Death in Zanzibar
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Death in Zanzibar (Death in... #5)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  875 ratings  ·  59 reviews
From one of our most beloved and renowned authors, here is a new edition of this classic masterpiece of mystery and romance.

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 Zanizbar, the family house is Kivulimi, the mysterious "House of Shade", w...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 30th 1999 by Minotaur Books (first published 1959)
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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...more
Lisa Kay
★★★★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...more
Terri Lynn
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 i...more
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,...more
Bev Hankins
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 Sha...more
Oct 29, 2007 Kathryn added it
Recommends it for: fans of old-fashioned mysteries
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 t...more
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.
 Northern Light
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.
Lee Roberts

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.....
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.
Our protagonist, Dany Ashton, is thrilled beyond words when she is invited to stay at her stepfather's house in Zanzibar. Brought up by her stolid aunt in a small English village (as her beautiful mother was always too flaky to raise her), it will be Dany's first time out on her own, and she is determined to have a good time. However, her plans go off the rails before she is even able to board her flight. Her hotel room is ransacked, her passport is stolen, and it appears that someone is trying...more
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...more
This was quite a fun book!

It spans from England to Zanzibar (which makes it all the more interesting for fans of travel and foreign places).

The mystery really develops during the second half of the book as we learn more about the “why.” The “who” gets trimmed down as the book goes on but there’s still a pool of suspects to draw from.

I wasn’t entirely surprised by “who dunnit” as I’d half expected him/her/them earlier in the book (but wasn’t at all sure!), but as the last chapters began to unfol...more
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...more
This was an entertaining read...but there's nothing particularly special about this book. It's definitely a stock genre piece. Flat, stock characters, exotic locale, silly naive heroine, a plot that gives you no hints about what's actually going on, and one of those silly villains who explains his entire nefarious scheme just before he's about to kill the heroine. Oh, and a ridiculous romance between two people who barely know each other and have nothing in common.

Given all of that, I think it'...more
Set in the 50s, it is a very intersting mystery "who done it". It's main character is a very young, protected young woman who is sent on an errand, hears the lawyer she met with is dead, but decides to go to Zanzibar instead of the police with the help of the man she meets at the hotel. He had just been jilted and was drunk during the first days of their acquaintance. They are in for the long haul after that. In Zanzibar, they meet up with her mother, step-father, his ex-fiance and her new boyfr...more
M.M. Kaye, known for her epic novels of India, also wrote a series of murder mysteries set in places around Europe, Asia, and Africa where she and her husband, a career Army officer in the British Army, had been posted. The first of these mysteries is Death in Zanzibar.
Dani Ashton leaves England to visit her mother and stepfather (a famous author) at his home in Zanzibar. The first victim is killed in England shortly after she visits him. The next two occur shorty after she arrives in Zanzibar....more
Fun read like unto my favorite Mary Stewart books, a vintage mystery romance.

Like Stewart's books, it has a great sense of place - in this case, Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Africa. Which I have been to incidentally. Not to brag. Also like Stewart's books, this read takes place in a bygone era of grace and charm (1950's) which lends itself to an enjoyable retro read. Unlike Stewart's books, the main character was kind of weak and helpless. I prefer a more substantial lead.

I read this on...more
Meg Sprenkle
Period piece. Fun.
I enjoyed all of Kaye's Death in... books. The most interesting thing about them is that they were written as contemporary novels and republished later with no editing. The forward of each tells the background of how she came to write them. This one is partly a sequel to Trade Wind. Although I enjoyed this it is my least favorite, because I did not like the descendants of the characters from Trade Wind (I read it first). The mystery was good though.
Georgia Hollrah
An amazing mystery. M.M. Kaye rivals Christy. She keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
If the gold Rory (from Trade Wind) accumulated comes into the plot - I'm in!

The plot is already so intricately woven together. It's hard to put down! M. M. Kaye's expert storytelling left me clueless as to who the murderer was. In fact, I never even suspected the real murderer until the last ten pages of the book.
All I can say is "thank goodness for Mr Holden".
Do you love mysteries? Read this — the dialogue is deliciously snappy, the plot is unexpectedly twisty, the characters utterly likeable. I sped through it in less than two days and promptly put more MM Kaye on my TBR list!

Read my full review here:
Even though this book was first published in 1959, it still creates a lush atmosphere that is believable today. M.M. Kaye is a master at combining exotic location, personable characters, murder of the most foul, and (I must admit) a little romance. If you love any of the above, this is a must read!
MM Kaye is a piece of history herself- she lived in places and in a world that existed less than 100 years ago and is now gone. British India, the Andaman Islands, post WWII Berlin... she is a fun history lesson wrapped in a little mystery novels. Squeaky clean and vintage writing. Love
I love the romantic suspense (read -mystery a la Agatha Christie) in MM Kaye's books.
I have enjoyed looking up the countries she has described (usually just after World War 2) and seeing how certain events she described helped influence the country today.
The leads in this are SO DORKY. I like Lash and Dany, but really they are so dumb. Lash puts off a good impression when he’s sober, but is still pretty dumb even then. But they are also very cute. And I like Dany’s mom. She makes me laugh.
I would have given this book 4 stars -the first time I read it - years ago. But I made the mistake of buying an Audio version and the narrator just didn't do the book justice. My advice it to read the book, do not listen to it!
Nice Agatha Christie type mystery. Good for a light quick read and with added interest that M.M. Kaye later went a wrote a historical novel about the reprobate ancestor that figures in the story.
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M. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret) was born in India and spent her early childhood and much of her early-married life there. Her family ties with the country are strong: her grandfather, father, brother and husband all served the British Raj. After India's independence, her husband, Major-General Goff Hamilton of Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (the famous Indian Army regiment featured in The Far Pav...more
More about M.M. Kaye...
The Far Pavilions The Ordinary Princess Shadow of the Moon Trade Wind Death in Kashmir: A Mystery

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