Tuesday, September 27, 2011

M M Kaye

I was in year ten at high school (fifteen years old) when we were set an assignment to do book reports. This sort of thing is always my cup of tea and I remember I happily presented on Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy. Another girl in my class had read M M Kaye's Death in Berlin, and that was the beginning of the beginning.

If you haven't heard of M M Kaye or read any of her books, she wrote six detective novels reminiscent of Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart's mystery novels, Patricia Wentworth and Dorothy L Sayers.

Further to this is what I feel to be a bit of an affinity with M M Kaye, owing to the fact that she was born in India. Although I have lived my entire life in Australia, my background is Sri Lankan, or namely what is called a Burgher. What this (Dutch) term means, is that we Burgher's have Dutch/Portuguese/English ancestry in our blood, due to the fact that Sri Lanka was colonised by said countries. I've also married an Anglo Indian, and upon meeting his grandparents, on a trip many years ago to India, I felt as though I was sitting on some kind of tea plantation back in Colonial times sipping my afternoon tea with a spread of sandwiches etc in front of me. Yep, that's exactly how it was, you would hardly even think we were even in India. But I'm digressing.

I read Death in Berlin first. This was followed by The far pavilions.
To an impressionable young teenager, Kaye's heroes were certainly worthy of falling in love with. As the years went by I'd devoured everything that she had written only to want more. Unfortunately M M Kaye passed away in 2004, so that is not to be.

Every now and then I like to dip back into her detective novels, even though I know whodunit. Her three historical romance novels are probably more in the vein of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. So if you're after someone who writes with that Golden Age touch, M M Kaye comes highly recommended by this Blogger.


Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I'm not sure how I missed MM Kaye! Thanks so much for the tip. :-)

scribeswindow said...

You'll find that her books are now unfortunately out of print, so hopefully you'll be lucky enough to find copies at the library. I always snap one of her books up if I find one at a second hand book shop. :)

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