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on 21 August 2016
How I love this book..in fact All her books they are on my kindle and like a box of salted caramels I select my choice. The Moonspinners is a favourite . I read it first in the 60's It's set in Crete the description of flowers language customs is so bounteous I was there! Characterisation is first rate she builds the plot with skill . I recommend Mary Stewart to you especially if you haven't read her books before you have some delightful reading before you!
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on 18 April 2016
I love these classic romance/suspense novels by Mary Stewart. They are good fun and an easy read with enough suspense to keep you interested. Her descriptions are beautiful and she evokes a world before tourists arrived in Crete and it was an unspoiled island. Wonderful nostalgia.
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on 30 April 2017
To my knowledge, this is the only Mary Stewart book to have been made into a film. It is not my favourite of her books but it is a most enjoyable read with one of my favourite characters being Tony, followed swiftly by Frances.
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on 12 February 2015
Gripping throughout. Very good descriptions of the glorious scenery and the abundance of beautiful flowers. Delightful characterization. Must highly recommend.
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on 14 August 2017
All Mary Stewart books are fantastic reads once started you can't put the books down.
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on 27 March 2012
What a delight to have Mary Stewart's delightful adventure stories republished in these attractive editions and how delightful to find them just as enjoyable to reread as they were when I first took them out of my local library as a teenager! Some modern authors could learn a great deal from this lady's craft and skill in story writing!

The Moonspinners is one of this author's best novels, with a well structured plot that moves along at a nifty pace. It starts simply as Nicola takes a walk in the hills of Crete and accelerates as she gets mixed up in a murderous adventure with a thrilling climax.

Vivid descriptions of an as yet unspoilt Crete are never overworked, there's suspense and danger but no gratuitous violence and the budding romance between an enterprising heroine and a gallant hero comes along with an interesting range of supporting cast members. (My favourite was Tony, the camp hotelier whose sexuality is hinted at but never overtly stated) The occasional quaint turn of phrase from the early 1960s and Nicola's (hopefully) ironic comments about male superiority both add to the book's charm for me: I love it!
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on 30 July 2013
Read this book long before the film came out and although it differs from the film I have so enjoye both, the descriptions she uses especially about the area is fantastic - when I read this book I am on the Island of Crete...
I was inspired yet again to such an extent I have booked a holiday to go to Aghios Nickalo.
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on 14 June 2014
When I was very young, there were certain living writers who held legendary status, popular writers like Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse. And Mary Stewart. At some point (in the 1980s?) she vanished & her crime novels weren't re-issued. With these new paperback editions, I thought I'd give her go, partly because I had become sickened by the gratuitous, often sexual violence in a lot of contemporary crime fiction. I relished reading 'The Moonspinners', having read and thoroughly enjoyed 'Wildfire At Midnight', and am now embarking on reading all her crime novels. Perhaps at the rate of two a year, so that I don't gulp them down too quickly. Her narrators are plucky, resourceful, intelligent and, often, well-educated young women and great company. The plotting is pretty straightforward but effective enough to hold your interest. What holds you most though is the writing, in particular the settings - in this instance Crete - which are vividly evoked and habitable. The novels are rather dated, that's true enough. Mostly it's the characterization and the manners that date them, but that is what makes them so enjoyable to read: you escape into these credible, absorbing and slightly refined worlds. Escapism of the best kind.
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Another gripping plot with all the ingredients we expect from this author. The setting is the Greek island of Crete and this novel captures a snapshot of a time and place that are forever gone. I have never been to Greece but the descriptions are so vivid that I can easily see in my mind's eye the barren landscapes, the gnarled olive trees, the dusty mountain tracks, the shimmering deep blue sea and all the other unforgettable vistas filtered through a heat haze.

The very young heroine (Nicola is just 22) is passionate about Greece and has managed to get a job in Athens, so that she can explore the country in her time off. She arranges a week-long visit to Crete with her cousin Frances, but their plans are immediately disrupted when Frances is delayed and misses her flight. To avoid wasting precious holiday time, Nicola travels to Crete on her own and finds herself with a day in hand but, just before reaching her hotel, fate entangles her into a dangerous web of intrigue completely at odds with the idyllic tranquillity of the small village she has chosen for her stay. The other characters are, as usual, well developed (especially Mark and Tony) and the villains particularly sinister and determined. Nicola is fairly fluent in Greek but there is a very strong sense of her being on foreign soil and continually at risk from some unknown but ever-present danger.

I have only just revisited this novel for the second time. Having made the mistake of watching the film adaptation, I can understand why there have not been any others, despite the fact that, in my opinion, every one of Lady Stewart's books would have made a wonderful movie. So, if you have seen the Disney-made "The Moonspinners", you are in for a treat because the book is infinitely more interesting and substantial than the movie. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book the second time around, even though I vaguely remembered the ending. Wonderful writing, interesting characters and a really good yarn.
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on 31 January 2002
I love Mary Stewert's books since I found The Ivy Tree on my grandmother's bookshelves. Since then I've read My Brother Michael, Madam Will You Walk?, and This Rough Magic, so when I found The Moonspinners in a 2nd hand shop I pounced on it! Her books are very old-fashioned nowadays, despite the plots which are genuinely exciting and revolve around murder, smuggling, theft, kidnap and revenge. They are all pretty similar, and it doesn't take much guesswork to know there'll be a happy ending, but it's usually the girl who gets the guy. The heroes may be strong and tough, as well as educated, but the girl is very definitely at the centre of the action. The Moonspinners is a great read--it's charming and enjoyable, with the right amount of suspense and violence. Lie back and enjoy Nicola's resourcefulness and cool headedness, Mark's chivalry and courage, and the lovely descriptions of a Crete which is now submerged beneath budget travel tours. Highly recommended for rainy days, sick beds, and a girl's night in!
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