Touch Not the Cat Paperback – 17 Mar 2011
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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)
Magic and romance in an ancient grange where danger lurks behind every shadowSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
A brilliant writer, much missed
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Somewhat disappointing. The booked was and looked forty years old and was not as pictured. The browning and dog eared bar code still stuck to the spine did nothing to enhance the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I always feel like I'm half in a dream while reading Mary Stewart books.
A nice Gothic mystery with a crumbling mansion, light paranormal, romance, confusing narrator and... Read more
Mary Stewart books are fab. Great to have sparky women, a good story, sense of place.Published 10 months ago by It's me here!
Not the best of Mary Stewart. A little too farfetched for me. But easy to read.Published 10 months ago by Laura Maenpaa
One of Mary Stewart's very best books, the narrative sweeps effortlessly along , building up the love story as well as solving the twin mysteries of present and pastPublished 11 months ago by J. Jones
I love this one and have read it many times over the years. I bought this for my Kindle, so it is always availablePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great Book, I could not put it own, I found it very good reading and interesting with a twist.Published 14 months ago by Val From Liverpool :)