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Touch Not the Cat Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2005


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060823720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060823726
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Another winner for Mary Stewart and her heroines' -- Evening Standard 'From opening to finale, this zestful romantic adventure grips, amuses, frightens and delights' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Superb ... Her characters have depth. Her villains are satisfyingly violent but her lovers are tender. She writes with rare economy and elegance.' -- Daily Mail 'One of Mary Stewart's best - so good that even if it rains, you will still enjoy your holiday!' -- Daily Mail 'Mary Stewart is magic' -- The New York Times 'She set the bench mark for pace, suspense and romance - with a great dollop of escapism as the icing' -- Elizabeth Buchan 'A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors.' -- Harriet Evans --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mart Stewart is one of the most widely read fiction writers of our time. The author of twenty novels, a volume of poetry, and three books for young readers, she is admired for both her contemporary stories of romantic suspense and her historical novels. Born in England, she has lived for many years in Scotland.


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Customer Reviews

She is one of the best writers in this genre!
M. Hutchinson
I subsequently have read numerous other of Mary Stewart's books, but find this one my favorite.
Moonstone7
The action is intense and the romance is sweet.
Jeanne Tassotto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on December 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an old friend I turn to when I want to get away for awhile. The story(ies) are well written, the characters are believable and the setting is done so well it would be tempting to try and locate 'Ashley Court' on a trip to England. In other words this is yet another wonderfully done Mary Stewart.
The story centers around Bryony Ashley, her family and the family estate and psychic link they share. The story moves swifty, beginning with the death-by-suspicious-circumstances of Bryony's father which forces her return to Ashley Court, the family home. Her cousins, the townspeople and tenants of the Court all enter into the story. Past family scandals surface interlaced with "Romeo and Juliet' references enter into the Bryony's life as she struggles to sort out her family's past issues, present dilemmas,
and future. The psychic link is not overdone, it appears just enough to add interest to the story. The mystery has just enough twists to keep the reader interested and surpised. The action is intense and the romance is sweet.
This vintage (1976) book has aged well. I have recommended it to both high school students and my mother with no complaints from anyone.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By shacary on December 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is one of my favorite stories by Mary Stewart. It has a unique approach to "love" from a psychic standpoint. I dont want to spoil the story for anyone, but I will say, this is One of the best reads!!! Many current authors seem to be "ascribing" to this formula, I mean who wouldnt want a " true love" even on the metaphysical realm???
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Diana F. Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Like the recent movie/book sensation 'Possession' by A.S. Byatt,'Touch Not the Cat'(written in 1975) combines a literary mystery with excerpts from the past, poetry, Shakespeare, history and the gift of mind transferrence to deliver a wonderfully fulfilling tale that is a joy to read.
Stewart employs her usual fantastic sense of place in describing Ashley estate and its environs down to the last daffodil. It is her main character, narrator Byrony Ashley who is both possessed and possessor. From childhood, she and an unknown Ashley cousin have had the ability to communicate with their minds at great length, at great distances. Byrony's need to know the identity of this mind interloper/lover drives most of the novel's plot. As in the Byatt book, 'Touch Not the Cat' employs different levels to tell the story of parallel lovers, past and present; as we discover the state of affairs between the two Victorian lovers, we are illumined as to how it helps Byrony identify her soulmate and simultaneously solve a present mystery involving the state of the Ashley property after Byrony's father is killed in an automobile accident.
Stewart cleverly uses Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet to facilitate the present day lovers' evolving discoveries involving themselves, the estate and the past. Her effervascent interplay and dialogue between the two main characters borders on perfect; her portayal of love's discovery and fulfillment causes the reader to nod and laugh with satisfaction. The tantillizing aspects of ESP add just the right degree of the supernatural to a well-constructed tale that has just about everything else.
Stewart fans will be thrilled that this particular heroine not only gets her man, but allows the reader to be privy to their marital bliss.
Recommended highly especially in audio book form read delightfully by Davina Porter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah E. Morin on March 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book in the sci-fi section, but the only thing vaguely sci-fi about it is the use of telepathy. The setting is a perfectly normal England of the 1970s. The book starts slowly - in fact, all of the action is slow - and the author tends to fill the plot with an almost burdensome amount of details. If you can get through all that, it helps out later. The main drive through the book is Bryony's search for her telepathic lover (she doesn't know who he is) and the repercussions of her father's death. Some of the characters are nicely drawn. Others are sketchy, suffering from that evil villain cast syndrome. Stewart does a nice job creating an atmosephere where you sympathize with the main character (Bryony) and feel her uncertainty about who to trust. When one of the great mysteries of the book is finally revealed, you will find yourself surprised and relieved. It snuck up on me - I had to go back and reread key parts of the book. Sure enough - the clues had been there the whole time, and I hadn't even noticed. The subtle way this mystery is implanted makes the book worth reading. I found the ending average, and not particularly original, but the overall product is well worth your time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Moonstone7 on November 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This was the first Mary Stewart book I read 30 years ago and it was entirely captivating from page one. I loved the ESP aspect, the intrigue, the ancient history that's the mystery. It's just a wonderful story to get lost in. I subsequently have read numerous other of Mary Stewart's books, but find this one my favorite. Her novels set in Greece depict more "lady-like" situations: while the protagonist is in danger, it's of a tamer variety and a kiss with the male lead seals her romantic fate. Nice, escapist fiction.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bryony Ashley's father is critically injured by a hit and run driver, and he's only able to live long enough to leave a cryptic warning that she's in danger, the rest of his words seem to make no sense at all. Or do they? Devastated, she returns to her cottage near Ashley Court, the family's ancient estate in England, which cannot be sold or broken up without the approval of all members of the Ashley family. As she tries to sort the puzzle left by her father, Bryony also has a secret of her own to resolve - longer than she can remember she's had a telepathic connection with an unknown "lover" who she believes will reveal himself in the flesh to her when the time is right, and she's always felt it was her cousin James. Or is it James' younger brother Francis? I promise, you will never guess.

Ashley soon finds things amiss at the Court. Small, but valuable items are missing. A mysterious stranger is spotted shuffling through church records, and a book of ancient records turns up missing. Who is the Cat her fathered referred to in his last words - the family emblem of the Scottish Wildcat and their motto Touch not the cat? Or is Cat for Cathy, the Underhill's daughter? How is it that the long neglected garden maze is the same design as the family emblem? Is there a secret tied into the pavilion at the center of the maze, and the Ashley ancestor who built it for his lovers? What secret does the book found in the old library with the same family emblem hold?

Need the answers? Read it for yourself. Although this one started off a bit slow and it took me forever to see where Stewart was taking the story, once she gets all the lose ends wrapped up they all came together in a spectacular nail-biting finish in the midst of a whopper of a storm with deadly consequences. There are plentiful twists, turns and surprises that will keep you guessing and turning the pages. A definite must for Stewart fans.
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