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5,0 sur 5 étoilesVintage Stewart
Commenté au Canada le 27 juin 2018
Lovely, feel good read. Perfect for transporting you to a simpler time. All black and white, no grey zone. Heroes, heroines and villains with a guaranteed happy ending.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesA traditional mystery; one of those wonderful books that doesn’t grow old or passé.
Commenté au Canada le 12 août 2015
First Sentence: In the first place, I suppose, it was my parent’s fault for giving me a silly name like Gianetta.
Fashion model Gianetta follows the suggestion of her parents and heads to the Isle of Sky for a restful vacation. Those plans did not include finding her ex-husband, Nicholas Drury, at the same hotel. Nor did they include learning a local girl had recently been murdered and left in a way that suggests a ritual. But the killer isn’t done. Can Gianetta avoid becoming a victim?
Told in first person, past tense, Stewart’s character both provides us with comprehensive information as to her background, and makes the reader welcome into her story. Stewart makes her protagonist very approachable and rather self-deprecating; a lovely trait considering Gianetta’s profession.
With the same clarity of writing, we also know the other characters in the story through their descriptions, mannerisms and speech. It’s nice that she included both certain character’s dialects and Gaelic phrases. What is particularly clever is the use of one of the characters, actress Marcia, who, smoothly and naturally, introduces many of the other characters to both us and to Gianetta.
It’s the small touches that make the time and setting come to life, such as remembering that this was an age when most people smoked, or that some placed still used dip-pens. There were also delightfully British turns-of-phrase…”She wasn’t just hit or stabbed or choked in a fit of human passion. She was deliberately done to death…” At the same time, there are ideas from then that still hold true…”Don’t you know yet that there’s no room for pride in marriage? You have to choose between the two.”…and the age old question of the limits of loyalty. Her descriptions of place are evocative…”And, locked in the great arms of the mountains, the water lay quiet as a burnished shield, reflecting the deeper blue and deeper gold the pageantry of hill and sky.”
Although traditionally regarded as "romantic suspense"--I suspect by the men who ran publishing companies--the emphasis is much more on the mystery than on romance. While there is a touch of romance done in classic 50’s fashion of conversations not shared with the audience, and activities taking place behind closed doors, they story is, at its heart with excellent red herrings and plenty of suspense, an exciting climax and a wonderful ending.
“Wildfire at Midnight” is one of those wonderful books that doesn’t grow old or passé. Much more of a traditional suspense than romantic-suspense, it is as wonderful a read today, as it was when first published, and Ms. Stewart should be considered among the classic authors.
WILDFIRE AT MIDNIGHT (Sups-Gianetta Brooke Drury-Scotland-Contemp) - VG Stewart, Mary – Standalone William Morrow and Company – 1956
5,0 sur 5 étoilesRitual Murder on the Slopes of Blaven
Commenté au Canada le 18 décembre 2014
The second of Mary Stewart's mystery novels showing an already deft hand and complete mastery of her craft. The story starts harmlessly enough in London but soon Gianetta (the conflicted heroine) travels to the island of Skye where she will meet an intriguing assortment of guests at a remote fishing lodge, and an unsettling series of events will soon start to unfold.
Stewart knows her Scotland well and her compelling descriptions provide an exquisitely-drawn travelogue background to a sinister plot which takes the heroine through a journey of self-discovery that eventually frees her from her painful past. Brilliant character development exposing the many sides of each of the protagonists to the point that even the vilest of criminals elicited my (temporary) sympathy. With this book Lady Stewart establishes what will become her trademark treatment of her heroines by taking a slightly insecure young woman and putting her through a range of situations requiring a lot of courage, both physical and moral, and a fair bit of athletic stamina.
If, at times, it seems as though the real protagonist is Blaven itself, the mystical cloud-shrouded mountain, we are never allowed to lose track of the human drama unfolding in its forbidding shadow.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesExciting adventure, as brilliant as i remembered.
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 20 avril 2016
I had read this novel before approximately 45 years ago. An English teacher at school gave us girls Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart and I was of an age when the adventure, danger and romance totally gripped me. Over the next year I was a constant visitor to the library and read everything that Mary Stewart had written. Wildfire at Midnight was special as I had been on Skye for family holidays and loved the area. Although I had read it before I still was engrossed in the action, the build up of tension and, of course, the descriptions of the area which, although not strictly accurate (they dont claim to be), are still evocative for me as I remember the landscape. As with most of Mary Stewart novels, if you like a beautiful heroine with pluck, a handsome hero, danger and strong descriptive passages this is a book for you.
5,0 sur 5 étoilesMary Stewart tells such good stories, and this is in a period many ...
Commenté au Royaume-Uni le 10 juin 2018
Always been a fan of Mary Stewart, I had a copy of this book many years ago, and lost it when we moved, so when I saw it was available on Kindle I jumped at the chance to read it again. Mary Stewart tells such good stories, and this is in a period many people will remember, the Coronation and the Everest Conquest. The atmosphere of the Scottish mountains and the Isle of Skye are equally represented by her writing her descriptions of the countryside and the events which follow keep you fascinated.
Having read most of Mary Stewart's novels, and thoroughly enjoyed them all, I would rank Wildfire as one of her best. Set in the beautiful Isle of Skye, the author's descriptions make this northern Inner Hebrides island come alive in the reader's mind. One can almost imagine one is there and it certainly becomes a place one would like to visit. A young model, Gianetta Brooke, arrives at the hotel ready to enjoy her retreat from the rat race of London, only to find herself in an acrimonious atmosphere of tension and suspicion. She is horrified to learn of the ritualistic murder of a young local girl and finds herself in the unique position of being the only hotel resident to be free from suspicion, owing to the fact that she was not on the island when the first murder occurred. The mystery and suspense surrounding these murders along with a dash of romance make for enjoyable and light reading.
I read quite a few of Mary Stewart' s novels many years ago and the chance to re new my reading was too much to resist. I'm glad I didn't, just as gripping a storyline now as it was back then. One thing that surprised me now was how many cigarettes were smoked by the heroine!