Misfit's Reviews > Wildfire at Midnight

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary  Stewart
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Oct 15, 2009

it was amazing
Read in October, 2009

Page 142, "I turned to look back at Blaven, only to find that the mist was, indeed, rolling down the slopes behind us like a tide of smoking lava. Blaven was already invisible, and a great wall of mist bore steadily across the glen behind us, obliterating the afternoon."

Can that woman write or not? Seeking relief from her hectic life as a model as well as the crush for the 1953 coronation, Divorcee Gianetta leaves London for a vacation at rustic resort on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, although she's a bit flummoxed at the surprise appearance of her ex-husband Nicholas Drury as one of the inn’s guests. Gianetta soon finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery with a dead body or two and suspects everywhere - a local girl was murdered in a ritual resembling the ancient Beltane rites.

Soon two female guests disappear while climbing Blaven - but who was the third person seen heading towards the mountain with them? Could Gianetta be marked as the next victim? Inquiring minds want to know, but I am not telling - read it for yourself. This was a fabulous fast paced read and Stewart keeps you guessing to the very end with a doozy of a nail-biting finish set amongst the swirling mists, shifting bogs and the rocky crags of the Cuillin on the Isle of Skye. Written in the 1950's its a bit dated in places (I just cringed every time someone tossed a cigarette but down the mountainside) but other than that another solid read from Dame Mary Stewart.

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Quotes Misfit Liked

Mary  Stewart
“If anyone was to perform the classic folly of taking a midnight stroll among the murderous gentlemen with whom the hotel was probably packed, it was not going to be me.”
Mary Stewart, Wildfire at Midnight


Reading Progress

10/31 page 84
25.93% "The doll. Oh. My. God." 3 comments
05/08 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 55) (55 new)


message 1: by Tara (new)

Tara Chevrestt That makes me think of Nancy Drew.


Misfit A grown up Nancy but you're right.


message 3: by Hannah (last edited Oct 16, 2009 06:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hannah Tara wrote: "That makes me think of Nancy Drew. "

LOL - yes it does Tara!

Misfit, hope you enjoy~




message 4: by Misfit (last edited Oct 30, 2009 06:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Misfit Ahhh, much better. The Isle of Skye,




Hannah How do you like WaM so far? It's my fav. Stewart, I think.



Misfit So far so good, I didn't get too far last night. She just got to the island when I nodded off. Having trouble sleeping now so perhaps I'll bang it out shortly.


message 7: by Misfit (last edited Oct 31, 2009 06:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Misfit This is my kind of setting for a rainy windy Halloween day (wish I was there, in an oceanside room with jacuzzi tub and fireplace and glass of wine),




message 8: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Thank you for the gorgeous photographs. May I bring my book and join you there? I love Mary Stewart's books with "Wildfire" being one of my favorites. Enjoy!


message 9: by Misfit (last edited Oct 31, 2009 02:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Misfit What was that other famous story about a bunch of folks in a hotel and everyone's suspected of murder? Or am I just thinking of clue. Mary's descriptions are awesome as always,

Page 47, "We had our backs to the lucent west, and before us the ghost moon swam in a deepening sky, where the mass of Blaven stooped like Faustus's mountain, ready to fall on us."

Page 51, "The whispering stopped. It stopped as abruptly as an engine shuts off steam. Silence dropped like a blanket, so that in a matter of seconds the memory of the sound seemed illusory, while the silence itself surged with millions of whisperings, all equally unreal. But the sense of desperation was still there, even in the silence. It was as if the stillness were a held breath, that might burst at any moment in a scream."

My kinda author.

Some cool photos here,
http://www.blaven.com/gallery.aspx

And here, http://www.redbubble.com/people/photo...


Misfit LJ wrote: "Thank you for the gorgeous photographs. May I bring my book and join you there? I love Mary Stewart's books with "Wildfire" being one of my favorites. Enjoy! "

I think this is a perfect day for a Wildfire party. Let's get Pat, Barb and Hannah and head for Scotland. I think Barb still has her lotto winnings :p


message 11: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Oh, I am so with you. My passport is ready to go. Thank you for providing the source of the pictures.


message 12: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb WOW! That last photo is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I have never seen anyhing like it. I'll meet you at the airport.
Jody, forget the pizza tonight lets head to Scotland with Misfit, LJ, Hannahr and Pat.


message 13: by Pat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pat I'm ready! Lets go!


message 14: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Wouldn't that be wonderful? And what did you do for Halloween? Flew to Scotland with four friends from GoodReads.


Misfit Where's Laura and Bettie? Do you think we can stop and pick them up?

And who is going to find Jamie Fraser and bring him and his kilt along? Leaving Claire behind of course :)


message 16: by Bettie☯ (new) - added it

Bettie☯ Misfit wrote: "Where's Laura and Bettie? Do you think we can stop and pick them up?

And who is going to find Jamie Fraser and bring him and his kilt along? Leaving Claire behind of course :)"



Funnily enough - I am already there in my mind - we have been talking about my time camping just outside Portree in the summer of *cough*'73 and M's motorbike tour in mid '80's. I do remember hiking through the red cuillins - they are the soft lumpy things in the east as opposed to those black sharp things in the west.

So count me in once I've purchased the midge repellent.



Misfit Agh, not the midges. I forgot about those.



What is it about Mary Stewart books that makes me go looking for photos?


message 18: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I suspect it's because her descriptions are so evocative. I love authors who paint mental pictures.


message 19: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb Me too but I'm glad she leaves out the bugs.
;0)


message 20: by Misfit (last edited Oct 31, 2009 11:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Misfit Barb wrote: "Me too but I'm glad she leaves out the bugs.
;0)"


LJ wrote: "I suspect it's because her descriptions are so evocative. I love authors who paint mental pictures. "

She does write a damn good scene, doesn't she? But yes, I'm glad our plucky heroine has been spared the midges. She's got enough on her hands with dead bodies and suspects everywhere......

This is really cool, go to this link and then click on the panorama from the top of Blaven, http://www.blaven.com/blaven.aspx




message 21: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura let me join you to this travel to Scotland, the most beautiful country, so far, I ever visited??


message 22: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I've not been there but have always wanted to go. The panorama is wonderful, as is the time lapse. Switching back to books, what other books, set in Scotland, have people loved. Okay, The Outlander Series, but what else. For me, the first that comes to mind is "The Redemption of Edward Seaton" by Shona MacLean. I am so excited she has a second book coming out soon. I also loved "To The Hilt" by Dick Francis, who is another favorite author of mine. What about you folks?


Misfit I'd love to go there one of these days, I love stark landscapes they have a beauty all of their own.

Outside of very bad romances written by Deborah MacGillivray et al I'm still searching for more. Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, while his travels take him elsewhere are originally set in Scotland.


message 24: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ The Lymond Chronicles are excellent. Another one I loved was "The Winter Sea" by Susanna Kearsley. I read mostly mysteries. Ian Rankin and Aline Templeton write two very different mystery series set in Scotland. I enjoyed Karen Ranney's historic romances set in Scotland. Lillian Stewart Carl's book "Time Enough to Die" is definitely not for everyone and takes a bit to get into, but I loved it. as I did "The Murder Stone" by Charles Todd. Okay, that's it, I'm stopping now.


Misfit Nooo, don't stop. I want to read the Winter Sea and am (im)patiently waiting for the library copies to come in.


message 26: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ Okay, they're sent in 1715 England, rather than Scotland, but present a different aspect of the Jacobite cause, have great characters and humor and I LOVED them; it's Patricia Wynn's series of, so far, three books: "The Birth Of Blue Satan," "The Spider's Touch," and "Motive from the Dead," and they should be read in order. Now, I'm off to bed. Happy Halloween!


message 27: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura great recommendations LJ, thanks!!!


Misfit Yes, thank you. There's also some of Barbara Erskine's time slips that are set in Scotland. Child of the Phoenix the latter half of the book and I forget the name of the one that she travels back to Robert the Bruce's time.


message 29: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Lady of Hay I guess...


message 30: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I read her "Midnight is a Lonely Place," which totally creeped me out, and I've never read another. I have several more of her books and keep meaning to read them, but just haven't.


message 31: by Misfit (last edited Nov 01, 2009 04:09PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Misfit Laura wrote: "Lady of Hay I guess..."

It's not Lady of Hay. I think it's Kingdom of Shadows. Not her best effort, especially the heroine in the current period. Seriously TSTL.

Lady of the Glen is very good and despite a bodice ripping new cover it's not. A very sweet Romeo/Juliet love story about the massacre at Glencoe. Lady Of The Glen A Novel of 17Th-Century Scotland and the Massacre of Glencoe Note, this link goes to the old cover. New one here,



That's the kind of cover that would send Barb running for cover and leave me scratching my head wondering WTF were the publishers thinking. The sex is very very tame and it's a very very serious topic.

**lightbulb just went off** I pulled up the book on the Amazon page - publisher is Kensington (DebMac, et al). That explains everything.....


message 32: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb Ahhh, is that what you meant by me not being adventurous? You are right then, I'd be headed for the hills...Except that I actually have a copy of this one with a dignified cover.
;0)


message 33: by Hannah (last edited Nov 01, 2009 05:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hannah Oh, wait for me ladies! I was out of computer range this weekend - you haven't left for the highlands yet, have you?

Glad you enjoyed Wildfire, Misfit. The photos are gorgeous *sigh*, I want to be there.

The library got in my ILL request and I'm set up with "My Bro Mike" (My Brother Michael -lol), Wintercombe, and The Haunting of Hill House. I'll be busy to get these read.


message 34: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb Hannahr,
You and I seem to be headed down a similar path lately...one with many houses.
Wintercomb (on my pile by the bed)
Gad's Hall
The Nonsuch Lure
Hill House (on my pile behind the door)
and I think there's another that I've forgotten
ah, maybe you didn't read this one...
The King's General (the house is Menabilly)


Hannah Barb wrote: "Hannahr,
You and I seem to be headed down a similar path lately...one with many houses..."


Yes, we do! I have my own category called "Houses as Characters" that I assign books like that to. I always watch what you, Misfit and Laura are reading since all of us seem to cross over in our likes to some extent.

...Now I see I need to add LJ as she likes Susanna Kearsley!




Misfit Barb wrote: "Ahhh, is that what you meant by me not being adventurous? You are right then, I'd be headed for the hills...Except that I actually have a copy of this one with a dignified cover.
;0)"


Glad you have the dignified cover it is a keeper.

I want to read some of Kearsley's books she gotten a lot of good comments. I had one out from the library once but M. Dumas and the latest instalment of his french revolution series won out and I returned it for another day.

How many piles does Barb have and what priority do they have?


One of the things I love most about GR is the update feeds and seeing what everyone else is reading. Plus getting to comment. Forget Librarything. Meh.


message 37: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Barb wrote: "Hannahr,
You and I seem to be headed down a similar path lately...one with many houses.
Wintercomb (on my pile by the bed)
Gad's Hall
The Nonsuch Lure
Hill House (on my pile behind the door)
..."


Barb, have you already started to read Daphne? How is the book so far? I am planning to start it today. Hanna, join the most amazing group here at GR!!




message 38: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb Laura,
I have started 'Daphne' and I like it so far.
The style is different and the author is very clever.
I think I'm almost half way through.
And even though I hated Wuthering Heights I'm really glad I read it first so I have some idea about the references to Branwell Bronte's life and the character Heathcliff.


Hannahr,
I like your "Houses as Characters" idea. I think I might have to add a shelf of my own.

Misfit,
There are three, no four piles right now. The bookshelves are NOT big enough! If it's next to the bed it means it will be read sooner rather than later.
The other piles are all next to the bookshelves and those books will PROBABLY get read before what's on the shelves.
I actually looked at all...around 250...books the other day and thought, "I don't have anything I want to read" (neurotic, I know). How about all of you???



Misfit "I actually looked at all...around 250...books the other day and thought, "I don't have anything I want to read" (neurotic, I know). How about all of you??? "

I'm afraid most of us have a very similar problem. Maybe not 250 but I have a big pile (only one) and I'll sit there fussing as I have nothing to read. Argh!

My TBR are in a pile, or in a stack on the table indicating they're closer to being read and when read they make the bookshelf.

We're a sad sad bunch :)


message 40: by Hannah (last edited Nov 02, 2009 05:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hannah Laura wrote: "Barb, have you already started to read Daphne? How is the book so far? I am planning to start it today. Hanna, join the most amazing group here at GR!!..."

Hey Laura! I've already read Daphne. Here's my review:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
I'd be happy to discuss it. I rated it 3 stars even though I liked the writing, because ultimately I felt it was too depressing for a re-read one of these days. Maybe not a fair rating, but I guess we each have our own criteria for assigning stars.





message 41: by Hannah (last edited Nov 02, 2009 06:12AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hannah Misfit wrote: ""I actually looked at all...around 250...books the other day and thought, "I don't have anything I want to read" (neurotic, I know). How about all of you???..."

250 in the TBR pile, huh? That would be considered a very small lending library in some towns!
I think (because of GR) that I have the largest TBR pile in my personal reading history (approx. 25 currently stacked in my bedroom). I know, small potatoes for most of you, but huge for moi.
Since some are library books, I need to tackle those first.




message 42: by Hannah (last edited Nov 02, 2009 06:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hannah Misfit wrote: "Nooo, don't stop. I want to read the Winter Sea and am (im)patiently waiting for the library copies to come in. "

My library and the ILL doesn't even carry Kearsley. I've had to get the books via Amazon, Amazon marketplace and PaperbackSwap.com I think "The Winter Sea" is being released in the US next fall under the title "Sophia's Secret" (I like the title, The Winter Sea better).

For those who are interested, Kearsley is finishing up her latest book. This from her website:
http://www.susannakearsley.com/writin...
"I’ve just finished the first draft of my latest book, which doesn’t have a title yet. It’s a time travel story about a young woman who comes to the south coast of Cornwall to live with good friends in an old manor house by the sea, and soon finds herself sharing the rooms with a man living there in the 1700s."

I'm a sucker for books like this....






message 43: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ I ordered "The Winter Sea" from Blue Heron Books in Canada as she was doing her book launch there, so I have a signed copy. I think my other favorite of hers would be "The Shadowy Horses." I am delighted to hear her next book will be out in the Spring.

Okay, I'm embarrassed. I have approximately 800 books in my TBR shelves.


Misfit Heh, LJ tops everyone. I can't believe Hannah can't get any Kearlsey via ILL. I thought library was on the same ILL program - and I know King County has two or three of hers. I had Shadowy Horses out once from the library but it was the wrong day and M. Dumas was calling me....


message 45: by LJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

LJ And I have approximately 7,000 books on my 'have-read' shelves. I am a small library except that I don't lend my books.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The "house as character" makes me think of Elswyth Thane's Queen's Folly.


Misfit CLM's mentioned Elswyth Thane before. I've never read her.


message 48: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Hannahr wrote: "Laura wrote: "Barb, have you already started to read Daphne? How is the book so far? I am planning to start it today. Hanna, join the most amazing group here at GR!!..."

Hey Laura! I've already..."


Hanna, I am almost finishing and I agree to give 3 stars to it. I wont read your review until I really finish it (within the next half hour, I believe).




message 49: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura well. I have 43 books in my TBR list and 10 more to coming from BM


message 50: by Barb (new) - added it

Barb Laura,
Didn't you just start it!?



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