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Wildfire at Midnight (1956)

de Mary Stewart

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9682221,937 (3.78)79
Midnight on Skye: a young crofter's daughter is cruelly and ritually murdered on the bleak Scottish mountainside. Very soon Gianetta Brooke, a guest at the deceptively idyllic Camasunary Hotel nearby, finds herself tangled in a web of rising fear and suspicion. When she discovers that her ex-husband has booked into the same hotel, the peaceful holiday for which she had hoped takes on quite another complexion.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This was quite a satisfying little book - despite the fact that by the time I picked it up from the library I had rather forgotten what it was about and why I'd requested it!

I read through the whole thing in a few hours, the writing making it easy to slide along, and the mystery kept me alternately a little horrified and worried for everyone - especially Gianetta, of course - as well as eager to find out the ending.

I won't discuss the ending at all, save to say that it wasn't what I expected, precisely, and it was terribly satisfying, as such things go. Honestly, anything more would spoil it!

I will definitely be looking for a few more of Mary Stewart's books to read now. ( )
  Kalira | May 15, 2024 |
The front of my copy of this book says "Terror in the Hitchcock manner...a novel that terrifies as it entertains." That sums it up nicely. It is perhaps the most Hitchcock in nature of any of her novels. It is a bit of Agatha Christie as well...there is a murderer loose and it is definitely one of the fellow visitors or the townspeople involved with the hotel in which Gianetta (don't you love that name?) is staying.

I am going to be sorry when my quest to revisit all of Mary Stewart's novels is done. I have so enjoyed the ones I did this year. I don't have many more to go. I cannot express how these books transport me back in time...they are so new and yet so familiar to me. I am grateful that they are still available and that I have this opportunity to enjoy them once more. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Mary Stewart was master of the romantic suspense novels, set in the middle of the 20th century, and this is no exception. High on the suspense, fairly low on the romantic thread. The heroine - who narrates the book - is a young divorced woman called Gianetta. She travels to Skye for a relaxing break, only to find herself caught up in a nasty mystery, whose perpetrator may be one of her fellow guests at the hotel...

This is not my favourite Mary Stewart novel, but it's a well written story, even though I found many of the characters rather flat and unmemorable. Gianetta herself is likeable and strong-minded, and the suspense is such that I had to skip to the end before reading the last few chapters. Recommended if you like this genre of fiction.

Longer review here: https://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2021/12/wildfire-at-midnight-by-mary-stewar... ( )
  SueinCyprus | Dec 14, 2021 |
This romantic suspense novel was written in 1956 and is undoubtedly a product of its time. It is set in 1953 as Edmund Hillary is climbing Mount Everest, and preparations are being made for Queen Elizabeth's coronation. It is the latter event that drives our heroine out of London to the Isle of Skye. Once there, she finds her idyllic vacation has a couple of flaws: her ex-husband is booked in the same hotel, and there has been a murder of a young woman. Now the novel adds in elements of the "locked room" mystery as someone on Skye must have been responsible for the death.

As long as the reader is willing to accept the mores of the time (husbands can cheat on their wives, and the latter may need to accept it if they think it is a one-time thing was the hardest one for me to swallow), the book is quite compelling. The descriptions of Skye made me see the island; I wasn't surprised to find that Stewart had visited the location.

Some folks don't like that the independent-minded heroine has sort of a "damsel in distress" moment. I can understand that. When the emergency is ongoing, I can handle it; afterward, I collapse. So that wasn't an issue for me.

I think if you like romantic suspense with a healthy scoop of mystery, that you would like this book. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Oct 24, 2021 |
I have been reading [a:Mary Stewart|15590|Mary Stewart|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1210367214p2/15590.jpg]'s Arthurian series, so when I came across this book in my libraries donation pile I decided to take it and try one her early works in Mystery . Not my usual genre, so it was risky.

Set in a small hotel on The Isle of Skye (Scotland) people are being murdered, and there seems to be a ritual attached to these deaths. Stewart's writing took me there and I could feel the wind and the scent of the wet and cold coming off the mountains.

Turned into a decent read. I liked the protagonist Gianetta until the last part of the book. In the beginning I thought of her as a very modern woman for the era (1950's), suddenly at the end she turns into the "Damsel in Distress" and that irked me a bit.

A quick enjoyable read. If you like a good scary mystery this might be for you. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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"Wildfire at Midnight. In this heedless fury
He may show violence to cross himself.
I'll follow the event"
—Tourneur, The Revenger's Tragedy
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In the first place, I suppose, it was my parents' fault for giving me a silly name like Gianetta.
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Midnight on Skye: a young crofter's daughter is cruelly and ritually murdered on the bleak Scottish mountainside. Very soon Gianetta Brooke, a guest at the deceptively idyllic Camasunary Hotel nearby, finds herself tangled in a web of rising fear and suspicion. When she discovers that her ex-husband has booked into the same hotel, the peaceful holiday for which she had hoped takes on quite another complexion.

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