Death in Berlin

Death In Berlin by M.M. Kaye

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maybe because this was a sadder time and setting, but I didn’t enjoy this Kaye as much as the previous Death In… titles I have read.

Other than with the two main characters Kaye shows her usual gift for characterisation and dialogue. Miranda is a very colourless heroine. So is the hero, Simon. I really was starting to wonder (view spoiler)[if a romance would eventuate – finally happened on the last couple of pages. (hide spoiler)]

I also think though that this was in part the construction of the book, as it felt like Kaye was going to originally try her hand at an Agatha Christie style murder mystery and then went more for her usual exotic setting and mystery. Some scenes really felt like filler.Also I’m noticing that Kaye heroines seem to work out what is the stupidest, most dangerous action for the heroine to take and then she does just that. Exasperating to a 21st century reader.

This book was heading for a 2★ rating, but I was slow to guess the villain and the denouement was genuinely thrilling, but i would not describe this book as a “must read.”

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Mrs Tim of the Regiment

Mrs Tim of the Regiment

Mrs Tim of the Regiment by D.E. Stevenson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


2.5★

I’m sorry, I really tried, but I just can’t finish this. One session (And oh, it did feel like a session!) reading I fell asleep before I read a single line.

Time to tidy up 2019 reads and move on.


There are exceptions (Desiree for one) but I’m rarely a fan of the diary format, as it is very limiting. But I did mildly enjoy the first half of the book that was based on Ms Stevenson’s real life diaries. The authentic quickly jotted down style was really authentic and it was interesting reading about what an army wife’s life was like between the wars. Stevenson is often very witty.

I still enjoyed the early June entries, even though each day is now more like a chapter written in the first person. Hester (Mrs Tim) now journeys by train to holiday with a former neighbour, Mrs Louden.

The Christie’s second child Betty gives me some laugh out loud moments. There is the unwelcome intrusion of a snobbish and disliked acquaintance on the train.

“…I thought Mummie didn’t know anyone in Kiltwinkle. Of course I knew lots of children at school, but it was awfully dull for Mummie. Mrs Watt said there would be lots of parties, and Mummie bought a new dress, and then nobody asked her.”



Haven’t we all had those moments with our children? I had high hopes the read would improve but for me this was the last entertaining moment until my decision to DNF at 76%. I carried on that long because in spite of the difference in children ages, I was reminded (a lot) of British bittersweet comedy series Butterflies.

Major Morley = Leonard for those who have seen Butterflies, and I was visualising actress Wendy Craig while I was reading. I wouldn’t be at all inspired to find out that the Major Tim books were a very loose inspiration for this TV series. Please note I am saying inspiration not carbon copy!

Since I have a number of unread Stevenson at home and my local library has started carrying some of her titles, I will try another Stevenson. This author has wonderful descriptive powers and a very observant eye.

DNF with regret @76%

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