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Touch Not the Cat Paperback – 17 Mar 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (17 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444715038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444715033
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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)

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

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)

She set the bench mark for pace, suspense and romance - with a great dollop of escapism as the icing (Elizabeth Buchan)

A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors. (Harriet Evans)

Book Description

Magic and romance in an ancient grange where danger lurks behind every shadow

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By A Customer on 7 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is an enjoyable read and keeps you guessing right up to the end.The book is a great mixture of romance and exciting action, It was almost impossible to put down. A great read for a cold winter evening!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This has long been my Mary Stewart favourite, although re-working my way through her novels, I'd now say The Moonspinners and Airs Above the Ground equal it. And still a few more to read!

In addition to her characteristic "feisty female coping with a dangerous situation" scenario and the author's outstanding atmospheric descriptions, this particular novel adds a touch of the mystic. Bryony has always had a telepathic link with her lover, does not know his identity but thinks it must be one of her three cousins. When her father dies, she returns to the family home determined to understand his mysterious dying words with surprising, romantic and dangerous results.

It's an enjoyable read, not too demanding - but as always, Mary Stewart stands head and shoulders above many more recent authors for her fast moving plot and excellent use of the English language.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mary Stewart is one of my all-time favourite authors, and this was a book I wanted to re-read. Although I had forgotten most of it, bits kept coming back as I read through, and I did guess who "lover" was. I think most people who enjoy romantic mysteries would like this book, and I am now going to re-read some of her older ones, such as My Brother Michael.
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