This is not a book about many deaths that have taken place in Kashmir due to unrest in past 25 years. This book is about mysterious deaths of British secret agents just before India gained Independence in 1945. I have been a big fan of M. M. Kaye for a long time. I have already written about “The Far Pavilions” and “Shadow of the Moon” earlier. She has also written many of these thriller books about mysterious deaths and subsequent unravelling of the plot created in several places where she had spent time during her life.
“Death in Kashmir” is a story that takes place in British era when world war II had just ended and Englishmen had decided to leave India. The story is written from the perspective of Miss Sarah Parrish who is taking a ski holiday in Kashmir. Two women in that group die in mysterious circumstances but one of them shared a secret with Sarah before she was murdered. Both these women were British secret agents trying to find the root of strange robberies and other mysterious happenings in the valley. In the end Sarah is able to get to the root of these murders as well as the conspiracy of making Kashmir a communist state with the help of Russia. She also ends up finding love in the story.
I have liked the style of Kaye and in this case I was intrigued by the background that was set in pre-independence India and in Kashmir. Even though the book is a bit slow and not as sharp as some of her later books, I enjoyed reading this book. I got to know some interesting facts as well. The idea of houseboats was started by British who were not allowed by king of Kashmir to buy land, so they bought and created houseboats for their vacation homes. I do not know whether the idea about communist overtake of Kashmir is complete fiction or whether there was indeed something happening at that time. I am going to look for other murder mysteries by her as well.