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Wildfire at Midnight Paperback – February 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


There are few to equal Mary Stewart as an entertainer. What makes Miss Stewart different from the others ... is that though her plots are good, her characters are better Daily Telegraph I cannot think of anyone who tells stories quite so well 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

About the Author

Mary Stewart was one of our most successful novelists. Her first novel, MADAM WILL YOU TALK, was published in 1955. It was an immediate success and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. All her novels have been bestsellers on both sides of the Atlantic. She was made a Doctor of Literature by Durham University in 2009. Mary Stewart died on May 9, 2014.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444710982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444710984
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,826,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mart Stewart, one of the most popular novelists writing today, was born in Sunderland, County Durham, England. After boarding-school, she recieved a B.A. with first class honors in English Language and Literature from Durham University and went on for her M.A. Later she returned to her own University as a Lecturer in English. She married in 1945. Her husband is Sir Frederick Stewart, who is Chairman of the Geology Department at Edinburgh University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society.Mary Stewart's career as a novelist began in 1954 with the publication of Madam, Will You Talk? Since then she has published fifteen successful novels, including The Last Enchantment, the third book of the magical trilogy about the legendary enchanter Merlin and young Arthur. Her books for young readers, The Little Broomstick (1971) and Ludo and the Star Horse (1974), quickly met with the same success as her other novels. In 1968, she was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In 1971, the Scottish Chapter of the International PEN Association awarded her the Frederick Niven prize for the The Crystal Cave. In 1974, the Scottish Arts Council Award went to Ludo and the Star Horse.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 14, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Gianetta Brook has had a rough go of it. Lovely, red-haired and seemingly a London jet-setter, she is actually a vulnerable young woman with a sterling set of ethics and lingering loyalties. Her romantic history, however, is disappointing. As a younger model, awash with the glow of new-found fame, she meets writer Nicholas Drury, 10 years her senior. Sardonic and handsome, he sweeps her away in a whirlwind courtship that ends in a swift marriage doomed to fail as she believes he only sees her slick model's veneer and not the innocent girl beneath the gloss. Four years later, Gianetta finds herself divorced, still modeling and utterly exhausted by her seemingly sophisticated life. A vacation to the isle of Skye in the Hebrides is recommended by her well-meaning parents. Especially as she wants to avoid the coronation throngs crowding London in May of 1953, Gianetta quickly accepts their advise. Within days she finds herself at the small Camas Fhionnaridh Hotel at the foot of the Cuillin where fishing and climbing is the order of the day and the fast pace of London is left far behind her. Or so she thinks. Instead of peace and quiet, she is first assaulted by the advent of her ex-husband, then by the fact that all of the company staying in the hotel are actually suspected of being a killer who has murdered a local girl in a bizarre ritualistic way involving the Old Religion's tradition of setting wildfire in honor of the Beltane. In the styple of a classic Agatha Christie drawing room police procedural, Gianetta's values are put to the test as the local police enlist her aid in creating their dragnet and the clues begin to point unerringly towards identifying Nicholas as the unknown murderer.Read more ›
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Booksthatmatter on April 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was a child in the 1970s we were on a holiday on the west coast of Scotland and by chance, taking refuge in the car from the torrential summer downpour in the barren square of Portree, my father turned on the radio. What came on was a creepy, disturbing drama set on Skye. A young woman, the only visitor to this country hotel not on the suspect list for a grizzly murder is sitting in the dead of night by the unconscious body of another would-be victim of the murderer. "How appropriate!" my mother laughed, and we listened on. The landscape of the story was the same landscape that was around me, though I couldn't see it for the rain, and there were strange characters, a crazed climber, beltane fires and murder. I thought it was great and it really, really stayed with me. It was years later that I read Wildfire at Midnight and realised that this was the self-same story I'd heard as a child. It's cracking, unashamedly romantic, but really rather well written. A good read for a sick day tucked up on the sofa, or a quiet night in. Mary Stewart's great - if only new pulp fiction could manage the same alluring balance of literary poise and good swash-buckling plots. No one else does it as well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favourite Mary Stewart Novel. Gianetta is getting away from a bad marriage. He thought her the perfect, mature spouse, instead she was a young, insecure woman in love and he betrays her. Getting away from it all, she takes a vacation to the Isle of Skye, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. There she finds a mix of fellow guests, but her peaceful vacation meant to repair her soul is shattered when her ex husband arrives.
It is as moody and atmospheric as the Isle itself, and grows darker as they soon discover there is a madman aloose in the group, killing people in ancient pagan fashion. As they near the Pagan Holiday of Beltaine (May Day) where bonfires were lit high in the hills, she fears that madman may be her exhusand.
A super timeless read that you will never forget.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "serracus" on February 15, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This review relates to the printed, not audio, book. This is one of the better Mary Stewarts. She writes what I suppose might be termed romantic suspense, or modern gothic romances. A heroine has to solve a mystery, avoid a danger and find the love of her life. Some Mary Stewarts are just too precious, but this one just escapes that fate. The essential ingredients of suspense, good story-telling and well-drawn characters are all here - and these qualities on their own would make this book a pleasurable enough read. But what makes this book stand out for me is her highly evocative depiction of the Isle of Skye. The Scottish Highlands are generally great fodder for mood writing, and Ms Stewart really milks the romance, majesty and mystery of the Cuillin mountains. It was years after I read this book that I finally clapped eyes on the Cuillin mountains, one quiet late afternoon on a sunny summer's day; yet thanks largely to Ms Stewart I felt my spine tingle with the magic of the moment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deanna Anderson on November 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am surprised this was never turned into a movie in Hitchcock style. A young actress takes a vacation at a retreat far from the city lifestyle, only to find her self wrapped up in the midst of a murder mystery. Gianetta considers leaving on numerous occasions, but something always compels her to stay--a blossoming romance, not wanting to leave the friends she's made, or just plain curiosity and what is going on. However, when she finds a still-living victim of the murderer, and evidence that leads her to who she thinks is the killer, she stays out of a sense of duty.

There are several characters in this novel and it is plot-lined similar to murder mystery movie, or like on of those murder mystery games (something I have always wanted to do). It is so like that genre that at the end I fully expected the Inspector to say "and the murderer is..." and I would not have been disappointed had that happened. However, it does not quite go like that at the end, but I was still not disappointed.
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