❰Reading❯ ➸ Madam, Will You Talk? Author Mary Stewart – Motyourdrive.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Madam, Will You Talk?

  1. says:

    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 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 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 Prior review 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 literary style than most mystery romance writers but for my money it makes the book much 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.

  2. says:

    Take one brave heroine who drives her snazzy convertible like Mario Andretti.Add thrilling car chases on twisty roads in the south of France And a mysterious but magnetic stranger who s always just a few car lengths behind.Mix in splendidly described settings from Avignon to Marseilles.Stop for a quick bite at a roadside bar where even the croissants are to die for Or savor a lavish meal on a terrace Add some moments of true terror when a man who might just be a murderer is spotted on the waterfrontThrow in a cute kid with a dog, witty dialog, deft characterizations, literary references from Chaucer to Shakespeare, lots of 1950s period details think endless cigarettes and uncrushable nylon and you have the recipe for a Mary Stewart romantic adventure and even Insta Love But, hey, insta love has been known to happen in beautiful France And, truth be told, I had so much fun reading this bit of pure escapist fiction that I didn t care that the ending was too pat and the plot relied too heavily on coincidence So excuse me while I head out to the terrace to enjoy my caf au lait and croissants with yet another Mary Stewart Buddy read March 2015

  3. says:

    In one of those rare confluences that are amazing and delightful when discovered, my last three reads have all taken place in France From 2015 Paris You Will Not Have My Hate , back 31 years to 1984 in Rouen in Normandy Flaubert s Parrot , then back another 31 years to the publication of this one in 1955, which takes place in Avignon in Provence.That is where this story begins, that is A father is searching desperately for his son and Charity Selborne gets caught up in it due to a chance meeting with young David and his step mother Charity quickly becomes fond of David and believes that by helping him to escape from his father, she is doing the right thing.This story has many twists and turns, and the suspense is heightened by subterfuge, high speed car chases, and an antique silver bracelet turning up in an unexpected place The surprises don t stop until the end of the book, and I was happy for an epilogue that set me back gently on my feet.This is the debut novel of Mary Stewart and all debut novelists would benefit from reading this as a great inspiration The storytelling is outstanding, the characters fascinating, and the descriptive writing so well written that I could visualize each place this author took me in the story.Mary Stewart is credited with developing the genre of romantic suspense featuring intelligent, independent, and capable women who don t fall apart in a crisis I have read other Mary Stewart novels her historical fiction Merlin series is outstanding , and I look forward with great anticipation to reading of her work in the years ahead.

  4. says:

    There is an old fashioned elegance about Mary Stewart s writing A stately polish with a then a hint of an old 1950 s Hollywood movie.Whatever minor quibbles I as a modern reader have about some of the outdated social s found between the pages of a Stewart novel, it is only that minor They are easily overlooked by the smooth and soothing way in which Stewart can pull the reader into her world of danger, intrigue and romance Ultimately, however, her incomparable sense of descriptive place is what keeps this fan enthralled Even with the modern internet convenience of google image search, it s truely not necessary to explore these tech options to visualize the places Stewart describes She s already done it for you the old fashioned way through sheer genius of being able to paint a word postcard of any setting she places her characters and her story.This time, that place is Southern France, and Stewart takes her readers, literally as well as figuratively , on a wild ride through Provencal The time is the mid 50 s, and it shows There s cigarette smoking alot of smoking Alot Oh, and did I mention the copius amounts of smoking There s the quintessentinal 1950 s alpha hero, who scares and excites our heroine in equal parts Who demands and threatens her, chases her, makes her faint and makes her cry, until ultimately she s got him wrapped around her little finger THAT S how a Stewart heroine gets the job done.And then there is her characterizations of a troubled child in peril, and the equally wonderful inclusion of a lovable mutt I m personally always glad when Stewart involves animals in her stories It s clear she loves her doggies and kittehs, and I love reading about them, too.And then there s the fact that she makes her characters intelligent quoting poetry and prose often in other languages all over the place, without them seeming snobbish or it feeling contrived or ridiculous That Stewart woman, she makes me wish I had depth of classical literature knowledge to appreciate all that s being implied by each literary utterance.And last, but not least, if Stewart in this novel suffered her hero and heroine to fall into the trap of insta love which negated me giving it 5 stars , at least she didn t have them fall into insta bed, with a 2 page description of the sexual act These are clean, classy reads Something I appreciate the older and I get The trajectory from novels like this one to Fifty Shades of Grey is so far flung that I don t personally think it s even on the same planet earth Reading tastes vary with the times I guess I ll always be stuck in the 1950 s With a cig And a stiff brandy And a nylon nightie And a bossy yet classically educated, mind you man telling me what to do while I let him think he s really doing that.

  5. says:

    Both Hannah and Jeannette wrote such excellent reviews for this, I m not sure I have much to add In fact, here are the links to their reviews Hannah s reviewJeannette s reviewI did think this book was a lot of fun though While I was reading, I kept thinking of old 1950s Hitchcock movies with icy blondes, big heavy cars, and sinister villains LOL So I thought, wouldn t it be fun to cast this puppy with stars from the fifties They would have to be English, of course, since most of the characters are from the UK And they would have to have that glamorous fifties look D I already know who the two leads were because their voices were in my head while reading the book.First off, I think bad guy and suspected murderer, Richard Byron, should be played by the wonderfully menacing James Mason swoon Listen, my dear, this won t get either of us anywhere I want to know where David is You do know, and you refuse to tell me Very well, then I shall have to make you tell me Rich widow, ace driver and savvy traveler, Charity Selborne, should be played by Jean Simmons And how do you propose to do that Torture Be your age, Mr Byron LOL You tell him, Charity Smooth talking Frenchman, Paul V ry, should be played by Louis Jordan Is this fast enough for you Charity tells him no DThe unflappable Louise, Charity s good friend and traveling companion who s supposed to be a bit plump but I ignored that should be played by Georgina Cookson The other lonely male is English, and a schoolmaster His name is John Marsden and he is almost certainly a Boy Scout and a teetotaler as well Tell us what you really think, Louise The questionable John Marsden, who s country of origin is suspicious, should be played by the ambiguous Herbert Lom He s unconscious, and of course I don t know how badly he may be hurt David s beautiful stepmother and Richard s ex wife, Lorraine Bristol, should be played by the lovely Shirley Eaton You re late I ve been here a long time Have you a cigarette And this last one was kind of difficult Who to play David I decided to go with Roddy McDowell, although I know I m pushing it a bit with him Roddy was actually much too old to play David in 1955, but oh well He s perfect for the part Golly Mrs Selborne, what a place I saw a door down there labeled TORIL D you suppose that s the bull Do they use Spanish names here Where does the bull come out to fight So now with my movie all set in place, I m excited to watch Madam Will You Talk with all it s fabulous fifties glory Be expected to find exciting car chases, lots of intrigue, romantic love scenes and unbelievable twists and turns There are some breathtaking scenes of Southern France And lots of smoking too DThis was a fun book

  6. says:

    Very mild spoilers ahead.This was my first experience of Mary Stewart I gather she was a bit of a phenomenon in the 1970s, but the idea of romantic suspense must not have appealed to me at that time The incentive to read this particular novel was an extended buddy read and the fact that the novel is set in the south of France, where I ll be spending a couple of weeks in March this year The novel was first published in 1955 and it shows It has a dated quality with references to smoking than I would have thought possible to include in a 360 page paperback However, it s not just the smoking that screams 1950s The drinks the characters consume, the cars they drive, the way in which the cars are driven and the makeup and the nylon yes, nylon nightie worn by the heroine are also a giveaway Not that this is a bad thing As others among my buddy read companions have noted, the novel calls to mind a 1950s film glamorous characters driving fast cars while engaging in a spot of intrigue in a beautiful location Mary Stewart could write great prose I love her descriptions of Avignon, N mes, Arles, Les Baux and Marseille she really makes the locations come to life In addition, the characters are fun, albeit somewhat stereotypical However, while it has its twists, the narrative is predictable, at least in broad outline It is, for example, easy to pick the hero quite early in the piece In relation to the hero, it occurred to me that Stewart may have been inspired by Georgette Heyer when she created him He is the type Heyer described as Mark I the brusque, savage sort with a foul temper In time honoured 1950s style, he and the heroine fall in love quite quickly Plausible Maybe not, but on the other hand, what was all that racing around for if not a prelude to courtship All in all, this was an enjoyable read A long way from the best novel I ve ever read, but great fun to share with Jemidar, Jeannette, Hannah, Misfit, Laura, Willowfaerie, Leslie, Kim, Joanne, Marg, SarahC and possibly others, most if not all of whom finished reading the book before I did 3 1 2 stars.

  7. says:

    Buddy read with Hannah, Misfit, Willowfaerie, Jeannette, Laura, Leslie, Kim, Joanne, Marg, SarahC, Jemidar, WillofaeriePage 2 How was I to know, that lovely quiet afternoon, that most of the actors in the tragedy were at that moment assembled in this neat, unpretentious little Proven al hotel Pont du Gard, AvignonSt Benezet Bridge Pont d Avignon Page 18 I looked about me, resigned to the fact that almost everybody in the hotel would probably be English too But the collection so far seemed varied enough I began to play the game of guessing at people s professions and, in this case, nationalities Rue de la RepubliquePage 34 Sur le pont d AvignonL on y danse, l on y danceRocher des DomsPage 35 Chapel of St NicholasIt reminds me the legend of Saint B n zet.Page 37 We sang Sur le pont d Avignon in the style of Jean Sablon, and David told me the story of St B n zet who confounded the clerics of Avignon, and built the bridge where the angel had told himPage 41 Pope s Palace, AvignonMonuments d Avignon Le palais des Papes du xive si cle et le pont Saint B nezet il s agit du fameux pont d Avignon du xiie si cle sont class s au patrimoine de l humanit par l Unesco.Page 42 Then suddenly, from somewhere behind me, came a man s voice, speaking low, in French So this is where you are Page 64 Maison Carr e, NimesPage 66 Temple of Diana, NimesPage 57 58 I suppose the ten or twelve minutes that David and Rommel and I spent gazing at those golden arches spanning the deep green Gardon were like the last brief lull before the thunder.Page 87 Place de l Horloge, AvignonPage 96 A man who can read poetry at breakfast would be capable of anything Page 101 I m going to take the car and drive up to Les Baux for a night or even a couple of nights D you want to come Page 356 Most people, he said gravely, begin their sightseeing in Marseilles with a trip to the Ch teau d If.

  8. says:

    Mary Stewart at her best, proving that she sprang upon the publishing world fully formed and ready to go This novel has everything that separates her from the pack a quickly paced plot, a mystery that doesn t solve itself before the end of the book, descriptions of Roman ruins and natural beauty that transport you to the scene, a heroine who is just an ordinary girl but finds within her the strength to rise to the occasion, and just the right touch of love interest I do not read Mary Stewart and see what her characters are doing, I sit with them, eat with them, and herald the morn with them How long I sat out there, in a coign of carved stone and rough rock, I do not know Long enough, I suppose, for my vigil did at length bring in the dawn I saw the first light, forerunning the sun, gather in a cup of the eastern cloud, gather and grow and brim, till at last it spilled like milk over the golden lip, to smear the dark face of heaven from end to end From east to north, and back to south again, the clouds slackened, the stars, trembling on the verge of extinction, guttered in the dawn wind, and the gates of day were ready to open at the trumpet I will admit that part of what makes me love her so much is my long time relationship with her She peopled my youth with her characters and stories When I had graduated from Nancy Drew Mysteries, she was waiting for me, but while Nancy Drew remains a childish adventure, one that it is not even possible to recapture with the same delight, Mary Stewart is as delightful, thrilling and interesting now as she was then She is a comfort read for me, and this particular book is the writer at the height of her skills and allure.I am so glad to have read it again after all those years and to have found that, while I have grown old across all those years, it has not.

  9. says:

    It was great Charity is a very memorable heroine Adventurous and independent I think she is one of Mary s best I loved following her around and a few certain danger scenes will remain unforgettable OH, and the dog, Rommel I often notice how Mary has animals as fairly important characters important to the storyline in her books The dolphin, and cat, in This Rough Magic, The hounds in The Gabriel HoundsI greatly enjoy this about her books as an animal lover myself I always look for them when beginning a book I d like to believe she was a big pet lover herself I think I even read that I highly recommend this one I can imagine re reading this one in a few years Loved the setting and the women as friends travelling together Read this one if you can find a copy It s a lot of fun

  10. says:

    This is my first read by Mary Stewart Written in 1955, it s definitely dated in many aspects from constant smoking where barely a scene went by without someone lighting up to social attitudes Reading it is like watching old Hollywood movies where sophisticated people eat, drink, smoke, drive glamorous cars and deal with mystery and intrigue The story starts off placidly but you are told things are going to quickly change as all the players are in place There is suspense and tension abound including impressive car chase sequences with the heroine at the wheel, no less Stewart s writing is incredibly visual Her sense of place is vivid to the point where you almost feel the heat of sun drenched Southern France, hear chirping of cicadas, admire beautifully described locations In fact, the backdrop of the Southern France plays a major role and the setting is what I liked the most in the story in addition to the heroine Surprisingly, this 1950s novel heroine is portrayed as capable and competent than demure heroines of many 1970s 80s romances I just loved her She takes charge of the situation, makes quick and sound most of the time decisions and runs with them Very refreshing The story is romantic suspense and I have to say suspense was just average with too many coincidences and romance was of insta love variety It s also the author s debut, the fact that has to be taken into consideration.

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Madam, Will You Talk? download Madam, Will You Talk?, read online Madam, Will You Talk?, kindle ebook Madam, Will You Talk?, Madam, Will You Talk? 19454fd3ece2 Much Of A Strange And Tragic Drama Of Revenge, Lust, Fear, And Death Has Already Been Played By The Time Charity Selborne Arrives At A Plush Resort In The South Of France But By Befriending A Terrified Boy And Catching The Attention Of His Enigmatic, Possibly Murderous Father, Charity Has Inadvertently Placed Herself Center Stage