07/04/2005

Nine Coaches Waiting

I'm not a great fan of suspense or thrillers, but I do love Mary Stewart's writing. I always pounce on her novels when I see them in second-hand or charity shops, and 'Nine Coaches Waiting' was one of my recent acquisitions for a few pence.

Linda Martin, an orphan, goes to work as governess to Philippe, a French boy who is heir to a huge estate. He too lost his parents at a young age and is looked after by his aunt and uncle, who seem to care for him - but do they? Unexplained accidents start to occur and Linda becomes fearful for his life.

The plot isn't particularly spectacular but it's so well-written that once I was half-way through I could hardly bear to put this book down. I had no way of knowing who Linda should really be trusting, and while I assumed it would end reasonably satisfactorily, I wasn't sure until the last chapter or two how that would work out.

Great characters, interesting setting in rural France in a period which I assume was the 1950s. This novel was first published in 1958 and has the feel of being contemporary rather than historical when written.

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