Reviewed: February 7th, 2021
First publication date: 1956
The pioneer of romantic suspense, Mary Stewart, leads listeners on a thrilling journey through a dangerous and deadly Provence in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.
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 whom to trust…and whom to fall for.
Madam, Will you Talk is one of my favourite Mary Stewart mystery/romances. It was written way back in 1956 (Can you believe that was 65 years ago?) and the quaint turn of speech and behaviour does date it, along with the latest Rileys and Bentleys as the fast cars. (My father had more than one Riley!)
My version is the nineteenth imprint, and I much prefer this cover to the current cover. My book is falling apart, it’s like reading a looseleaf document! And the text is tiny, we are spoilt with eReaders and the ability to increase the font.
The story is set not long after the Second World War, and Charity and her friend, Louise are on a touring holiday through Provence in the South of France. They stop off in the town of Avignon to see the famous Roman bridge.
Whilst at the hotel, they meet a young boy called David, and his dog, Rommel. They tug on Charity’s heart strings, and she gets drawn into his terrible situation, and the horror of having a murderer for a father.
David’s father has been released from prison and has followed David down to the South of France determined to retrieve him and the hunt is on. Charity is desperate to help David and prevent his angry father from finding him. The tension builds as David’s father draws closer. An amazing chase across the sun drenched landscape and a wonderful story.
This is a treasured book on my bookshelf, as you can see it is well read, and falling apart! Along with Airs Above the Ground, another of Mary Stewart’s wonderful mystery/romances about the famous Lipizzaners of the Spanish Riding School.
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