But I prefer the Stewarts with stronger heroines. And Yet… all the clues said so. I first read this as a teenager, and have been dying to visit the Isle of Skye ever since. This time, because the romance was between a formerly married couple, I thought it would have more depth and believability than the other Mary Stewarts I read, where people tended to fall in love rather abruptly and with improbable strength. But the one thing he never puts on the line? Not only that, there's a creepy murderer out and about, and just about everyone at the hotel, with the exception of Gianetta, is a possible suspect. It was lying flat on its back on the bed, with its legs straight out and its hands crossed on its breast. Mary Stewart's strong points seem to be descriptions and atmosphere.
So far this is how I'm ranking the Mary Stewart books I've read:1. When she is hired as a governess to the orphaned young Philippe, Comte de Valmy, Linda finds a kindred spirit in the lonely little boy. The fragile, tiny black birds, nocturnal and solitary, that come ashore to nest but spend most of the lives flying close above the sea-waves, come storm or shine. Entries are written by expert contributors and discuss such writers as Geoffrey of Monmouth, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Margaret Atwood. When she discovers that her ex-husband has booked into the same hotel, the peaceful holiday for which she had hoped takes on quite another complexion. If you love some creepiness and a mystery with the feel of an old black and white movie —no Technicolor here! Mary Stewart's plucky heroines are indeed usually rescued by a man, and a love interest at that, but I don't hold that against her.
They loved each other passionately before allowing their jobs and distance to affect their marriage. He explains this by pride, but then Gianetta is forced to lay hers aside for him, repeatedly. All the guests who were there during the time of the murder are suspects. Although Stewart always wrote romantic thrillers I'd forgotten how many different settings she used - reportedly always visiting in person to be sure she got the atmosphere and details right. I've read only two books now by Mary Stewart but I have a good sense of her style. This particular book of Stewart's from 1956 is one I had never read and is an enjoyable mystery set The news in 2014 that Mary Stewart had passed away at the age of 94 got me into rereading her classic romantic suspense books written mostly in the late 50s, the 60s and 70s. Mary Stewart's strong points seem to be descriptions and atmosphere.
It taught me technically a great deal, but mainly that the detective story , with its emphasis on plot rather than people, is not for me. Soon two female guests disappear while climbing Blaven - but who was the third person seen heading towards the mountain with them? Maybe it kept the couple together, but at what cost? It was just over two hundred pages but it felt longer than that, mainly because of all the description and some of the back and forth dialog that went nowhere. Each entry provides biographical information, a discussion of the writer's use of Arthurian legend and contribution to the Arthurian literary tradition, and a bibliography of primary and secondary material. The old house, with it tufts of rosy houseleek and the spreading gilt of the lichens, was beautiful. Nicholas remains a cardboard figure and I find it hard to believe he will really change.
~~~~ Four years have passed since Gianetta divorced Nicholas Drury. This goes on my Top-2014-Reads shelf for sure! Two more murders are committed within a day or two of each other, and practically all the men are suspects. And then Gianetta, running blindly through the mists, runs herself into a quicksand-like bog. Lady Mary Stewart, born Mary Florence Elinor Rainbow, was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years. Because there are too many scary things lurking in the shadows here at night. The deep blue oblong of sky above the open court was pricking already with brilliant stars. I am so glad to have finished this.
Under her sophisticated veneer, is a vulnerable young woman still wounded and hurt by her ex husband's infidelity. Mary Stewart was the first author I looked for, and I came away with this one. I read my first Mary Stewart at 15 and have been a fan of her wonderful books ever since. Wildfire at Midnight was mostly a good read. Giantta is a devorce, and with a little encouragement from her mother takes a much needed holiday… to the Isle of Skye.
However here are a coupl 3. Unlike contemporary novels like I Capture the Castle which still feels fresh today , Wildfire is cringe-y in its outdated gender norms. And of course, our heroine, a London fashion model, totally ignorant and unbelievably naive, is in the middle of the investigation. Gianetta, a fashion model, decides to get away from London and its madness, especially with the coronation around the corner, to get solace in a remote lodge on the Isle of Sky. When rich, spoilt Christie Mansel arrives at the decaying palace to look after her eccentric Aunt Harriet, she arrives to the sound of howling dogs.
With one cliff-hanger sometimes literally after another, it was near impossible to put down. So overall, definitely still not my favourite. Each entry provides biographical information, a discussion of the author's use of Arthurian legend and contribution to the Arthurian literary tradition, and a bibliography of primary and secondary material. There were two whole pages dedicated to people wondering if a couple of others they were out searching for had been found after one man motioned for another to come have a look over the side of a cliff. Janet quickly learns the reason for the tension in the air — a young girl from the local village has been murdered in ritualistic fashion on one of the nearby mountains. Loved the suspenseful parts of this book which are many! Kate realises that she can't leave Lindy and Rex with no one to turn to, so she chooses to stay and stumbles upon a murder plot.
After a while, I started skipping them and rapidly turning the pages unread to get to the good parts — the action. The Ivy Tree is a complicated book. Oh my God, the murderer. Too much of anything is never good, neither in fiction nor in real life. Most of her romantic suspense books are quite decent and hold up fairly well if one allows for being of course somewhat dated in certain aspects.