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Madam, Will You Talk? Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The tension mounts steadily until it reaches breaking-point ... an excellent tale of mystery. The 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: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444711202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444711202
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Diana Faillace Von Behren VINE VOICE on June 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As I have always wondered why the BBC has not produced any of Ms. Stewart's wonderful novels as mini-series for public television, I cannot help but imagine how media rich such a production would be. Case in point, Ms. Stewart's first work of suspense fiction: "Madam Will You Talk?" Her heroine, Charity Shelbourne is instantly likeable--a WW2 war widow who lovingly carries a framed photo of Johnny, her fallen RAF pilot in her suitcase,gladly expends time from her own holiday to entertain a lonely 14-year-old boy and honestly is confident enough about her own looks to admit when another woman is breathtakingly beautiful. True to her name and her noble instincts, Charity plunges unwittingly yet rather intelligently into a post war intrigue involving the estranged boy, his agressively tenacious father and the boy's lovely yet frightened stepmother using all the wit and willpower that made the British so heroically stoic through WW2. The characters play against the lush backdrop of the walled hilltop villages of Avignon and Nimes and eventually the cosmopolitan splendour/squallor of Marseilles which we see, smell and hear from the passenger side of Charity's car in a chase sequence more harrowingly memorable than that in the film "The French Connection". Ms . Stewart delivers not only a nicely summed up tale of greed and murder, but neatly fills Charity's emotional void and our own as she allows Charity to utilize Johnny's devil-may-care driving tips, rebel savvy and masculine assuredness through each twist of the plot on her way to finding her way in the world without him while opening her heart to someone else. She is a woman all women want to be: vulnerable yet indispensible. The essential ingredients are all there for a most wonderful episodic film about a wily 20th century woman--get those cameras rolling! Highly recommended, especially in the unabridged audio format.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read Mary Stewart as a teenager with her Merlin series, and it left such an impression on me that when I recently saw at a library book sale that she had other books I immediately picked them all up. Stewart is a master writer (and I didn't know she published in the 50's) who informs you as she writes, with eloquent references to geography, literature, and art. The story is about an attractive heroine who is thrown into close quarters with a man who may or may not be a murderer, who wants her to divulge the location of his young son. Like a play with a cast of characters, she is staying at a hotel that has a variety of people for whom you do not know what their real motives are. If you want a suspenseful romantic novel, you could not do better than Mary Stewart.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nobody does it better. Nobody ever will. Even in this, Stewart's first novel, her prose is so compelling that you overlook some of the new-author awkwardness. Some scenes go on too long, and her fascination with cars/driving/car chases (a staple in each of her books) can get a bit tiresome. But you only notice that on your third or fourth reread. It's a shame that romance novels aren't permitted to be intelligent nowadays; authors are expected to write at a junior-high school comprehension level. No such rules in Stewart's day, and that's why she'll never be bested.
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By A Customer on February 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
From the inside cover - "The whole affair had begun so quietly. No hint of danger in the air. Only a picturesque vacation resort in the south of France, a very lovely...and very rich...young widow on a holiday tour, and a group of amiable strangers lazing about the little hotel with its elegant, old-world charm. How was Charity Selbourne to know of the dark, sinister forces that lay behind this pleasant scene, and that they were, at the very moment of her arrival, uncoiling for a final, deadly thrust?"
From the back cover - "When Charity Selbourne arrived in the picturesque French resort town of Avignon, she had no way of knowing that she was to become the principal player in the last act of a strange and brutal tragedy. Most of it had already been played. There had been love-and lust-and revenge and fear and murder. And now the killer, with blood enough on his hands, was waiting in the wings."
This reader believes that this is classic Mary Stewart action, in which her readers become irresistibly involved with admirable characters suddenly caught up in intricate webs of danger and deceit. As always, her settings are so spectacular and described in such detail that I can see, smell and touch as clearly as if I were there as well. It is because of this superb sense of detail that a half dozen reads may not even be enough.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As much for the times about which it is written as for the adventure into which a young war widow stumbles while on holiday in France with her best friend.
It is about a boy & his dog, a father & his quest for his son & a painting for which people have killed.
Woman's Hour on BBC radio was serializing Madam, Will You Talk? when I was packing to emigrate to America & I bought a copy to take with me because I had to know how it turned out.
Mary Stewart's adventure books about young women tossed into dangerous adventures are always well written, well researched & give you a taste of the countries in which they are set.
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