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Death in Berlin (Death in... #2)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  831 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Miranda Brand is visiting Germany for what is supposed to be a month's vacation. But from the moment that Brigadier Brindley relates the story about a fortune in lost diamonds--a story in which Miranda herself figures in an unusual way--the vacation atmosphere becomes transformed into something more ominous. And when murder strikes on the night train to Berlin, Miranda fin ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 8th 2000 by Minotaur Books (first published 1955)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I have a soft spot in my heart for all things Germany-related, and this 1955 murder mystery by M.M. Kaye, set in post-WWII Berlin, has its charms and a nicely authentic feel to the setting. But reading this book was kind of like an old-timey train ride ... in fact, the kind this novel actually starts out with.

The train (book) has some reasonably comfortable sleeping compartments, and attendants who direct you when you're feeling a bit lost. The food's a little old-fashioned, but fairly tasty. T
Buddy read with Diane Lynn & Jeannette

My re-read of the last of M.M. Kaye's 6 book "Death in..." murder mystery series, and very enjoyable even though post WWII Berlin, Germany isn't the exotic locale Kaye was famous for using in her 5 other whodunits. That being said, I very much liked the change in setting. Kaye easily conjured up the sights, colors and smells of the allied occupied capital in the years following WWII. In her hands, the hopeful optimism of the city years before the rising
A mystery/suspense set in post war Berlin that involves Miranda Brand, a young English woman. Miranda has travelled to Berlin with her cousin and his wife and becomes caught up in a series of murders that are seemingly unrelated.

Couldn't quite classify this as a "cozy" mystery but to my mind it does come close. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the setting, and the hint of romance between Miranda and Simon Lang. There were enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the end of the
Diane Lynn
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddy read with Jeannette and Hannah

Another really good mystery by MM Kaye. This one set in Berlin, Germany in 1953. Kaye did a very good job of describing the bombed out buildings, the piles of rubble that had already been grassed over into ski hills, bullet riddled statues and the different sectors. She was living there at the time so her descriptions have that ring of authenticity.

There is a large cast of suspects and more than one mystery to be solved. I certainly didn't figure everything ou
I vaguely recall reading a few of these "Death in..." books a while ago. Mostly romantic suspense. This one was entertaining enough, but while Miranda is semi-redoubtable, she's one of those people who have a lot of things happen to them, but never jump to any logical conclusions, or do anything particularly proactive.

Also very much of-its-era in terms of racial attitudes.
Alisha Trenalone
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Not as good as Death in Cyprus, but not bad as a quick little whodunnit suspense thing.
Dec 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries, reviewed
1.5 stars. Ok, a 1.5 star rating is probably a little harsh, but I just did not enjoy this M.M. Kaye mystery! I wanted to, because I enjoyed her Death in the Andamans and Death in Kashmir: A Mystery very much.

I tend to not be much of a fan of stories set against the backdrop of WW II, so that probably played a role in my distaste for this book. It's also possible that I almost hated this book because it took for-ev-er for this mystery to get going. I don't think things really started to pick up
Terri Lynn
I really didn't see THAT coming! How often can you say that about mystery or suspense fiction where the who in whodunit is often crystal clear and glaringly obvious half-way through the book, especially with clues generously lining the path? It was near the end when I even entertained the notion that the murderer was the one. M.M. Kaye is so deliciously clever.

I also was amused by the fact that the 9-year-old boy Wally and his friend 7-year-old Lottie actually knew all of the facts that would s
Lee Roberts
Jun 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was the first M M Kaye murder mystery I ever read, and it remains one of my favourites. Sometimes I get a bit frustrated by the helpless heroine scenario in the six books, but I guess it was a reflection of the times.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Click here to read my full review:
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
My current read-to-sleep mystery.
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
By far my favorite of the M. M. Kaye 'Death in...' books. It was the perfect book to devour in almost one sitting on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
May 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Suspense novel with a sliver of romance that is elevated by good writing and a classic vintage feel. Strong sense of place - Berlin, post WWII. Fun vacation read.
Feb 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Death in Berlin* by M. M. Kaye is one of those novels that is quite difficult to read and rate impartially. At least for me it was. An ordinary person may have problems enough with it, but may be able to get past the faults. Someone who has been steeped in military culture, as I have, has a hard time with some of the less than admirable aspects of the worldview expounded upon in the work.

For this reason, I am torn somewhat. I have been told by some before that it is necessary to rate a work im
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, mystery, romance
While it was not without fault, I enjoyed reading Death in Berlin. This was my second read from the "Death in..."series, the first being Death in Kashmir, and though it seems that most reviewers prefer Kashmir, I think I found Berlin more interesting, for some reason. (That may be due to something as simple-- yet elusive-- as "the right book at the right time".)

Based on what I've read so far (and comments from other readers), Kaye has a formula for her mysteries, and she sticks to it. Murder(s)
Katherine Spivey
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love Kaye's 6 thrillers -- period pieces, but wonderfully written.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
M. M. Kaye is one of my favorite mystery writers. Her crisp writing, well-defined characters, and fully formed settings hold up very well through time. It's always an adventure when starting one of her books.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great old-fashion mystery!
Although this book was okay-ish, it really didn't manage to catch my attention. Characters were flat and most times quite annoying, and the plot was full of cliches (nevertheless I admit that I didn't expect the outcome of whom the murderer was, but the circumstances that led to it were stereotypical). I liked that it was a light read and somewhat entertaining, especially the last chapters, but given how much time it has taken me to read it, that showcases how much of an opposite to a page-turne ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Many of my complaints about Death in Kashmir could be applied to Berlin as well... and I could add a few more. Something about a helpless heroine, a massive coincidence, and a cast of underdeveloped characters, perhaps. But even so, I genuinely liked the novel.

Miss Miranda Brand is visiting her cousin and his wife, stationed in Berlin just after WWII. But on the train over, she wanders into the wrong compartment and comes out with blood on her hands and her slippers. The man in charge - a vague
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder-mysteries
This was my first experience with the works of M.M. Kaye. My overall impression with this author is that she has a wonderful knack of illustrating both setting and mood.

The setting here is Berlin...after World War II but before the Berlin Wall was raised, separating the city for decades. Young Miranda Brand accompanies her cousin (who is in the British service) and other British families to their station in Germany. After a dinnertime story told by a brigadier - one that shockingly ties into Mir
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is my 3rd mystery by M. M. Kaye, and the dialogs, scenes and even the characters are getting very predictable. The lead is always a lady, always determined to be a spinster, always abysmally young. This story took forever to start, the female lead was annoying or saying and doing things that were annoying, and in the end the criminal wasn't even convincing, that is, the reason for the crime was quite uninspiring. Zero chemistry between the lead protagonists. Having said all that, it was a p ...more
Bobbie N
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
SUMMARY: British Army officer Robert Melville has been stationed in the post-WWII British zone of Berlin, and has invited his cousin Miranda to join his family there as a kind of holiday for her. While travelling, they and several other passengers are regailed at dinner one night by the long, drawn-out tale of a retired brigadier, something about missing jewels and the disappearance of a Nazi and his wife. When the brigadier is found murdered in his train compartment, the entire group falls unde ...more
Tara Carpenter
May 25, 2011 rated it liked it
I'd give this 3.5 stars.

I finally got to the last book in this collection. There are 5 or 6, all stand-alone, but all with the same basic plot. Young girl, traveling with friends or distant family, gets embroiled in some kind of murder plot. Handsome stranger/policeman/knight-in-shining-armor helps out - but is he really what he seems??? Luckily I'm a fan of this type and I always enjoyed the exotic settings. This one was much less so, post-war Germany. I recommend one of the others over this fo
An interesting writing. I liked the atmosphere of the divided Berlin just at the end of the war. I enjoyed the small details of the life of that time, the train journeys, the movings to new houses and the raising of children. The murder story was consistently build up without making it totally clear who the murderer is. Interesting also the old story of Herr and Frau Ridder, around which the murders are turning. Easily read and enjoyable. It was the first book of this writer that I read and I wi ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
M.M. Kaye is known for the details of the exotic locations she writes about as her "Death in" mysteries are usually set in places she lived or visited when the British were still a strong presence.

It can be difficult not to view her heroines through a modern lens and become eye-rolley over their actions from time to time, but for the most part these books are enjoyable and a fun glimpse at an era I will never experience.

Death in Berlin is not one of my favorites. The mystery is a bit more slu
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved Far Pavilions when I read it years ago and had no idea she wrote mysteries until we picked this one for our book club read this month. What a super read! Totally one of the best I've read in a long time. Like many authors writing in the 50's every word counted and they painted such vivid pictures with their words.'s a series! I'll definitely be reading the rest.
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
[7/10] I liked it a lot, but I gave better books 4 stars here, and I felt this was a very pleasant but ultimately a lightweight effort. The heroine is believable, and the rest of characters around her quite good, especially Wally the Snoop. The image of the ruined post-war Berlin is OK but it doesn't take centre stage to the murdeer story. Also fine was the mystery part, in the style of Agatha Christie, where everyone is a possible suspect.
Ultimately though this is not in the same class as the
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm working my way through all the M. M. Kaye mysteries. This is my least favorite so far (only two more to go) It's a decent book but something is lacking. Perhaps it's the setting. The ruins of postwar Berlin don't make one want to visit the place. In all her previous books I was enchanted by the settings and longed to see them. I have visited Berlin but much later when it was cleaned up.
Miranda Brand who s visiting Berlin gets mixed up in a mystery that harks back to her childhood as a war re
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. Early Cold War, Berlin Wall era. Spies and ruins from Hitler's Berlin. Creepy!
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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 Cyprus
  • Death in Kenya
  • Death in Zanzibar
  • Death in the Andamans (Death In..., #6)

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