Read Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart Free Online
Book Title: Madam, Will You Talk?|
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Reader ratings: 4.4
The author of the book: Mary Stewart
Edition: William Morrow & Co
Date of issue: June 28th 1956
ISBN 13: 9780688020170
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.22 MB
City - Country: No data
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June 2018 buddy read with the Mary Stewart group. This book is only $1.99 on the Kindle, so grab it and join us if you're interested. This is my second-favorite* Mary Stewart book, one of her best old-fashioned romantic suspense novels. Nobody does it quite like Mary Stewart.
It's about 1950, and Charity, a young English widow (her husband died in WWII), is traveling with her former co-worker, Louise. They begin their leisurely vacation with a stay in the lovely walled city of Avignon, France:
Little do they know the murderous plots they are stumbling into, in this small, sleepy French town.And though the part I was to play in the tragedy was to break and re-form the pattern of my whole life, yet it was a very minor part, little more than a walk-on in the last act. For most of the play had been played already; there had been love and lust and revenge and fear and murder . . . and now the killer, with blood enough on his hands, was waiting in the wings for the lights to go up again, on the last kill that would bring the final curtain down.So, since we're talking a 1950-ish play here, let's cast the main roles: In the part of Charity, we have Grace Kelly:
Despite her penchant for alpha men, Charity is a capable person who spends much of the story driving around the south of France like a maniac, so:
For Charity's lazy, "plump and fair" friend Louise, I've found this unnamed 1950's plus-size model:
Cary Grant as Richard Byron, the sinister (and possibly mad) suspected murderer who chases her across half of France:
Jayne Mansfield, as the French femme fatale Loraine:
Louis Jourdan, as the drop dead good-looking Frenchman Paul Very:
and finally, Tommy Rettig (of "Lassie" fame) as David, Richard Byron's son:
(use your imagination to replace Lassie with a nondescript mutt named Rommel)
So, with our all-star cast in place, back to our story: Charity befriends young David and takes him on some local excursions. David is in the company of Loraine, his stepmother, since his father was accused of murdering his best friend (with whom Loraine said she was having an affair), and David is desperately trying to avoid his father--he tells Charity his father is "mad."
Charity accidentally meets Richard Byron and lets slip that she knows his son. That's all it takes to begin the mad chase across the south of France, with Richard hell-bent on finding his son and Charity in a panic to avoid being caught by him and, at the same time, avoid giving him any leads back to David.
This novel, admittedly, is quite dated in some ways. The social attitudes are pretty much straight from the 1950s, although Charity has a lot more gumption than most young women of the time, and the amount of smoking is not to be believed. I think it averages a cigarette every other page. There are some pretty far-fetched coincidences, and . . .
It's a very exciting book, perhaps not terribly deep, but I adore the main characters, and I make no apologies for loving this escapist novel. I've read it probably half a bazillion times. It really is quite a bit like an old-fashioned Hitchcock film, and you just have to accept it on those terms. As usual, Mary Stewart includes some great literary references, which really adds to my enjoyment of the book. Every single time!
If you like old-fashioned romantic suspense novels, this is one of Mary Stewart's best. The chase across France, where the heroine is being pursued by a sinister stranger in a fast car, is one of my favorite reads in any book of this type.
Stewart writes in a more literary style than most mystery/romance writers but for my money it makes the book much more enjoyable. Its 1950s roots show a little with the alpha male hero and incessant cigarette smoking, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for this novel.
*Nine Coaches Waiting is my favorite Stewart book.
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Read information about the authorLibrarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
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.
She was one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she was admired for both her contemporary stories of romantic suspense and her historical novels. Born in England, she lived for many years in Scotland, spending time between Edinburgh and the West Highlands.
Her unofficial fan site can be found at http://marystewartnovels.blogspot.com/.
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