Misfit's Reviews > Touch Not the Cat

Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart
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's review
Jul 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: romantic-suspense
Read in July, 2009

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 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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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 08, 2012 11:52AM) (new)

which Mary Stewart book is it that has the cult of Mithras? I was thinking it was this one but now I don't think so.

Misfit I don't think I've got to that one yet. Where is Hannah when I need her?

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Misfit wrote: "I don't think I've got to that one yet. Where is Hannah when I need her?"

Thanks for your help. We are discussing it in a Norah Lofts book: Afternoon of an Autocrat and I know Mary Stewart wrote about it too.

Misfit I just googled mithras + Mary Stewart. Voila! http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Literatur...

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Wish I had thought to do that. thanks so much!

Misfit You are most welcome.

message 7: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane My clan motto (I have Scots ancestors) is "touch not the cat bot a glove". "Bot" meaning "without," as in "on Ilkley Moor baht 'at."

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Jane wrote: "My clan motto (I have Scots ancestors) is "touch not the cat bot a glove". "Bot" meaning "without," as in "on Ilkley Moor baht 'at.""

I have Scots ancestors also but know so little about them.

Misfit Jane wrote: "My clan motto (I have Scots ancestors) is "touch not the cat bot a glove". "Bot" meaning "without," as in "on Ilkley Moor baht 'at.""

That sounds so much like a motto that's in the book. Been a couple of years though, so the memory is rusty.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

It is the motto that is in the book.

Misfit Lady ~☆ Alice☆~ wrote: "It is the motto that is in the book."

Thank you.

message 12: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Cool...my grandparents had a clan book on their bookshelves so I learned all about the ol' clan. Our war cry is "Loch Moigh!" I'm built on Celtic-warrior-Valkyrie lines so I think I'd look pretty good screaming that and waving some kind of deadly weapon.

message 13: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane ~☆ Alice☆~ wrote: "Once at a Rennie Faire I was standing out in the misty rain holding my husband's halbert waiting for him to come pick me up as we had to park way out. I felt rather cool. I was very surprised how..."

I love swords, myself. But alas, fate has decreed a life of suburban comfort with nary a battle in sight.

message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 08, 2012 10:59PM) (new)

No battles here either even tho I load too much iron and need to get rid of some of it! ;-)

(like hemochromatosis)

message 15: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Ah, that's a battle of another order.

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