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Simon T

Can't say it sounds *entirely* my cup of tea - but what a wonderful title!


"Nine Coaches Waiting" is the only Mary Stewart that I have read, unless it was so long ago that I don't remember. It was quite good.


Oops, no: I read "My Brother Michael" too. Another good story!

Canadian Chickadee

So glad to hear that you also like Susanna Kearsley. I just discovered her books about a year ago, and love them.

I don't know if I have a favourite Mary Stewart novel. I've read most of them over the years, and have read "The Crystal Cave" series more than once.

The only one I wasn't crazy about was the last one -- "Message from Malaga" -- too many of the characters I really liked died before the end of the book.


I loved this one and do go back to of my favourites is Wildfire at Midnight..but then I love the Ivy Tree and .... (I could go on lol)


Simon you're a very democratic reader, but somehow I think I can't picture you reading this one! ;) It is a great title and it had a great twist at the end.


I have Nine Coaches Waiting--it's one of the first (other than the Arthurian stories) books I bought by her--as yet unread. I have accumulated a little pile of her books so will have plenty to choose from when the mood arises--a good thing I think.


I liked that one too. I think it might just be my favorite of the books I've read so far. Love the Greek setting!


I also discovered Susanna Kearsley rather late, but I'm catching up on her books--I think I've read four now with Snowy Horses sitting by my bedside--I am saving it for the holidays to read! I read Mary Stewart's Arthurian books years ago and very much enjoyed them--I wouldn't mind rereading them at all. It was a great introduction to the Arthur stories. I'm not familiar with Message from Malaga--I'll have to look it up--she wrote more than I realized (which is a good thing)!


I really liked this one, too. The romance was quite nice and I think that's what sold me. I also liked that it was a bit of a mystery, but I've enjoyed all the books by her I've read so far and see I have plenty more to look forward to reading.

Christine Harding

I read Touch Not the Cat years ago, and remember quite enjoying it, but it's The Crystal Cave and the other Arthurian books that I really like. Time for a re-read I think.


I too read about this on Cornflower and have made a note of the books!


As you know, I love Mary Stewart, but I don't think I've read Touch Not the Cat more than once, and I don't own a copy--I don't have any clear memory of it. However, from your description, it sounds like a story I would like. I may have to borrow it from the library.

I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite--This Rough Magic and My Brother Michael top the list because of their Greek settings, but I also love Madame, Will You Talk?, The Moon-spinners and Nine Coaches Waiting.

I think it's time to reread a Mary Stewart!


I've never read Mary Stewart, not even her Arthur books. I've always meant to read the Arthur books but you know how that goes. This one sounds like an entertaining read. Is there a cat in it or does the title have to do with something else?


I really would like to try one of her books but as charming as this sounds, I have a feeling it's not the one to start with. I like supernatural but if it is not the trademark of an author, I'd like to try another one first.
Which one would you recommend?

Susan D

I've gone back to This Rough Magic most often. But other top picks for Mary Stewart for me are The Moon-spinners and The Ivy Tree.


I wouldn't mind rereading her Arthurian books either. They were my introduction to King Arthur a good place to start I think. I've always meant to read more Arthurian sagas--someday I expect!


I'm so glad Cornflower decided to read one of her books for her book club--a nice way of getting a discussion about her books going! Mary Stewart is already pretty popular, but it's nice to introduce her to a new generation of readers (or re-introduce her as the case may be)! :)


It was good timing for me. I needed something like that for an alternative to other darker books. I will definitely keep my copy and may well reread it someday soon. I really liked both This Rough Magic and especially My Brother Michael. It seems she has other books set in Greece? Now that I've heard so much about Madame Will You Talk I am very tempted to read it soon. I've also got Nine Coaches waiting somewhere in my pile. I'm happy to work my way through her books--I've still got lots of unread titles to look forward to!


I bet you would like her Arthur books! There is indeed a cat in the story--maybe not exactly as you would expect, but he's there! :)


I think my favorite is My Brother Michael, which is set in Greece. I also liked The Ivy Tree, which I think I'd like to reread, which is about doppelgangers. Probably either of those would be more typical of her work. It sounds like Madame Will You Talk is also quite popular among readers so I think that's the book I'll pick up next by her.


I just read This Rough Magic a couple of months ago and agree it's very good. I would happily reread it. I'd like to read The Ivy Tree again--I've always had an interest in stories about doppelgangers--the first time I read it I felt so-so about it, but I think I might like it better the second time around. I've got the Moon-spinners to read as well--I think that one was made into a movie, too?


I really enjoy Mary Stewart and liked this one very much, even though it had a bit of a seventies feel! I preferred This Rough Magic, which I read in late spring, and Wildfire at Midnight, which I read, ummm, some time last year. By far and away my favourite Mary Stewarts are the King Arthur books. I read them as a teenager and thought they were amazing. I wonder how they'd strike me now?

Liz F

I think you might find that Message from Malaga is actually a Helen MacInnes novel.
I don't recall Mary Stewart writing anything set in Spain (but could be wrong)
Can recommend Susanna Kearsley's The Shadowy Horses - the first of hers that I read and the one I have liked most - so far anyway.

Alison M.

I love, love, love "Airs Above the Ground", it was sort of transitional as I journeyed from childrens' books to "grown up" reading,& I've loved Mary Stewart ever since.


My favourite definitely is The Moon-spinners, Madam, Will You Talk comes second and My Brother Michael third. And although the difference between favourite and ranking low is relative whenever it comes to Mary Stewart (in my case), Touch Not The Cat would rank low, as would The Gabriel Hounds and Thunder on the Right.
When I finish rereading them all I plan to make an order of preferance for all of them.


Ah--that makes sense as I didn't recognize it from the list I found of MS's books. I do like Helen MacInnes, though, so still worth looking for I think. I have The Shadowy Horses sitting by my bedside as a matter of fact--I was going to start reading it earlier, but didn't get a chance so am saving it for holiday reading.


Oh the seventies--talk about another world! I have a sort of nostalgic feeling for it, but maybe because I was so little. It's hard to imagine life then as things have changed so drastically. I thankfully did not imagine the male characters with sideburns, however. I really liked This Rough Magic, too, and recently ought Wildfire at Midnight so will have it handy when the mood arises. I loved her Arthur books, too. I'm a litle afraid to read them again as they were magical for me, too.


I think Airs Above Ground is set in Austria isn't it? I'm looking forward to that one as I love Austria. I missed out on reading her when I was growing up (I did read Phyllis Whitney, whose books I think are a little similar), but I am glad I have discovered her now.


I still have The Moonspinners and Madam Will You Talk to read, so it's good to know I have some really good stories to look orward to. I think right now my favorite is My Brother Michael. I really enjoyed Touch Not the Cat--suspect the timing was just right for it, but I still have lots of books to read and like you say the difference really is relative since the books are enjoyable in any case!

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