanzibar which no longer exists, but one she saw and wanted to share before memories of it had faded into the sunset. While Death in Cyprus, which I highly recommend, is probably her best and most satisfying mystery, this one might have the most charm, and is a sentimental favorite.Death in Zanzibar has a light and entertaining feel to the overall story and a very likable heroine in Dany Ashton. The characters are colorful and well-defined and blend perfectly with the time period. Death in Zanzibar very much feels like it belongs in another era. Lash is a young man-about-town, when young men-about-town were in every mystery. He slowly comes into his own while helping Dany perpetrate a ruse during their trip to Zanzibar and the House of Shade. The mystery of why her hotel room was broken into, and her passport stolen, deepens when a murder occurs. And then there is more.Dany is sweet and endearing as she shows old-fashioned bravado during the course of the mystery. She will emerge from her mother's shadow and come into her own just as Lash does. There is, of course, an innocent and growing romance between the two. The reader knows how this will end long before they do, which is part of the old -fashioned charm of the read. Kaye makes good use of the exotic locale as we see it through the eyes of her heroine, who is also seeing it for the first time. While the beauty of the descriptive prose doesn’t reach the level of Death in Cyprus, it’s still quite lovely — this is M.M. Kaye, after all — and filled with charm because we as readers we are seeing it through the eyes of another.Death in Zanzibar, while a bit lean, is a very fun and entertainingly old-fashioned mystery, with the values and mores of a bygone era. Perhaps the best way to describe it would be to say it has much the same feel as watching one of those early 1930s mystery films set in an exotic locale; the kind you catch late at night when you can't sleep and enjoy all the more because it was a pleasant surprise. All of Kaye's mysteries fit this bill and this one is perhaps my sentimental favorite. If you like your mystery and romance firmly ensconced on the old-fashioned side, you will enjoy this greatly, as I did. A fun summer read.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-03-07 04:58

    3.5 stars. After reading M.M. Kaye's epic The Far Pavilions and her almost-epic Trade Wind, it was a little startling to see a very different side of the author come out in this whodunnit murder/hidden treasure mystery. I felt like I was reading a Mary Stewart romantic suspense novel (pretty much always a good thing) with a liberal infusion of Agatha Christie. I checked out this really massive book from the library that contains three of Kaye's mysteries, and read this one first, because it continues the story of the gold ingots (now worth $3 million) hidden away by Rory Frost in about 1860 in Trade Wind. It's now the late 1950s, and a young Englishwoman, Dani Ashton, is traveling to Zanzibar to visit her mother and stepfather, Emory Frost, who is Rory's grandson and is living in Rory's old plantation home. Emory asks Dani to pick up a document from his London lawyer and bring it to him. This document has something to do with Rory's hidden treasure. Then things start to go wrong for Dani: in short order she's locked out of her London hotel room in her sheer nylon nightgown (hey, it was the fifties!); meets a rich and handsome American, Lash Holden, who may or may not be all he seems; gets her hotel room tossed and passport stolen; and finds out the lawyer has been killed and she is wanted by the authorities for questioning. Lash is drunk because of a broken engagement and Dani is scared out of her wits, and between the whiskey and the fear the two of them decide that it's a good idea to disguise Dani as Lash's secretary (so she can use the secretary's passport) and leave for Zanzibar to avoid trouble. Naturally, this course of action ends up stirring up way more trouble than it avoids. Plus there's a murderer in their group who wants that document Dani got from the lawyer . . .If you like your mysteries old-fashioned and with a dash of 50's-style romance to spice them up, this is kind of a fun one. Written in 1959, its age shows with the innocent heroine surrounded by alpha males and seductive femme fatales, as well as some outdated social attitudes, pervasive smoking and the aforementioned nylon nightie. It's not very deep and it's certainly not epic, but still, it's a decent murder mystery set in an unusual, exotic location.

  • Kim Kaso
    2019-03-02 04:51

    Fun, classic read! Put a bunch of Brits in an exotic locale& bodies start dropping like flies. When you need a break from Christie, give this a try. The author lived in these venues while her husband served in the British military & she took voluminous notes, so everything feels authentic. Recommended.

  • Hannah
    2019-03-21 21:55

    The locale: the island of Zanzibar, and a return to Kivulimi: "The House of Shade", made memorable as the home of that 19th century slaver, Rory Frost, in Kaye's epic historical masterpiece: Trade Wind. Now 70 years after Rory's death, his writer grandson Tyson Frost now holds the lease to Kivulimi, and is preparing to soon publish "Roaring Rory's" infamous diaries. Dany Ashton's mother is married to Tyson, and Dany has been asked to pick up a parcel from Tyson's solicitor in England before she makes a visit to Zanzibar. Little does anyone realize that this simple request will plunge Dany into a whirlwind of murder, hidden identity, political intrigue and romance.While it was great to get some additional snippets of information about my all time favorite fictional hero, Rory Frost, I have to admit that I found this whodunit the weakest of M.M. Kaye's 6 book "Death in..." murder mystery series. It was a bit too madcap and silly in places, and I disliked Dany's love interest intensely. That being said, Kaye still knows how to write an engrossing mystery better then most, and her weakest offering is still 100% better then most of the current stuff I read. Like Mary Stewart and Daphne du Maurier, Kaye's writing style features a real and palpable sense of "place", and the time periods in which she wrote these (1940's and 1950's) give the books an authenic period feeling. Kaye's remarkable and exotic life bring all her locations to vivid reality, as she actually lived or visited all the places in her books for long periods of time and took copius notes that she used years later in this novels.It is wonderful to revisit Kaye's novels once again. The strength and charm of her novels can't be over-emphasized.

  • Moonlight Reader
    2019-02-24 03:09

    This is - sadly - my final M.M. Kaye vintage mystery. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them, with their exotic settings, their vintage atmosphere, and their old-school romances. In order or preference:Death in KenyaDeath in KashmirDeath in ZanzibarDeath in the AndamansDeath in Cyprus Death in BerlinI'm contemplating rereading Kaye's masterpiece - the doorstopper-sized The Far Pavilions - although I may go ahead and read her other two, less well-known, sweeping epics first: Trade Wind and Shadow of the Moon.

  • Olga Godim
    2019-03-15 04:02

    3.5 starsMy geography education is sadly lacking. When the protagonist of this novel, Dany, mentioned that Zanzibar was an island, I was surprised. I knew – vaguely – that it was somewhere in Africa but I didn’t know exactly where, or how large it is. I looked it up in Wikipedia. Dany is a recent high school graduate in England. Her mother, a beautiful society lady, is married to the super-rich writer Tyson Frost, but Dany grew up in a staid British village with her respectable great aunt. Now, she is invited to spend some time in her stepfather’s home in Zanzibar. Excited to get out of her prim aunt’s supervision, to travel on her own for the first time in her adult life, she embarks on a spree of London shopping, movies, and theatre before she boards her plane to Africa. Unfortunately, her trip starts off with disturbing news: her stepfather’s old solicitor is murdered on the same day she went to see him. She is carrying a letter from the solicitor to her stepfather. Young and naive, she doesn’t think it has anything to do with her, until her international passport is stolen from her room. Now she is in real trouble. Her desire to see Zanzibar, to start her exciting new adventure, explodes. She can’t imagine missing her flight, not for anything. She would go to Zanzibar, no matter what, so she accepts a harebrained help offer from a drunken stranger who stays in the same hotel. That one cockeyed step thrusts her into an international intrigue that involves multiple murders, Communists’ plots, a long-dead adventurer-slash-pirate, and a treasure of three million dollars. And Zanzibar, of course, is in the middle of it all.Dany is a charming and naive teenage heroine. She has nothing in common with the modern fictional girls of the same age, but for 1959, the year of this book’s publication, she is rather typical, and so is the author’s attitude to sexes in general. All the plot-moving stuff is performed invariably by men. The women in the book are either striking femmes fatales or naive and honest dupes like Dany. They either fall in love and get married or want to be married or have their female companions/friends instead of male partners, but they are always relationship-oriented. They don’t act, investigate, fight, create, or generally do anything worth mentioning. The novel is a mystery/thriller/romance set in the exotic milieu of Zanzibar. Despite its flaws, I enjoyed reading it and I might read another book by this author, but to tell the truth, her treatment of female characters chafed me. I like my heroines more active, while Dany always finds important clues or overhears pertinent bits of information by either accident or sheer stupidity. She is always in the right spot at the wrong moment, and this strings of coincidences gets stale pretty soon.From the political standpoint, Zanzibar was still under British rule at the time, and the British imperialist disposition colors this story from start to end. I’m not sure I disagree with everything it implies, but I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly either. Here are a few quotes demonstrating this book’s strong and weak sides: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~‘... Ever noticed how for all their bellowings about “Peace and Brotherly Love” the average Red is eaten up from nose to tail with envy, hatred, malice and all uncharitableness. Their gods and their gospel are hate and destruction...’ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In common with all young women she had dreamed of the time when she would fall in love. It would be a romantic and rapturous and altogether wonderful moment, and the hero of it would certainly not be a pallid and disheveled stranger who was suffering from an imperial hangover...~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~‘...there is something special about this island. Something that I haven’t met anywhere else. Do you know what is the most familiar sound in Zanzibar? – laughter! ... People laughing. There is a gaiety and good humor about them that is strangely warming to even such a corrugated, corroded and eroded heart as mine, and this is the only place I have yet hit upon where black and white and every shade in between ’em appear to be able to live together in complete friendliness and harmony, with no color bars. It’s a living proof and a practical demonstration that it can be done. ... But it won’t last.’ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He looked down at Dany’s white face and smiled a little crookedly. ‘It’s a helluva mess, honey, but you don’t have to lose your nerve.’‘I haven’t any left to lose!’ admitted Dany ruefully. “Not an atom!’Lash laughed and reached down his hands to pull her to her feet.‘Nuts, Miss Kitchell! Momentarily mislaid, perhaps, but never lost.’~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~It was a delightful if rather dated read, but the author’s volatile sense of humor and her indisputable love for the location saved it from being banal. For those interested in that time period, I would place this author beside Mary Stewart, although I like average Stewart better.

  • Diane Lynn
    2019-03-27 03:00

    Another fun little mystery from one of my favorite authors. There is a touch of romance in this one. I do enjoy these mysteries but they are dated with a very meek, helpless heroine.

  • Barb in Maryland
    2019-03-04 00:54

    Oh this was a tough one to grade. The descriptions of the various locations, the deft handling of the politics of the time (late 1950s) and place (East Africa, especially Zanzibar itself) rate 5 stars with me. The mystery itself was a rather nice one, what with two murders, a mysterious letter and rumors of a vast wealth in hidden gold. I give that part a solid 3 stars.I had a lot of trouble with our young heroine. Dany Ashton is so young (in age, experience and common sense) that I spent most of the book wanting to shake her. Naive is a perfect description for her. Of course, if she had acted with a grain of common sense at the beginning we would have had a very different story. Nor was I impressed when, early on, she declares herself in love with Lash Holden. At this point in the story Lash was sleeping off the massive bender he indulged in after being jilted right before his wedding. Lash does improve, somewhat, as the story progresses, but I never really believed in their romance.The rest of the supporting cast is nicely drawn. I was very fond of Larry Dowling, the reporter who is hoping to do an in depth interview with Dany's step-father, novelist Tyson Frost. I also liked Tyson's no-nonsense sister, Gussie Bingham. Tyson's secretary Nigel Ponting is presented to us as an effete gossiper who is failing to keep Tyson's nose to the grindstone (book deadlines, don't you know).Originally published in 1959, I first read this back in 1983, when it was reissued. I must say that I remembered absolutely nothing of the mystery plot. So the revelation of the bad guys and their motive was a surprise.i don't regret the time spent in reading this. I got a good deal of pleasure from the trip back in time to an exotic location.

  • Terri Lynn
    2019-02-25 23:11

    I actually read this many years ago and was delighted to run across it in my local public library. Poor Dany. Born to a rich and attractive couple, neither of which possessed any interest in being a parent, Dany spent her childhood with an anal, old fashioned, repressed aunt while her mother made her way through multiple husbands. Her father is dead. Now an adult in her twenties, Dany is delighted when her mother Lorraine, married to a wealthy writer, invites her to visit them for a houseparty in Zanzibar of all places. Eager to get out from under Auntie's thumb and do some real living, Dany leaps at this opportunity. While staying in a London hotel, she takes advantage of the chance to see a lot of movies and plays. It is this love for theater and movies that causes her to go early to an appointment to pick up an envelope for her stepfather at his semi-retired solicitor's home. Later, Dany finds , to her horror, that the man was murdered by someone he let in and the police have found a handkerchief with her initials and someone reported seeing a young lady leave the house around the time of the murder. The young lady is Dany and she panics. Will they think she did it (well, of course they will!)She turns to a friend of her step-father's who is a little older than her and was going to the house party to deal with the stepfather about a writing project (his dad is the step-father's publisher)and well as be on his honeymoon with a much married cougar friend of Lorraine's who dumped him in favor of a hot Spanish rich guy. Her new friend Lesh has a tendency to stay drunk (he was just dumped) and he makes a wild plan while having too much to drink and no sleep- his secretary has the mumps and can't go. Since someone got into Dany's room and planted the murder weapon and stole her passport, he will take Dany and get her hair colored red and curled and with a cheap pair of reading glasses, Dany will use his secretary's passport and masquerade as her!There is witty conversation, some romance leading to marriage, and more murders as well as some very odd and eccentric characters as the two of them go to Zanzibar and the plot thickens. I loved the descriptions in this book, the dialogue, and the suspense. I highly recommend this book.

  • Tweety
    2019-03-24 22:12

    I'm wavering between 3 1/2 and 4. I didn't figure the mystery out till the end but, the journey wasn't all that suspenseful. And took a little bit too long to get going. But it was a fun read. I think that had they not so often been "plastered" they might have saved themselves lots of trouble. That being said I was nearly as deep in the dark as they where. I did like the characters Lash and Dany ( Dany is a girl! ) even if Lash did drink to much. Sadly it wasn't anywhere near as good as Death in Kenya, but still it was worth the time it took to read it. Also this is the sequel to Trade Wind. ( Trade Wind was better, it had more atmosphere ). It was however better than Agatha Christie, in my opinion. There was some language ( Hs, Ds, and Bs. ) and a fair bit of drinking and some smoking. other than that it had nothing to offend most readers.Death in Kenya and Trade Wind both had more depth than Death in Zanzibar but its a good read anyhow.

  • Dorcas
    2019-02-26 22:10

    This was a good who-dunnit but can not compare to "Death In Kenya". Not nearly as atmospheric or intense. Still, it was good and I look forward to reading the others in the series.*just a FYI This book is a sequel to "Trade Wind", although it was written before Trade Wind. In other words, M.M. Kaye wrote "Death In Zanzibar" and then afterwards went back and wrote the story which was to have taken place 100 years prior (Trade Wind). Maybe thats why this story just didn't satisfy me. Trade Wind is an epic (a blockbuster) and this is a mild who dunnit. Not nearly as good. But still worth reading and a good murder mystery with some hidden treasure thrown in there too.CONTENT:CUSSING: Mild, sprinkled throughoutVIOLENCE: Not shown, but a few people are murdered.SEX: NoneSPIRITISM: rumor of an old curse is mentioned.

  • Delaney Peterson
    2019-03-02 05:11

    I'm addicted to Agatha Christie's novels. I've always been a mystery fan, since I picked up my first Nancy Drew at age six or seven (I was terrified. It may have been the first book I ever read that featured a legitimate villain.), and I'm always looking for new whodunnits. But I can't pick up just any book in the mystery section of the library. I'll never say no to fantastic plot twists, red herrings, character development, ingenious methods of murder and shockingly unique solutions. But to me, one of the most important elements of a good whodunnit is the atmosphere. Yes, many of Agatha Christie's stories are unique and shocking and clever. But some of them aren't. If you've read twenty or so, it could be argued that you've read them all. But I keep reading her books in particular because I just can't get enough of the atmosphere. It has pulled me in since day 1. It's old-fashioned and English and tea can be found around every corner. Modern murder stories just don't seem to cut it for me. And no one else has ever really come close to the Queen of Crime. But the inside flap of Death in Zanzibar compared the style to Agatha Christie's, and it sounded promising. The atmosphere was completely satisfying, and everything I was looking for. It had almost everything: poison, hidden treasure, old mansions, foreign travel, disguises, forged notes enticing victims to their doom, evening gowns, engagements and gossip on the veranda. As an experienced reader of murder stories, I have learned to keep characters at arm's length. #1 rule of murder mysteries: everyone is a suspect. Well-read Christie fans will know that sometimes, the murderer may even be the protagonist or narrator. And if your favorite character doesn't end up being the killer, they're in constant danger of becoming the next victim. Nevertheless, I couldn't help getting attached to Dany Ashton and her handsome American accomplice, Lash Holden. Not as memorable as Hercule Poirot, or Tommy and Tuppence, or Sherlock Holmes or Lord Peter Wimsey, but very likable.As usual, I thought I had the murderer pinned down. I was surprised at the end. But not shocked.Of course the style differed from Christie's in many respects. None of the suspects were truly strong characters with motives and alibis. But as Dany and Lash are not real detectives, only two young people in a big mess, I can't blame them for not discussing these particulars in as much detail as I would have liked. Altogether, I really enjoyed this. A little romance, some danger and excitement, a red herring, and THREE murders. Agatha Christie fans should definitely check it out.

  • Lisa Kay
    2019-03-23 21:56

    ★★★★½ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I’ve never read a book by M.M. Kaye, but I’m doing a “Lifetime in Books” challenge as well as a “Double-Decker” (double letters in title, etc.) challenge and wanted to kill two birds with the same stone before the end of the year. The results of my searches have been hit or miss. This one, luckily, was a home run. Not out of the ballpark, but very well played. I’ve not heard Bahni Turpin narrate before, nor am I familiar with her acting on the large or small screen. Nevertheless, I thought she elevated this story, kicking it up at least a half a star or more. Great voice differentiation, deliver of international accents from a large cast of characters, and inflection for characters’ tones and moods.While dated, especially as far as male chauvinism goes, I’m surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Great sense of time and place, with a nice little mystery that kept me guessing, but didn’t make me feel too stupid as I started catching on near the end.

  • Bev
    2019-03-06 04:07

    Dany Ashton is an innocent abroad. Brought up by a very strict, ultra-protective aunt, she has seen very little of the world and this story is about her first excursion alone. And it just might wind up being her last. Dany's mother hasn't been much of one. She has made her way through several husbands and is currently married to the famous author, Tyson Frost. They decide to invite Dany to Zanzibar where Frost (through his father, the rakish Emory Frost) has rights to Kivulimi: "The House of Shade", a house bestowed up Emory as a gift from a local potentate. Dany is thrilled at the chance to finally see the world and has great plans to have a good time. Before she leaves she has been commissioned to stop by Frost's lawyer's house and pick up an important envelope. She changes the appointment time from afternoon to morning and that's when her planned vacation begins to fall apart. The lawyer is killed not long after Dany's visit and the police are interested in finding the "mysterious young woman" who was seen leaving the scene. She obstinately refuses to identify herself with the authorities because she doesn't want her chance at an exotic trip to be cancelled.Her hotel room is ransacked, her passport is stolen, and she manages to lock herself out of her hotel room in the middle of the night. Enter Lash Holden--handsome and impetuous son of a friend of her stepfather's--who is also in the hotel waiting to leave for Zanzibar. Lash is spending his last hours getting thoroughly drunk in response to being jilted by his fiancee and comes across Dany in the hotel hallway on his return from his binge. He comes up with a plan for Dany to impersonate his secretary (who conveniently has the mumps and who Dany happens to vaguely resemble--enough to get by on her passport).With a quick dye-job turning Dany into a rather dowdy looking redhead, they manage to smuggle Dany past the airport officials and are on their way. But danger follows them. A fellow passenger is poisoned on the journey and then one of her step-father's house guests falls to her death from a stone staircase. Clues are constantly being planted to frame Dany even after the envelope's contents disappear, but they manage to foil the murderer's plans. Will they manage to unmask the villain before s/he decides to eliminate Dany altogether?This is a fun, light, romantic mystery. Dany is a shade too babe-in-the-woods. Honestly, I don't drink and hadn't been out amongst people who did much--but I recognize my first drunk when I saw him. It does seem a bit unlikely that she had no idea that Lash was plastered when she first met him. But--I suppose it's necessary to suspend one's disbelief in order for the story to proceed as planned. The cast of characters, witty dialogue, and spectacular descriptions and local color (based on Kaye's notebooks from her trip to Zanzibar) all make the read well worthwhile. Three and a half stars.This was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks!

  • Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
    2019-03-15 02:02

    Well, I’d like to give this 5-stars for the description of the Zanzibar scene, the constant consumption of alcoholic libation, smoking on airplanes and everywhere else, AND of course the nylon nightgowns!But this is a whodunnit and the resolution/uncovering the details of the crime was unsatisfactory. It seems as if MMK concocted an interesting and intricate mystery, but was not equal to the task of crafting final resolution of all that was going in a satisfying way.

  • Pamela
    2019-03-09 22:43

    This mystery by M.M. Kaye is not quite a cozy and not exactly a classic mystery in the 'golden age' sense either. It's a romantic mystery set in the 1950's in the exotic location of the isle of cloves, Zanzibar. It has the usual set of English characters - an actress, eccentric spinsters, a girl newly out of school, a secretary with exaggerated mannerisms, and his blustery, commanding English boss. Their crowd is enlivened by the addition of an American, a journalist, and an enigmatic, wealthy Arab. Three murders, buried treasure and several real and potential love affairs round out the plot. All of this adds up to several hours of entertaining reading, light and tropical.

  • Cyn Mcdonald
    2019-03-10 03:06

    The original title, House of Shade, fit the book much better than the current title. Fairly classic romantic suspense a la Mary Stewart. I enjoyed the exotic setting and the mystery was well crafted.

  • Kathryn
    2019-03-06 01:09

    I finished this book last night and found it enjoyable and entertaining overall, but not one of my most favorites. I would give three stars to the first half of the book and four stars to the second half.The book begins amiably enough, with our young-and-innocent heroine unexpectedly implicated in a London murder just as she is to embark for her dream-trip to Zanzibar--a dashing, good-hearted "cad" comes to her rescue and they devise a plan to get her out of England, away from the police, even though her passport has been stolen and she was set-up for the murder.I became a bit impatient as the post-London chapters continued as it took chapters and chapters for our girl to reach Zanzibar. When a book is called, "Death in Zanzibar," I expect that Zanzibar will play a key role but our heroine's plane did not actually touch down in Zanzibar until about half way through the book! Moreover, the "death" in Zanzibar did not occur for awhile after that and I felt that the mystery and characters did not have enough substance to really keep us interested in the London murder thread all that way. Also, I became a bit annoyed with our young-and-innocent girl for being just a bit too naive at times. I felt like telling her, "Hello? Duh!" on numerous occasions, and I usually prefer my heroines to be a bit more plucky and intelligent (like Tuppence from my beloved Tommy and Tuppence books by Agatha Christie--even though they still get into tough situations it seems more from their tenacity and spunk than from their innocence and cluelessness.) Despite these gripes, I did enjoy the book on the whole and the final 1/4 of the book was definitely exciting and intriguing and I was satisfied with the way things played out in the end. Also, I did enjoy the Zanzibar setting and felt Kaye did a great job describing the atmosphere, probably since she spent time there herself. And the story has an old-fashioned charm, part mystery, part romance, part travelogue. While I don't think Kaye will ever challenge Agatha Christie as the "Queen of Mystery," I found this book enjoyable enough that I wouldn't mind trying another.

  • Beth
    2019-03-09 04:47

    This book was written in 1959 by the author of "The Far Pavilions." Dany Ashton is looking forward to a trip to exotic Zanzibar to visit her jet-setting mother and famous step-father. Before leaving England, she does an errand for her step-father that results in her becoming a suspect in a murder. Desperate to leave on her journey and wanting to avoid police interrogation, she leaves the country incognito pretending to be the secretary of a publisher she meets, hatching the plan while he is intoxicated. Things do not go as smoothly as planned, and Dany's rooms are searched and another man is murdered en route. She eventually arrives at her parents' estate where several people are there as part of a house party, possibly including the murderer. She falls for her publisher friend, but is not sure if he can be trusted. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped. About half of the story takes place before the arrival in Zanzibar, and I could not relate much to the heroine's ingenue character and the rather silly plot. I usually enjoy romantic suspense novels set in foreign locales, but this one never really captured my interest.

  •  Northern Light
    2019-03-22 04:48

    I enjoyed this book which was an easy read. My major criticism is that its very dated which is a shame as it is likened to Agatha Christie whose books are timeless.Dany is invited to stay in Zanzibar with her mother and step-father. Before she even leaves the UK her hotel room is searched and her passport taken. How she manages to travel is a story in itself leading to all kinds of problems when she eventually arrives straight in the middle of a murder.

  • Laura
    2019-03-08 04:49

    This book was written during Kaye's and her family stay in Kenya when they got the chance to visit Zanzibar. "And I fell in love with it at first sight, for it turned out to be one of those rare places that live up to everything one has hoped and dreamed that they would be."However, I must agree with Hannah, the plot isn't so captivating as Death in Kenya.Next reading will be Death in Cyprus.

  • Andrea
    2019-02-26 22:01

    As with the other books in this series, the literary 'tourism' aspect is wonderful, bringing to life an island and its history. This is probably the weakest heroine in the series, however, and the romance a particularly weak one (too much not believing things she says, not sharing important information, not trusting going on).Side-order of homophobia, and the usual working not to be racist but embedding some problematic stuff in anything to do with Zanzibar locals.

  • Lee Roberts
    2019-03-25 23:48

    I like this series, and M M Kaye writes a fun whodunnit but I had forgotten just how misogynistic some of the characters are - I suppose it is an accurate reflection of the time its set, but sometimes it grates a little against my modern sensibilities. After all - if someone spoke to me like that these days I'd be long gone.....

  • Sophie
    2019-03-04 22:45

    Probably my favorite of the M.M. Kaye mysteries. Partly because of its connection to Trade Wind but mostly because of the romance between Dany and Lash. Very satisfying.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-19 22:55

    Fun mystery. Great brain candy. Loved the setting and the time period it was written - a classic beach novel of a sort: mystery, romance, and British characters.

  • Jannah (Cloud Child)
    2019-03-19 02:06

    Oooh me likey. Not a perfect story but a good old school thriller whodunnit, a mix of Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie with entirely it's own charm. Looking forward to reading more by her.

  • Karen
    2019-03-08 23:54

    2.5 stars really. I think I read one of M.M. Kaye's mysteries (Kenya maybe), and liked it, but I didn't really like the way she portrayed women in this book. I was disappointed with it.

  • Kate
    2019-03-06 23:05

    "Dany Ashton is invited to vacation at her stepfather's house in Zanzibar, but even before her airplane takes off there is a stolen passport, a midnight intruder -- and murder. In Zanzibar, the family house is Kivulini, the mysterious 'House of Shade,' where Dany and the rest of the guests learn that one of them is a desperate killer. The air of freedom and nonchalance that opened the house party fades into growing terror, as the threat of further violence flowers in the scented air of Zanzibar. Richly evocative, Death in Zanzibar will charm long-time fans and introduce new ones to this celebrated writer."I count as a "new one" since I hadn't read this author before. But I was incarcerated in a rehab with nothing but time on my hands, and this book was one of the few in the "library" that looked even half-way interesting. This isn't the world's greatest mystery, or romance, but it's well written, with good characterization and a decent plot. It probably qualifies as a good beach book.

  • Bryn Clegg
    2019-03-06 02:53

    Entertaining enough. It made me want to reread Agatha Christie’s “the Man in the Brown Suit.” This book is very different from “The Far Pavilions,” which is one of my favorites, and it’s hard to believe it is the same author. You can definitely tell that this book was written in the 50s. The heroine isn’t the most intelligent woman (she actually FAINTS several times), and the hero is very protective even before he really has any right to act that way, but it is a product of its time—nothing is graphic or offensive, the mystery is neatly wrapped up in the end, and the hero and heroine get married.