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The Tightrope Walker [Mass Market Paperback]

Dorothy Gilman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Price: $7.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

October 12, 1986
"A superb book."
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE
When quiet, shy Amelia Jones reads a desperate message that has fallen out of a barrel organ in the antique shop she just bought, she can't forget the words, "They're going to kill me soon..." Armed only with the woman's first name and the note written years before, Amelia begins a journey into the past, a search that takes her from the protective cocoon she's wrapped herself in to a precarious world where nothing is the way it seems, where fear is second nature, and dark secrets just might uncover murder--her own....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"A superb book."
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE
When quiet, shy Amelia Jones reads a desperate message that has fallen out of a barrel organ in the antique shop she just bought, she can't forget the words, "They're going to kill me soon..." Armed only with the woman's first name and the note written years before, Amelia begins a journey into the past, a search that takes her from the protective cocoon she's wrapped herself in to a precarious world where nothing is the way it seems, where fear is second nature, and dark secrets just might uncover murder--her own....

About the Author

Dorothy Gilman is the author of the Mrs. Pollifax series of novels, as well as several others. She divides her time between Norwalk, Connecticut, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett Books; English Language edition (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449211770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449211779
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(57)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story.... August 21, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dorothy Gilman has done it again. She is most well known for her Mrs. Pollifax series which I have never read but her stand alone mysteries are excellent. The Tightrope Walker is a wonderful novel - the characters are well drawn and the plot really pulls you in.
This is the story of an introverted young woman, Amelia Jones, who finds a terrifying and mysterious note about a possible murder in a hurdy gurdy (those stand up music boxes that you usually see a monkey with a hat attached to...). This note intrigues her enough to try to find out who wrote it as well as the well being of the writer.
This leads Amelia on a journey through time as well as place. Through this search Amelia meets many interesting people - from a stage actor in New York to a handwriting analyst in her home town of Trafton - Amelia sees it all and learns to love in the process. Tightrope Walker is also a story within a story as Amelia constantly refers back to her favorite childhood book, "The Maze in the Heart of the Castle" which I would love to read (much as dlch3@juno.com would).
Will Amelia find out who the mysterious author of the note is and what ever became of her? You will have to read this wonderful book to find out and if you are lucky - you will discover a great writer along the way.
If you like Tightrope Walker - you should also Read Gilman's "Thale's Folly" and "The Clairvoyant Countess" - they all show the same wonderful traits - fully drawn and intriguing characters who you want to get to know better and an interesting and well written plot that you wish would never end.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Discovery! May 5, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In a story that seems right out of Dorothy Gilman's imagination, I found this story in a musty suitcase in my parents' attic at the age of 12. It was in a book of Readers' Digest Abridged books for 1979. Also included were 2 very excellent stories and one pretty good one (excellent: Hungry as the Sea, Flesh and Spirit; pretty good: The Passing Bells). I loved the story from the moment I read the opening words. This is an anomaly for me. Usually it takes me time to get into the rhythm and flow of just about any book I read (the only other notable exception is Like Water for Chocolate, which is positively delicious). This book grabbed me from the instant I started reading it and I couldn't put it down, literally, till the surprise ending.
I especially love the characterization of Amelia. Here is this shy, rather mousy girl who doesn't seem like much of anything. Then suddenly she finds herself drawn into a mystery after finding a note from a woman who is sure she will be murdered soon. Quite the opposite of her portrayal at the beginning of the book, Amelia soon proves to readers and to herself that she is quite extraordinary. We realize she is resourceful, intuitive, and intelligent. In fact it is only from this investigation of a murder plot that Amelia really grows up from the stunted emotional state she has been living in since her mother's suicide. Plus reading the book in the true unabridged form is wonderful. I always felt that reading abridged books is a bit like eating dehydrated foods. You're made to think that you've lost nothing but the taste really suffers.
So I'd recommend this book to anyone, mystery aficianado or not. It's gripping, intelligent, and actually funny. Now I'm sixteen and though I've outgrown a lot of other things..., I still love this book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tasty Little Bonbon of a Mystery Book January 23, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is tasty little mystery story. It lasts for a short 223 pages and yet it manages to pack in a surprising amount of character development and action between its covers.
The heroine, Amelia Jones, is an endearing young woman taking her first real steps out into the world. Amelia impulsively purchases the Ebbtide Shop, a musty antique store stocked with junk and marvelous finds. She decides to put aside one item, a hurdy-gurdy (or hand organ box), as a furnishing for her upstairs apartment. When the hurdy-gurdy mysteriously stops playing music, Amelia opens the box and discovers a desperate note written on faded paper. The message begins with "They are going to kill me soon..." and ends with "...my name is Hannah." Amelia believes that the note is likely genuine. When questions about Hannah's fate begin to consume her, Amelia ventures further out into the world on a quest to find out the truth. Along the way, she meets many interesting people and becomes involved in a variety of unusual circumstances. The plot is a charming mix of mysterious happenings and coming-of-age realizations that make the reader vitally interested in Amelia's story and how it intertwines with Hannah's.
Though this book is shorter than I usually read, I highly recommend it. I think that it is particularly ideal for anyone wishing to read poolside or during their lunchbreak. The interesting storyline and clean writing style make it easy to pick up again after taking a nap or experiencing one of life's other interruptions.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent July 29, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although "The Tightrope Walker" succeeds very well as a straight mystery, the message it conveys is far beyond that. It tells the story of Amelia Jones, an introverted, somewhat sad young woman, who discovers an unsolved murder, and embarks upon a quest to discover what really happened.
As Amelia searches for the truth, she meets some very interesting characters, and finds out some very poignant truths about herself. A wonderful story. I only wish that Ms. Gilman would write "In the Land of the Golden Warriors" to go along with "The Maze in the Heart of the Castle."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, no. Light entertainment, yes.
This was a predictable and not very interesting coming of age story about a young woman afraid of life. Makes a light read for long airplane trips or on the beach.
Published 3 months ago by C. A. Bligard
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! What a find!
I've read all the Mrs. Pollifax books several times (except for the Hong Kong Buddha, which was too violent), but I'd never read this one. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marilisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Older heroines rule!
This is an older series that we have enjoyed for years! Ms Gilman was one of the first writers, in my experience, to make a woman over 50 her star. The character, Mrs. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An absolutely wonderful book.
Published 5 months ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful and intriguing mystery
Gilman weaves an intriguing story of a young woman's search for answers to a mystery that eventually exposes murderers who thought they had pulled off the perfect crime. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lillian
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read book!
Excellent storytelling by Dorothy Gilman. After living a sheltered life, Amelia Jones finds a hidden note and what she reads intrigues her enough to embark upon a quest to find... Read more
Published 6 months ago by P. Jehling
5.0 out of 5 stars This has been a favorite book of mine for many years so I was ...
This has been a favorite book of mine for many years so I was delighted to find it back in print... Dorothy Gilman has written some lovely off-the-beaten-path books.
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Elizabeth R. Paine
5.0 out of 5 stars I find the writing excellent, very in depth
My wife finished the book, but I haven't yet. I find the writing excellent, very in depth, characters well-defined, and an interesting plot. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Razza
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok
Published 7 months ago by patty
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my all time favorite mysteries. I like it so much I...
This is one of my all time favorite mysteries. I like it so much I bought two hardcover First Editions.. one a back up, just in case. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Snowbaby Katz
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More About the Author

Dorothy Gilman is the author of thirteen Mrs. Pollifax novels, beginning with The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax and continuing through Mrs. Pollifax, Innocent Tourist. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.

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