Thursday, 23 November 2017

Review: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

I seem to have run out of books to read (she said, valiantly ignoring her enormous TBR pile). When I spotted Mary Stewart's backlist was available on Kindle, (some are only 99p at the moment) I downloaded the ones I read as a teenager. Are they as good as I remember? Well, I enjoyed Nine Coaches Waiting far more than Madam Will You Talk? It's not as dated - it could just about pass for a book written today as a 'historical' - I really loved the hero, and the setting was glamorous and authentic.

Linda Martin is half-French, half-English. Her parents died when she was young, and she grew up in an orphanage in England before taking a job as a teacher at a prep school, which she didn't enjoy at all. (There are lots of Cinderella references). When she is given the opportunity to work as a governess to the nine year old Comte de Valmy in Savoy, she jumps at the chance. But is someone trying to kill him?

Mary Stewart is an excellent writer, who seems to have invented the romantic suspense genre single-handedly. There are lots of thrilling moments when both the Comte's and Linda's life is in jeopardy. The hero is handsome and brooding, there are some great descriptions of the Savoy countryside, and Linda is a sparky heroine. There are no sex scenes or violence; I think my only complaint would be that the kissing scenes were glossed over - but then this was written in 1958.

This would suit readers who love old-school/classic romantic suspense and authors such as Anne Stuart. I've already downloaded four more. I've now just got to try and pace myself! Recommended!

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