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review 2018-09-19 20:03
Nine Coaches Waiting
Nine Coaches Waiting - Mary Stewart

I can´t even bother to write a proper review for Nine Coaches Waiting.

 

The mystery was lame and ridiculous, the romance was boring as well, the female main character was an idiot, her love interest was a douche and all the French people were depicted as mean spirited and/or dimwitted and/or downright evil. And this book jumped the shark several times. A thing which shouldn´t even be possible.

 

My final verdict: Bah .... NEXT!

 

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text 2018-09-19 18:56
Reading progress update: I've read 358 out of 455 pages.
Nine Coaches Waiting - Mary Stewart

Well, what was luck for if it never was to be tempted?

I turned my back on the black little alley. Two minutes later we were sitting at a red-topped table near the stove while a long thin man with a soiled apron and a face like a sad heron waited to be told what we would have to eat.

 

Well, I think the most reasonable thing to do is to eat something in a reastaurant, while bad people, who wants to kill the boy, are in pursuit of you.

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review 2018-09-19 11:46
Woman Without a Past
Woman Without a Past - Phyllis A. Whitney

Even though I find Phyllis A. Whitney's books to be a little bit hit and miss, she's still my favorite author of old-school romantic suspense.  Where Victoria Holt's romances feel instantaneous and contrived, and Mary Stewart's plotting is often (sorry mom) ludicrous, Whitney's stories have so far offered much more consistently crafted plots, vivid settings, and haunting atmosphere.  Her romances don't always work for me (romances seldom do), but the characters do, at least, work up to HEA at a slower, sometimes more smouldering, pace.

 

Woman Without a Past almost got a pass from me at the bookstore because, geez, the title.  And then there's the cover.  Actually, it was mostly the cover, but the title screamed Amnesia story! and that's just a no from me on principle.  But the back cover rescued the book; a woman is recognised at her editor's office as being the long lost identical twin, kidnapped as a baby, from an old and prominent Charleston (South Carolina) family.  Strictly speaking, the title is not at all accurate. 

 

This book drips Southern Gothic.  From the prescient cat, to the rocking horse that rocks itself; from the old plantation house, to the slightly mad mother the family tries to keep locked away as much as possible and the cousin that believes she communes with the dead, this book honestly has it all.  Except romance; there's a hint of it here and there and there's certainly talk of it, but no actual romance until the very, very end.

 

In general, the story is well-written, and it's a good story.  But a couple of things worked against it; one is probably just a twist of timing, as I started it on the plane, and then struggled to finish it while jet-lag kicked my butt, leaving me with the feeling that it took forever to finish it; the second was my exasperation with the main character.  Everyone thinks she's strong and independent, yet at no point in the book did she actually act strong or independent.  She mostly just allowed everyone to roll over her.  It wasn't enough to make me actively dislike her, but it was enough that I was often impatient with her.  

 

As I said, not her best, but certainly not her worst.  Fans of true gothic romance will recognise shades of certain classics in this book; definitely worth a look if you see it in your library or on the bargain rack.

 

I read this for the Southern Gothic square of Halloween Bingo 2018.

 

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review 2018-09-18 14:12
Rose Cottage
Rose Cottage - Mary Stewart

by Mary Stewart

 

This one starts out without as much description as previous Mary Stewart books I've read, but by the end of the first chapter exactly what Rose Cottage is has been explained. Much of the first half of the book feels like ordinary things going on, but a mystery presents itself when a hidden cupboard in Rose Cottage is discovered to have been uncovered.

 

The time period is after the war in the UK when rationing was still in force. A lot of Stewart's use of language fits into the era and creates that dreamy sort of old movie atmosphere.

 

Mary Stewart has an engaging style and despite waiting for a long time for anything really significant to happen, the story kept my attention. It isn't what you would call high action and it skirts the Women's Fiction category, but a mystery gets solved in the end and there is that touch of romance that Stewart's Mysteries always have.

 

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text 2018-09-17 18:25
Reading progress update: I've read 296 out of 455 pages.
Nine Coaches Waiting - Mary Stewart

Linda finally learned the truth about the murder plot against little Phillip and oh boy, the mystery and Linda´s (supposedly) assigned role in it is so dumb, I think I need some booze as well for the rest of the book.

 

[Source]

 

I have to start another book tonight, because I can´t handle anymore of this for the rest of the day.

 

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