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Touch Not the Cat Hardcover – Jul 1976


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co (July 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688030599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688030599
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,728,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Another excellent, gripping novel . . . unfolds a strange tale of disappearing relatives traced through thought patterns all spiced up with love and violence. (Colchester Evening Gazette)

Another winner for Mary Stewart and her heroines (Evening Standard)

From opening to finale, this zestful romantic adventure grips, amuses, frightens and delights (Sunday Telegraph)

When it comes to writing racy and intelligent thinkers then Mary Stewart challenges the dominance of those mere males Alistair Maclean and Desmond Bagley. And her latest bestseller . . . should have her many fans purring with delight. (Peterborough Evening Telegraph)

Superb . . . Her characters have depth. Her villains are satisfyingly violent but her lovers are tender. She writes with rare economy and elegance. (Daily Mail)

History mingles with mystery in this story which fast becomes compulsive reading. (Birminghim Evening Mail)

It'll keep you guessing to the end. (Sunday Post, Glasgow)

One of Mary Stewart's best - so good that even if it rains, you will still enjoy your holiday! (Daily Mail)

Mary Stewart is magic (The New York Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Magic and romance in an ancient grange where danger lurks behind every shadow --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Bryony Ashley's father is critically injured by a hit and run driver, and he's only able to live long enough to leave a cryptic warning that she's in danger, the rest of his words seem to make no sense at all. Or do they? Devastated, she returns to her cottage near Ashley Court, the family's ancient estate in England, which cannot be sold or broken up without the approval of all members of the Ashley family. As she tries to sort the puzzle left by her father, Bryony also has a secret of her own to resolve - longer than she can remember she's had a telepathic connection with an unknown "lover" who she believes will reveal himself in the flesh to her when the time is right, and she's always felt it was her cousin James.

Ashley soon finds things amiss at the Court. Small, but valuable items are missing. A mysterious stranger spotted shuffling through church records, and a book of ancient records turns up missing. Who is the Cat her fathered referred to in his last words - the family emblem of the Scottish Wildcat and their motto Touch not the cat? Or is Cat for Cathy, the Underhill's daughter? How is it that the long neglected garden maze is the same design as the family emblem? Is there a secret tied into the pavilion at the center of the maze, and the Ashley ancestor who built it for his lovers? What secret does the book found in the old library with the same family emblem hold? What intrigues are her twin cousins James and Emory up to, and why do they need to set up alibis for each other?

Need the answers? Read it for yourself. Although this one started off a bit slow and it took me forever to see where Stewart was taking the story, once she gets all the lose ends wrapped up they all came together in a spectacular nail-biting finish in the midst of a whopper of a storm with deadly consequences. There are plentiful twists, turns and surprises that will keep you guessing and turning the pages. A definite must for Stewart fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dolphin TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that I enjoy re-reading from time to time, in fact I have just bought it again in hard cover as my old paperback was in pieces.

In this era of portable phones and ever-present electronic communication, the concept of "thought transference" may sound tame and obsolete, but if one is prepared to be transported back to a simpler time (and, let's face it, for most of us fiction represents escapism), entering this novel's atmosphere will plunge the reader into a world at once disconcerting and curiously comforting.

The "gift" of the Ashleys provides an eerie recurring theme which runs through the story like a golden thread, and there is plenty of intrigue, dark deeds and greed-fuelled violence, however, the dominating element is romance. In this novel, Mary Stewart gives us an unashamedly romantic love story, in fact more than one, as there is a parallel subplot running alongside the main one. In fact, we are immediately made aware of the author's intent as the literary quotes that introduce each chapter are all taken from that quintessential celebration of love, "Romeo and Juliet". Several clichés are used to define some of the characters but the main players are richly nuanced and, as usual, we are never sure of who's who until the very end. The mystery here revolves around the last words of a dying man which seem to make no sense but, in time, provide the solution to many old secrets and also point the way forward for the heroine.

Lady Stewart really is a powerful narrator and many of the scenes, especially those taking place at night, stay with me as if I had watched a film, instead of reading a book. It's difficult to explain why but this story always leaves me with a warm glow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Bottomley on 1 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
All of Mary Stewart's books are brilliant but this one, Thornyhold and The Ivy Tree are particulaly good, she writes with poise and flair and I for one get very involved in the story.
A brilliant writer, much missed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. L. McCulloch on 26 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book was a great read if you enjoy romantic fiction with an added splice of crime fiction and a mystical edge. The scenes abroad and in England were pleasingly accurate and you soon discover Lady Mary Stewart has a descriptive talent second to none. It was my first book by her and I will be reading more. The characters were a range of gripping, scary, heroic, and loveable, and none of the outcomes of their actions were initially obvious or the events foreseeable. In fact there were quite a few unexpected surprises along the way, so if you normally get the answers quickly you may enjoy a bit of suspense in the unwinding of this strange story with its delving into mind transference, family jealousies and greed, and the trials of inheritance .
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Format: Paperback
To begin with, I really liked the engaging style of the writing of this novel but became quickly irritated with Bryony, the protagonist who I found quickly grated on me. I didn't really get the supernatural element and her talking of her 'lover' who she communicates with telepathically yet doesn't know who he is, was clumsily written. I also became confused to the point of disinterest about which twin was which. The novel reminded me of Jilly Cooper's novels of the 1970's with the one word title, eg, Octavia, Pandora, etc which I read as a teenager. I think if I'd read Touch Not The Cat when I was younger, I would have liked it more.
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