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Hachette Book Group (AU)
This price was set by the publisher.
Madam, Will You Talk?: The modern classic by the queen of romantic suspense (Mary Stewart Modern Classic) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 372 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $9.49 after you buy the Kindle book.
From the Back Cover
Whenever I look back now on the strange and terrifying events of that holiday in Southern France, I remember the minutes I spent gazing at the golden arches of the Roman aqueduct over the Gardon . . . the last brief lull before the thunder.
It sounds idyllic: a leisurely drive through the sun-drenched landscape of Provence. But Charity's dream holiday turns into a nightmare when she becomes embroiled in a sinister plot to kidnap a young boy. She soon finds herself in a deadly pursuit and must uncover who to trust . . . and who to fall for.
'The terrible thirsty heat of the Provençal summer, the noise of the cicadas, the dust of the country buses . . . an excellent tale of mystery.' The Times
'A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors.' Harriet Evans
- ASIN : B004YD1K9O
- Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton (26 May 2011)
- Language : English
- File size : 1353 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 372 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 82,837 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Such a good book. I have read this quite a few times since I first came across it and it never ceases to make my spine tingle and raise the odd goosebump with the ratcheting tension. Such a good romantic thriller. Mary Stewart is the master of this style of story.
Actually Mary Stewart didn’t just write romantic suspense, she’s been credited with inventing the genre. Unbelievably, after skimming through reviews of this book, most are of the opinion that this, her 1955 debut, is Stewart’s weakest and least polished book. Unbelievable because it’s seriously good.
The book is set after WW2 which left our heroine, Charity, a widow. Charity travels to France for a holiday and, whilst staying in an Avignon resort, she gets to know one of the guests, a young boy, David. Charity’s natural maternal instinct kicks in and she soon becomes protective of, and friendly with, David. However, this puts her in danger when she and David are being pursued by David’s father, a man who has recently been charged with murdering his wife's lover.
It’s difficult to write suspenseful action scenes but Stewart does it with ease. Her cat and mouse chases, in particular, are spectacularly written. She also made me believe wholeheartedly in the romance. There was a real chemistry between Charity and her romantic lead. At times the air just crackled between them.
I love Alfred Hitchcock movies and this book is basically like reading a book version of one of his movies. I immediately cast Cary Grant and Grace Kelly whilst reading this. In fact, I struggle to understand why no one ever made it into a movie.
Given the age of the book I assumed there would be parts full of political incorrectness and just generally old fashioned views. I was pleasantly surprised that, for the most, this isn’t the case. There are a few parts which have scenes showing men bullying women but they’re not as grating as I feared. Actually, if anything, my fears were unfounded when it came to Charity. She was a strong independent woman who pretty much managed to get herself out of the many sticky situations she landed in throughout - usually without the help of a man. Okay, at times she gets a little help from males (even in a roundabout way she is helped by her late husband) but a lot of the time, it’s her own ingenuity that saves her.
The constant smoking of the characters is probably the most noticeable difference in the eras! Cigarettes are lit up for every occasion! LOL
I listened to this in audio version and it was read by Emilia Fox who proved acting royalty can be handy when it comes to classy narration. Fox is easily one of the best narrators I’ve come across in audio-land thus far. I highly recommend this version.
I really loved this book, I’m looking forward to some serious binge reading of Stewart's other works.
Easily a 5/5
Top reviews from other countries
Mary Stewart probably invented the romantic suspense genre - more recently reinvented as domestic suspense: independent heroine falls in love with a man who might be a killer. In this particular story, Charity and her friend Louise(!) are on holiday in France. Charity is determined to visit all the historical sites. Louise would rather sit in the shade and drink grape juice. So Charity takes a young boy called David on her sight-seeing trips. David and his stunningly beautiful step-mother are in France hiding from his father - recently on trial for murder. When Charity realises David's father has finally tracked his family down, she tries to lead him away on a false trail. Will she succeed?
Madam, Will You Talk? was written in 1955 and unfortunately it shows, particularly in the way anyone who is not white, British, and middle-class is described. And I really wish someone had thought to edit out the (one occurrence) of the g-word. Having said that, Madam, Will You Talk? is an enjoyable, escapist 'romp' and I did enjoy it. There are lots of lush descriptions of France and thrilling car chases. The romance is glossed over - the hero meets the heroine all of twice before he falls madly in love with her. There are no sex scenes and only very mild violence.
Would suit fans of old-school romantic suspense and authors such as Anne Stuart. Fans of vintage cosy crime, such as Agatha Christie, will probably find there is not enough of a mystery to get their teeth into.
It's light-hearted (most of it anyway) and an easy read, a mystery story with a sprinkling of romance. I'm not a fan of romantic or love stories, so I was pleased that there wasn't much, just a sideline of the main story. Set in the 1950's, it's often quaint and amusing in our enlightened times - the expectations of how women (ladies?!) should behave may well put a wry grin on your face.
Charity and Louise are on holiday in the South of France together, and Charity explores the local area by herself (Louise prefers to sit by the pool and read a book), which gets her involved with something shady going on. Charity is not one to sit back, and throws herself into protecting a young boy from his father who got away with supposedly murdering someone, and is now looking for him.
The story is quite fast paced, and the book is well-written and easy to read.
I haven't read Enid Blyton since I was a child, but this book brought to mind the Famouse Five and the Secret Seven books - a dash of mystery and suspense and some fun, all written in an engaging way that invites the reader to turn the page again and again until the end is reached.
By modern standards, it's pretty tame, but it's still a very pleasant and easy read, nevertheless. You get a sense of simpler times, when a woman driving a fast car was something of note, and when most people are unfailingly polite and respectful, with no gore or hanky-panky getting in the way of the story.
It was a pleasant enough read to inspire me to read more from this author.
The action takes place over a period of a few days in the South of France, in the aftermath of WW2 when its bleak spectre is still casting a pall over Europe. Charity, a young war-widow, and her friend Louise, an art teacher, have just driven from the UK to Avignon for a much-anticipated holiday. A chance encounter with a boy and his dog affect Charity deeply because she senses in the youngster a painful maturity at odds with his naturally ebullient personality. Very soon she finds herself enmeshed in a web of danger and deception, as a suspected murderer scours the countryside looking for the boy David.
On top of some masterfully fleshed out characters, an unusually prominent role is played by the touring car of the 40's, represented by a selection of the best: Riley, Mercedes and Bentley. Even if classic cars are not your thing, the narrative is compelling and the chase sequences particularly vivid. The descriptive powers for which Mary Stewart became so well known, are employed here with effective restraint while the fast action drives the book to a very satisfactory conclusion. Personally, I like it when all the loose ends are tied up and this story is wrapped up to perfection. For some reason as I was reading, I imagined a film version featuring the young Grace Kelly and Sean Connery ... wonderfully vintage.