Synopses & Reviews
A governess in a French château encounters an apparent plot against her young charge's life in this unforgettably haunting and beautifully written suspense novel. When lovely Linda Martin first arrives at Château Valmy as an English governess to the nine-year-old Count Philippe de Valmy, the opulence and history surrounding her seems like a wondrous, ecstatic dream. But a palpable terror is crouching in the shadows. Philippe's uncle, Leon de Valmy, is the epitome of charm, yet dynamic and arrogant his paralysis little hindrance as he moves noiselessly in his wheelchair from room to room. Only his son Raoul, a handsome, sardonic man who drives himself and his car with equally reckless abandon, seems able to stand up to him. To Linda, Raoul is an enigma though irresistibly attracted to him, she senses some dark twist in his nature. When an accident deep in the woods nearly kills Linda's innocent charge, she begins to wonder if someone has deadly plans for the young count.
"A delightful concoction. A beautifully written mingling of romance and mystery." Washington Post
"A wonderful hue and cry story...a Mona Lisa tale that beckons you on while suspense builds up." Boston Herald
"Readers will be glued to the complex story in which no one seems truly trustworthy." Vive Magazine
Charity Selborne, a lovely war widow, and her irreverent artist friend, Louise Cray, arrive in the South of France expecting a conventional holiday. The vistas of Provence delight them, and Charity soon meets David, a young man of 13 who is having trouble with his dog. He introduces himself and Charity is charmed—until she senses a terrible maturity behind his grave eyes and shortly hears the rumors about his father. From this point on, the tension mounts steadily until it reaches the breaking point, while the thirsty summer heat, the noise of cicadas, and the dust of country roads all contribute to the superb realism of Mary Stewart’s very first novel. Combining her keen wit, zest for adventure, and eye for the details that make her characters interesting and memorable, Mary Stewart leads the reader on a swift, breathless chase that turns this quiet story into a masterpiece of romantic suspense.
About the Author
Mart Stewart, one of the most popular novelists writing today, was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England. After boarding-school, she recieved a B.A. with first class honors in English Language and Literature from Durham University and went on for her M.A. Later she returned to her own University as a Lecturer in English. She married in 1945. Her husband is Sir Frederick Stewart, who is Chairman of the Geology Department at Edinburgh University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.