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Nine Coaches Waiting

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  8,662 Ratings  ·  720 Reviews
Linda Martin, an English woman is hired to be a governess for a young French boy. But a strange terror coiled in the shadows behind the brooding elegance of the huge Château Valmy. It lay there like some dark and twisted thing -- waiting, watching, ready to strike.

Was it only chance encounter than had brought the lovely governess to the château? Or was it something planned
Paperback, 342 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Chicago Review Press (first published 1958)
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Tauriel I love Mary Stewart! I have most of her books. My personal favorites are "Nine Coaches Waiting" and "This Rough Magic". But there's also "Madam, Will…moreI love Mary Stewart! I have most of her books. My personal favorites are "Nine Coaches Waiting" and "This Rough Magic". But there's also "Madam, Will You Talk?", "Wildfire at Midnight", "Thunder on the Right", "Airs Above the Ground", "The Moon-Spinners" (Disney used the title to make a movie, but the book is 100 times better!). As Hannah said, If Dame Mary Stewart wrote it, it is well worth reading.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Mary Stewart is--by far--my favorite author in the romantic suspense genre. Nine Coaches Waiting is my favorite Mary Stewart book. I can't tell you how many times I've re-read this book. It's not terrifically deep or mysterious, but it's well-written and a favorite comfort read, and my love for it is quite unreasonable at this point, so just realize that I'm likely to hurl insults or furniture at anyone who questions the excellence of this novel.

Linda Martin, a young woman who grew up as an orph
Jun 13, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing

Nine coaches waiting - hurry-hurry-hurry…

What a blast from the past. Yes, this book was first published back in 1958. It reads a bit like a NA version of Nancy Drew.. or maybe a cross between Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie. Anyway, it’s a bit of mystery, and a bit of romance written in a very decadent and descriptive way.

I loved the author’s writing style… the ongoing theme which included the title quote, and all of the subsequent quotes she used throughout the book to introduce
Jun 11, 2015 Mo rated it really liked it

After a rather drab existence in an English orphanage Linda Martin is appointed governess to the nine-year-old owner of the Chateau Valmy in the French Alps. During little Philippe's minority the estates are being managed by his crippled uncle Leon, and Leon's handsome son Raoul. All seems delightful, but there are tensions below the smooth surface. One sunny afternoon a bullet is fired in the beechwoods ... and the tensions become terrors.

The main reason I wanted to read this book was the n
Jul 25, 2014 Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2014
I have a good friend from Mexico City who sounds exactly like Wilmer Valderrama's character, Fez, from That 70's Show. I just love his movie recommendations...and his accent! I laugh to myself when I remember his sparkling recommendation of Terminator 3 back in its heyday. "Eve, it's a classic film! It's got comedy, romance, and action!"

Though we definitely don't agree on what a certified "classic" is, his equation for good entertainment is right on par. Nine Coaches Waiting was a thrill to rea
Sep 11, 2014 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Readers beware: what might be construed as mild spoilers follow.

According to Mary Stewart's Wikipedia entry, Stewart "developed the romantic mystery genre, featuring smart, adventurous heroines who could hold their own in dangerous situations". This novel is one of Stewart's "romantic mysteries", or as the Wikipedia article also classifies it, a "Gothic romance". The heroine is Linda Martin, who is engaged as a governess for a young French orphan of aristocratic background. She comes to realise
Jun 05, 2009 Misfit rated it really liked it
A mystery, a romance and a perfect blend of gothic spookiness, what's not to love? Linda Martin arrives at the Chateaux Valmy high in the French Alps to care for young Comte Philippe, recently orphaned and in the care of his uncle Leon and step-aunt Heloise de Valmy. When Leon's son Raoul arrives, Linda finds herself falling in love, although things are not as they appear and Philippe begins to have several life threatening accidents. Or are they accidents? Is there something more sinister invol ...more
Aug 10, 2016 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ashley by: Hannah
Think Rebecca meets Jane Eyre meets Wuthering Heights.

Atmospheric mansion, check: the vast Château Valmy, nestled in the wooded countryside near Thonon-les-Bains, France. Resourceful and courageous young governess, check: Linda Martin, brought in from England to care for the estate’s orphaned heir, Philippe de Valmy, whose uncle Léon serves as trustee of the house and grounds until the boy comes of age. Tortured romantic hero, in the vein of Heathcliff, check: Léon’s son, Raoul, who runs Bellev
Mar 20, 2015 Tweety rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants a page gripper
Nine Coaches Waiting,

Linda Martin's father was English, but her mother French. So she grew up with both as her 'mother tongue'. Now though they are both dead and for some seven years she has lived in an English orphanage, first as a waif and now as a governess how is to be sent out to a post. What could be better than a post in France, teaching a little boy English? True they said they didn't want a governess who spoke French but, since she needs the job badly she goes as an all English teacher
Debbie Zapata
May 14, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: douglas
I have to admit I was a little disappointed in this typical romantic mystery by Mary Stewart. I can't remember if I've ever read it before, but perhaps I did and that was why it all seemed to unfold in a predictable way to me. Our young heroine Linda arrives in France to take care of nine-year old Philippe and finds herself in what turns out to be a very strange situation. How will she deal with the events that take place? And does she really have to worry so much about everything? Or explain th ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Angie by: Mom
I guess mysteries have always been a part of my life. Ever since my mom handed me that first Nancy Drew--The Hidden Staircase--that thirst for the clues, the search, the not knowing has stuck with me. That, combined with the fact that they are very nostalgic for me, and you get to read about a lot of them. Mary Stewart is my very favorite when it comes to romantic suspense and her many mysteries are serial re-reads for me. In the best of times and the worst of times, she comes through with an un ...more
May 24, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

Original review:
(view spoiler)
Sara Steger
Jan 31, 2016 Sara Steger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, mystery
Linda Martin, an orphaned English girl, has accepted a job as governess at Chateau Valmy in the French countryside. We know immediately that all is not as it seems in the Valmy household, as does Miss Martin, and the sorting of the good from the bad is a dangerous endeavor.

Reading Nine Coaches Waiting again was like coming home and finding someone had already lit you a fire and left you a hot toddy. I sank back into it, and it was as wonderful as the very first time I read it. When I was young I
Aug 11, 2009 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: light-and-fun
I have fond memories of Mary Stewart books from my tween days, but I didn’t expect to enjoy one now that I’m old and critical (that's just sad; maybe “mature and learned”?). What a fun surprise! This one has all the elements you could hope for in a 1950’s adventure/thriller/romance — a young woman trying to start a new life; a mysterious French count; suspicious happenings at a chateau; a handsome and swarthy Frenchman who MIGHT BE DANGEROUS; midnight picnics; near-death adventures; and. . . hol ...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart has been on my radar for quite awhile. I even have it on my Project Fill in the Gaps list. That, along with the combined recommendations of Holly, Chachic and Angie (three people I trust more than most for recs) finally urged me to pick it up.

I don’t have much previous experience with Mary Stewart – but let me tell you. That will be changing. Nine Coaches Waiting is nothing short of stellar. Everything from the plot to the characters to the writing (the writi
Oct 12, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, mystery

I don't know what it is about Mary Stewart. Normally I would detest romance, especially ones that are at heart as formulaic as hers: English girl goes to foreign country, meets a man or several men, falls in love, a mystery crops up at some point in the proceedings, and at some point in the proceedings she suspects her lover of being involved in something criminal, there's a heart-stopping very dramatic climax, and then it's over and the two get married. They may or may not be fairly close
Nov 09, 2014 Britt rated it it was ok
I bought this book because it was mentioned as being a modern gothic title.

Not quite.

The author tries to convey unease from time to time, but that's not pervasive like one would expect in a gothic novel. 95% of the time, the plot has a light atmosphere. As for the setting, the large chateau seems to fit with typical gothic placings, but its description isn't right for it, nor does the heroine feel scared or intimidated by it at all during her stay. The author probably didn't intend to label this
Jan 13, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothics
This is a Stewart novel that I have been wanting to read for some time. I was not disappointed.

Belinda "Linda" Martin is half French and was raised in France for a good portion of her life. After her parents are killed in a plane crash, she is sent to live in an orphanage in England, her father's home country. Linda's previous job was at an English boys' school, which she hated. She jumps at the opportunity to be the governess of the young Comte de Valmy in the French countryside. The boy's aun
May 22, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, gothic, buddy-read
Another amazing buddy-read with the Mary Stewart gals. I won't say much because of spoilers but I can say I was not expecting the ending and it all happened fast and furious in the 7th, 8th and 9th coaches.

Linda Martin was a strong resourceful heroine and the lengths she was willing to go to keep her charge Philippe safe--even at the possible expense of her own future happiness was nothing short of wonderful. And the "insta-love" is so like current YA that it makes me wonder how many of todays
May 26, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
Since I discovered what a wonderful writer Mary Stewart was – just a few years ago, though my mother had recommended her books many years earlier – I’ve noticed that many readers name ‘Nine Coaches Waiting’ as a particular favourite. Now that I’ve read ‘Nine Coaches Waiting’ I can understand why, and I think that it might be my favourite too.

It’s not a realistic, real-world story; but it is a glorious entertainment

And it’s a ‘governess novel’ – a kind of book that I love

The story begins as Linda
Jul 18, 2013 Keertana rated it really liked it
What do I possibly say about Nine Coaches Waiting that hasn’t already been said before? Mary Stewart is a legend; her books are classics when it comes to the genre of gothic mystery. Although Nine Coaches Waiting suffers from a slow start, it is a breath-taking novel, beautifully written with a strong-willed and courageous governess at its center. Stewart, much like Daphne DuMaurier, is an expert at building suspense and causing our minds to flit between one suspect and the next. Nine Coaches Wa ...more
Jan 13, 2012 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Holly by: Angie
Shelves: romance, mystery, retro
Originally published at Book Harbinger.

After ten long years of living as an orphan and expatriate in England, Linda Martin has finally returned to Paris. There is something right about the cool spring night, and how the language has come back like it never fell into disuse. Although she enters the country as a governess and technically hired help, Linda is relieved to come home, even if it is to the great estate Chateau Valmy outside of Paris. Her charge, nine-year-old Phillipe, is an orphan him
Carolyn Hill
Dec 23, 2012 Carolyn Hill rated it it was amazing
Even though I've read this book at least twice before, I still ended up staying up to the wee hours of the morning finishing it. That's how good the suspense is. While this could be considered a period piece (it was written and set in the late fifties), and certainly has gothic elements (the orphaned young English woman serving as a governess in a remote French chateau), Mary Stewart's writing elevates it above the typical genre fare. She is simply the best at romantic suspense, and that is why ...more
I enjoyed this book. I was kept guessing all the way til the end. The setting was very well described and I could easily picture it. The characters likable and believable. This is my 4th Mary Stewart book. I didn't like it as well as the other 3 but I think it's because I was not as much into the governess character as some of the other heroines like in Thornyhold and The Gabriel Hounds. Thornyhold being my favorite at this time. I'd highly recommend it tho for the suspense and romance. It does ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Cphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought I had read all of the novels by Mary Stewart over the years but this one seems to have slipped under my reading radar. Nobody does the vintage romantic suspense theme like Mary Stewart. This novel set in France has wonderfully engaging characters and a slowly evolving but ultimately satisfying storyline. However it is the settings, very often romantic in their own right that has kept this reader reading these novels for really more years than than I care to remember.
So many of my GR friends adore Mary Stewart, but as with other group favourites Susanna Kearsley and Georgette Heyer, she just doesn't work for me. Sorry girls!

Buddy read with Kim, who's perfect review can be found here:
Jan 13, 2012 Chachic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chachic by: Angie
Originally posted here.

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart is one of the titles that Angie suggested when I asked her for recommendations similar to Eva Ibbotson's novels. I've never read a Mary Stewart novel before so I decided I should give her books a try, they seem intriguing. I called the local bookstore and was thrilled to discover that the branch near my house had a copy. This book probably spent the shortest time on my wishlist - bought a copy on the same day I found out about it. Holly
Kathy ~ Bookworm Nation
As I started reading this book I wondered “when is it going to suck me in?” and before I knew it I was already sucked in and couldn’t put it down. In fact, I almost missed a friend’s baby shower just so I could stay home and read it! Linda is a great heroine, she is smart, kind, clever, cautious, and a bit whimsical. She was very easy to relate to and you were on her side from the very beginning. I kept thinking throughout how the book reminded me so much of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte with a ...more
Sep 03, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Five stars for the absolutely riveting quality of this book. This is - great, but I use the word "great" because I don't have a better word for this distinctly non-contemporary work. In terms of detail and atmosphere and evocative quality, this is closer to the age of Sayers than to anything being produced today. There's a grimness overlaid with beautiful landscapes and everyday interactions, an almost leisurely urgency to the pace - except for the end, when the novel is overtaken by a gripping ...more
Nobody does romantic suspense like Mary Stewart. This one is so atmospheric with the perfect build of mystery and suspense. I loved the references to Jane Eyre and Cinderella and the wonderful literary epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter.

Highly recommended. 4.5 stars
Olga Godim
Mar 20, 2015 Olga Godim rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
3.5 stars
This old novel, published in 1958, is one of the classics of the romantic suspense genre, like many other novels by this author. Mixing a bit of thriller, a bit of romance, and recurring allusions to Jane Eyre, this tale is set in the south of France. The heroine is spunky and naïve, very much a Mary Sue. The hero is a big and slightly brooding alpha male with some obscure suffering in his past. The villains are properly secretive and sinister, but their camouflage didn’t deceive our yo
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2015 Reading Chal...: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart 4 23 Jan 24, 2015 08:03PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Lady Mary Stewart was a popular English novelist, and taught at the school of John Norquay elementary for 30 to 35 years.

She was 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
More about Mary Stewart...

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“Perhaps loneliness had nothing to do with place or circumstance; perhaps it was in you; yourself. Perhaps, wherever you were, you took your little circle of loneliness with you...” 43 likes
“I was thankful that nobody was there to meet me at the airport.
We reached Paris just as the light was fading. It had been a soft, gray March day, with the smell of spring in the air. The wet tarmac glistened underfoot; over the airfield the sky looked very high, rinsed by the afternoon's rain to a pale clear blue. Little trails of soft cloud drifted in the wet wind, and a late sunbeam touched them with a fleeting underglow. Away beyond the airport buildings the telegraph wires swooped gleaming above the road where passing vehicles showed lights already.”
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