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Death in the Andamans (Death In..., #6)
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Death in the Andamans (Death in... #6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  814 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Death in the Andamans is a masterpiece of mystery and romance from one of our most beloved authors. When a violent storm lashes the tiny Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal, Copper Randal barely manages a safe return to Government House. She does get back in one piece with her hostess, Valerie Masson, Val's fiance, and handsome naval officer Nick Tarrent, but one of the i ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 11th 2000 by Minotaur Books (first published 1960)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. Murder mystery with a dash of romance, written in 1960 and set in the exotic Andaman Islands, a former British penal colony that is now part of India.


Caroline Randal, known as "Copper," is a young Englishwoman invited to visit her old school chum, Valerie, who now lives on Ross Island in the Andamans with her stepfather, the Chief Commissioner. During her visit, a tropical storm isolates their group on the island, and a man dies--washed overboard in the storm and drowned, everyone th
Moonlight Reader
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-women
I think I liked Death in Kashmir better, but this one was a fun little mystery. I like the way that M.M. Kaye combines a bit of romance with her mysteries, and her colonial British settings, are a huge guilty pleasure of mine. Guilty because I know that colonialism was terribly destructive to local cultures and peoples and Empire building is incredibly arrogant and indefensible, but pleasure because I still love them, with their interesting rules, and their exotic settings.
Another winner from M.M. Kaye's " Death in... " murder mystery series. This novel takes the reader to the Andaman Islands off the coast of India, circa late 1940's. Copper Randal leaves the dreary, rainy confines of her secretarial job in London and travels halfway around the world to visit a girlhood friend living with her father, the Chief Commissioner of the Andaman Islands. While there, Copper discovers that all is not as it seems in paradise. Death stalks the colonial residents during the C ...more
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the final book I needed to read to complete M.M. Kaye's murder mysteries. What I like most about M.M. Kaye's books is the atmosphere and the suspense. She's really great at creating a room, or a moment, or a set of circumstances that make your heart race and provide a bit of an adrenaline boost.
However, it might be a sign that you've put a bit too much atmosphere into your book when (view spoiler)
The last of this series, and continues with the theme of sinking into a beautiful location, with some murder and romance along the way. This one had irritating men v women banter which fell flat for me ("you two harridans" etc, in a supposedly affectionate, joking way). Local people again non-entities.

"Coppy" has to be one of the most irritating nicknames I've ever heard.
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books...ever. I love a good mystery with some romance thrown in, so this book is right up my alley. I have read all of M.M. Kaye's books except for Trade Winds (which is really hard to find in print) and The Far Pavilions (because it's huge). Her other mysteries (the "Death In..." series) are interesting, well-written, and occur in various exotic locations. I return to these once a year when I need a good book; for me, these are like an old pair of comfy slippers. I hi ...more
Death in the Andamans (1960) by M. M. Kaye finds Caroline "Copper" Randal on one of the enchanting Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean in time for the Christmas holidays. She recently has come into a legacy which allows her to take advantage of the standing invitation from her friend Valerie Masson. Valerie is the stepdaughter of the Islands' Chief Commissioner and wants Copper to share the beautiful island locale. At first, the only thing marring this island paradise is presence of Ruby Stock-- ...more
Cynthia Hale
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a classic English Manor House murder mystery. i love those. It happens to be set in the Andaman Islands near India in the last day of Empire. I enjoyed the setting and the characters. It is the story of a young woman, Copper, who goes to have an extended visit with her friend Val. Val's father is Englands guy in charge for the area. While visiting Copper finds romance, adventure, and murder, all during the Christmas holiday. The ending felt a little bit "out there" but it was still good. ...more
Lisa Greer
Aug 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
After reading all the great reviews, I feel like a heretic, but I couldn't get into this novel. I really like the first chapter a lot, but after that, the novel just felt so dated to me, and I know it is old-- written around WWII time in fact. I have other old novels, though, that suck me right in, so it's not that fact. I got a degree in 18th century British Literature, so I do like old books. :) I think it was just not "thrilling" or must read, so it started to stagnate for me pretty quickly. ...more
Jaz (Cloud Child)
Another cosy mystery on a deserted island with a killer on the loose. Enjoyable as usual, and the character perspective a little differently done than the usual "Death in.." style.
I'm glad also there was a proper "what happened" style explanation in the end rather than just the romance coming to its final close in the book. I do want to know why the first time Copper saw Ferrers as a nightmare that it wasn't explained, even though she hadn't seen his face before?
The wry and banterous humor and
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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 was written in about 1939-1940 but not published until later. It does not have as much on politics as some of the others. The setting and mystery are creepy! Wonderful to read on a rainy winter day.
A really enjoyable, quick read that only annoyed me by other characters calling the main character "Coppy" which immediately made me hear everything they said in a Cagney-esque voice. This doesn't, perhaps, make any sense, but I never claimed to.
Karen GoatKeeper
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Caroline, nickname Copper, is visiting her friend Valerie on a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal in India. This is early in the 1900's, so India is still in the British empire. Val's father is the Commissioner so Copper is staying at Government House.
There is a small community of British citizens living on the island. All of them are at a picnic party which exposes some of the tensions and hatreds between some of these people. A hurricane moves in as the party breaks up. Some of the people came i
Evelyn Hill
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Location, location, location.

I have to confess: this is not my favorite book by M.M. Kaye. (The Far Pavilions was fantastic.)
This was the first book she wrote, and it shows. The characters were straight out of clicheville and the romance was pretty much by-the-book, as it were.
But the location! She did a fabulous job of making me feel as if I were there, and she picked a wonderful location. Not just the islands, but the house itself, with all its mysterious carvings and dark corners of spooky ro
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've liked some of the other books in the series better, but still a fun old fashioned gothic romance type mystery. Nifty idea of Kaye's to wtite one for every locale she and her husband were stationed in.
Madhu Madhusudana
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Originally published under the title ‘Night on the Island’ and set in the Andamans islands in the Bay of Bengal. The story is centred on a group of British colonists and is set in the 1930’s.
Copper (actual given names Caroline Olivia Phoebe Elizabeth) Randall is a lively young woman who is visiting her friend Valerie Masson, step-daughter of Sir Lionel Masson, Chief Commissioner of the Andamans. The murder of a none too popular person takes place and Copper and Valerie make a list of cases for a
Sarah Ryburn
**** 1/2

Reading this M. M. Kaye mystery was a bit like sipping a mojito while relaxing on a veranda at sunset after a long, sultry day in the sun. Said veranda would, of course, boast an ocean-front view and come complete with a bulter who would appear silently at my elbow to refresh my beverage before I'd even notice that the first had run dry.

I love these destination mysteries because, really, if one must survive a plot involving multiple homicides one really could do worse than a tropical pa
Bobbie N
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
SUMMARY: While returning from a Christmas Eve picnic on Mount Harriet, a violent storm erupts in the Bay of Bengal, and Copper Randal and her friends make it back to the safety of the Government House in Ross. Most of the other guests were rescued after their boats capsized - all but one, whose body washes up on shore the next day, his body not showing signs of having drowned, and setting off a chain of events that turns Copper and her friends into detectives until the proper authorities can be ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been trying to track down more of M. M. Kaye's mysteries after thoroughly enjoying "Death in Kashmir", and "The Andamans" did not disappoint. She does seem to tend towards stock characters - fading ladies' man, aging bell, plucky heroine, dashing but dangerous love interest - but next to her evocative depiction of life (and death) in a British outpost this doesn't matter. The attitudes and depictions of inept and superstitious "natives" are very of the time, which to me is the biggest drawb ...more
Pragya Bhatt
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A few days ago I read an article in the paper about how Indian readers want stories based in India and the cities that they live in. Most of M M Kaye's books are set in India and the places she talks about exist even today. In fact, she has an introduction at the beginning of every book talking about how much the place has changed since the days she wrote the novel. That adds so much character and a lot of intrigue to her characters, settings and plot. I would recommend this book to mystery read ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was the last of the "Death In..." series that I read and I was so bummed that it wasn't what I had hoped. I love this author, but with this one she seemed to be trying to bring in a little more comedy than the rest of the series had and I just wasn't into it. That and I just didn't really like the characters. Maybe if there was some more character development I would have really liked the leads and hoped for their romance to bloom, but I honestly didn't care. I ended up skimming to the end. ...more
girl writing
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Revisiting these favorite books from my childhood. 1940s/50s British mysteries set in exotic (to me) locations with the young girl stumbling on and helping to solve a murder and getting the guy. A perfect plot for me still. The editions I'm reading have a forward by the author with background about writing the story which is quite interesting. Of the two I've reread so far this was the slower moving of the two. With everyone including the murderer trapped on the islands after a typhoon blows thr ...more
Sheri South
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This and DEATH IN KASHMIR are my favorites of M. M. Kaye's mysteries. I've always found the Author's Note at the beginning, in which she describes the circumstances behind it's writing, as interesting as the book itself. I've always considered these books as more romantic suspense than mystery: like those of Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, etc., they feature a young woman finding love--and danger--in an exotic location. In the case of DITA, it also taught me a bit about a part of the world I'd ne ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Another M. M. Kaye book. This one set on a small island off the coast of India is "the stranded house party" plot. A massive storm strikes leaving a group together in a big house. Straining coincidence the body of a member of their party that they thought was lost at sea during the storm washes up on the beach by the house. It's proven that the corpse was murdered and then two more murders occur. It keeps you guessging.
It was a struggle to finish. I really wanted to enjoy it as classic but found it dated in a negative way and overly "atmospheric". I also disliked how the characters ignored a glaring clue presented early in the book but continually overlooked when they engaged in discussion meant to solve the murders. Just too annoying!
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
My first read from this author and I was impressed. The world was fully realized and the danger imminent and palpable. The negatives for me, as they were, were the implausibility of the ultimate bad guy, and the false conflict set up between our erstwhile heroine and her hero.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my favorites of the "Death in" series, because it's a safe bet I'll never get to the Andamans. The locale is deliciously exotic and the story nicely paced. The characters aren't especially memorable, but this is comfort food, not immortal literature.
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mystery, gothic
Fun book. Might be my favorite of M. M. Kaye's mysteries. Has two romances that hit all my buttons. First Copper and Nick, and then Valerie and Charles. But mainly I like the relationship that all four of them have with each other.
Tara Carpenter
Apr 18, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't like this as much as I remember loving the others in this series, but it was still good. The romance wasn't as believable, nor was it quite as scary. Some of the earlier in this series were great for those two things.
Sep 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Quite an exotic and unknown island. Before WW II. Japanese bombed them so now desolate. Isolated British people and how they kept to their traditions and lifestyles no matter where they were in the world. Good mystery and romance.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Death in... (6 books)
  • Death in Kashmir
  • Death in Berlin
  • Death in Cyprus
  • Death in Kenya
  • Death in Zanzibar
“In the absence of any concrete evidence. I plump for Leonard Stock as the murderer. First, because he's the most unlikely person, and as anyone who has ever read a murder story knows, it's always the most unlikely person who turns out to have done the deed--and fifty thousand authors can't be wrong.” 1 likes
“He means, Coppy, that even though he had no intention of getting engaged or married, or otherwise entangled, he has discovered--probably with disgust--that the light of Reason has been put out and that he has been forced, against every prompting of intelligence, common sense and will-power, to chuck himself and his future at your feet, because he knows that unless you can be persuaded to pick them up, neither the one or the other will ever be of any value to him again.” 1 likes
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