Written by one of the most gifted storytellers of our time, Death in Kenya is a wonderfully evocative mystery, reminiscent of the best classic novels of Agatha Christie.
When Victoria Caryll is offered a position at Flamingo, her aunt's family estate in Kenya's Rift Valley, she accepts - knowing full well that the move will give her a chance to see Eden DeBrett once again, the man she was previously engaged to. But she doesn't realize that coming to her aunt's home will introduce her to an unstable region still recovering from the bloody Mau Mau revolt, and to a household thrown into grief by a recent murder.
Distinguished by its mystery, romance, and exotic setting, Death in Kenya is as graceful as it is chilling - it is the beloved novel of one of our finest and most accomplished writers.
©1958, 1983 M.M. Kaye (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
M.M. Kaye (who is also author of "The Far Pavillions, among many other other books) has written a tightly-woven tale of murder and suspicion. It takes place in Kenya, just after the Mau Mau rebellion, and tells the story of British colonials who struggle to hold their land and live their lives in the style they prefer, even while surrounded by servants whose loyalty they no longer fully trust.
Into this situation steps Victoria, a cousin and former fiancée of Eden DeBrett, grandson of Lady Emily DeBrett. Lady "Em" is obsessed by her wish to found a dynasty on her land (which she calls "Flamingo."). Victoria arrives from London just after a brutal murder occurs, but this had been only the culmination of some period of time during which eerie events had taken place, even leading the frightened family and servants to believe there existed a poltergeist in Flamingo.
The story unfolds with the introduction of the close friends of Lady Emily, who all become suspects for the murder (as are the servants, based on there having been the recent rebellion.) This book has been compared to the work of Agatha Christie, but at times I had fleeting senses of Henry James ("Turn of the Screw") and Joseph Conrad ("Heart of Darkness"). The mystery is excellent, but the building of strain through atmosphere and suspicions (those of the characters and also the reader) brings a haunting tension to the entire work.
I found this book to be gripping, and was only sorry that it ended. The narrator did a good job with the reading. Highly recommend!
I like most of MM Kaye's books and this one has a good mystery with lots of suspects and red herrings. For me, the book was marred by racial and ethnic slurs and negative stereotypes of Africans. I know the book dates from the mid-1950s but this language is jarring -- so be prepared. The narrator was very good.
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