Book Beginnings & The Friday 56: Death in Berlin by M M Kaye

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading. You can also share from a book you want to highlight just because it caught your fancy.

Death in Berlin by M M Kaye is one of the 20 Books of Summer that I’m aiming to read this summer. It is crime fiction set in war-scarred Berlin in the early 1950s. Miranda is on the night train when she discovers a dead body. Years ago I read The Far Pavilions and it is only in recent years that I discovered she wrote the Death in … series. This is the 2nd book in the series first published in 1955.

It begins with a Prologue:

With nightfall the uneasy wind that had sighed all day through the grass and the gorse bushes at the cliff edge died away, and a cold fog crawls in from the sea, obliterating the darkening coastline and muting the drag of waves on shingle to a rhythmic murmur barely louder than the unrelenting and monotomous mutter of gunfire to the east.

followed by Chapter 1

Miranda Brand knelt on the floor of a bedroom in the Families’ Hostel in Bad Oeynhausen in Berlin, searching her suitcase for a cake of soap, and regretting that she had ever accepted her cousin Robert Melville’s invitation to spend a month with him and his family in Berlin.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Page 56:

Miranda’s eyes widened suddenly and she caught her breath in a little gasp. ‘Yes. There was something else. I heard a door being opened and then I heard someone moving about in there. I thought it was funny – “funny peculiar”, I mean.’

Synopsis from Amazon

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 finds herself unwillingly involved in a complex chain of events that will soon throw her own life into peril.

What are you planning to read this summer?