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Publisher's Summary

The pioneer of romantic suspense, Mary Stewart, leads listeners on a thrilling journey through a dangerous and deadly Provence in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.   

It sounds idyllic: a leisurely drive through the sun-drenched landscape of Provence. But Charity's dream holiday turns into a nightmare when she becomes embroiled in a sinister plot to kidnap a young boy. She soon finds herself in a deadly pursuit and must uncover whom to trust...and whom to fall for.   

Whenever I look back now on the strange and terrifying events of that holiday in Southern France, I remember the minutes I spent gazing at the golden arches of the Roman aqueduct over the Gardon...the last brief lull before the thunder.   

©1956 Mary Stewart (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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At last

So thrilled to have Mary Stewart on board audible. I believe this was her first novel, and is still a favorite of mine. Looking forward to more UNABRIDGED releases. Narration was perfectly wonderful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Romantic Suspense in Provence

This is the first novel by Mary Stewart, originally published in 1955. War widow Charity Selborne is having a holiday in the south of France with her friend Louise, escaping from the English climate and the still restrictive rationing of meat and other items in post WWII England. This gave readers at the time a chance to enjoy vicariously the pleasures of the table that had been limited for years. She encounters mysterious people, a small boy and his mongrel dog in danger, and must decide for herself what to do, which side to take and how to proceed. I don't want to discuss the plot in detail, as it would be almost impossible to avoid spoilers, and for first time listeners to know the outcome would damage the journey.

Mary Stewart could be said to have reinvented the modern romantic suspense novel. She went on to write over a dozen more before changing track and reinventing the Merlin/King Arthur fantasy suspense area starting with The Crystal Cave. Her novels are always a joy to read, well written and with some engaging characters and an eye for setting that transports the reader. I am so glad that Audible seems to be re-releasing audio versions of her classic romantic suspense novels.

And Emilia Fox, whose work I have enjoyed on a number of Agatha Christie's novels, does a very fine job of translating the adventure to audio.

I look forward to more Mary Stewart releases by Audible.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Nearly perfect!

Mary Stewart's writing is always perfect! Flawless! And the narrator breathes life into the characters in a wonderful way. An exceptionally good listen, I will be looking out for more books from this duo.

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  • Ellen
  • Auckland NZ
  • 11-16-18

Top narration

One of my favourite Mary Stewart stories, told with a top-notch narration. A very pleasurable listen.

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Excellent’

This is one of my favorites. So happy to see it on Audible - and with great narration.

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THE GRAND DAME OF ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

Mary Stewart wrote perfect novels of romantic suspense and Madam, Will You Talk is no exception. I had read this book many years ago, but this narrator made it come to life and even though I sort of remembered the plot, i was still shocked by a couple of the twists. Anyone who likes Nora Roberts won't go wrong with Mary Stewart.


#AmateurDetective #Suspenseful #France #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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The first of a new genre

romantic suspense novels began with Mary Stewart. A classic with evocative descriptions and heart pounding suspense. Brings back happy adolescent reading memories.

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  • Chloe
  • Annandale, VA, United States
  • 11-09-18

I prefer the Nyree Dawn Porter version.

A wondrous Stewart novel, especially considering it was her first. The 1985 reading by Nyree Dawn Porter on Audiobooks was better acted, however, than this new version.

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Romance and adventure

Mary Stewart is a lovely writer and gives us a strong, kind female protagonist. The narrator did a wonderful job of maintaining the flow and suspense if the story.

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  • Podenco Fan
  • 11-11-18

Timeless,Stylish and So Very Beautifully Written

This book was such a wonderful treat - as was discovering Mary Stewart for the first time and I find it incredible that, as a huge mystery fan this was my first encounter with her fabulous writing and even more that this was never made into a movie as that would have been just too too divine.
Published in 1955 and Mary Stewart's first of many novels, after a little Googling I was amazed to see that she is credited with creating the Romantic Mystery Novel and if this was the first ever in the genre, combined with the suspenseful and delicious writing, I cannot believe this book is not more famous, especially as it not only stands the test of time but is all the more gorgeous and glamorous for it, conjuring up all the allure, elegance and style of a bygone age with natural authenticity.
Emilia Fox was a dream narrator for this book as she really did it proud making it come alive like the glorious movie it should have been made into and perhaps even might be picked up at this late date. Of course I am a sucker for all the greats like Rebecca, Laura and for me I saw this in the same style but with touches of Roman Holiday and To catch A Thief, with adventure danger and the promise of romance never far away.
I loved the beautiful descriptions of the sunny French location, the amazing feistiness of the plucky, stiff upper lip heroine, who made a lot of modern day protagonists, both male and female look like wimps with her daring, devilish driving and cool head. It seems Mary Stewart was also ahead of her time in her compassion to animals throughout the story in a time when thi was sadly lacking in the world, so I am thinking she must have been a very exceptional woman who was incredibly ahead of her time which is why this story is so fresh today.
In fact, the only thing that gives this book away as being over 70 years old is the clever use of cigarettes as props and of course the descriptions of how France was so primitive, exotic and dangerous, with mule carts, beggars sleeping on the outskirts of Avignon, sinister alleys and leery drunken sailors and the kind of place that anything could and would happen and crimes went unnoticed and unreported as part of every day life. There was a couple of words which we consider politically incorrect today and what seems like a rather naive description in the Mercedes which to my naughty mind was a series of double entendres ... but perhaps as Mary Stewart was such an amazingly modern woman, this was her intention - anyway it gave me a giggle!
The whole book is written with such panache and read so evocatively that I seldom have had such vivid pictures painted for me and after I guessed the first and second twist, I then realised that this was part of the charm of the book as the reader is drawn into a "He's behind YOU!!" moment, knowing more than the protagonist. But do not worry there are more twists and turns than a serpent's tail and it is impossible not to just jump on board for this romatinc and reckless rollercoaster of a ride.
All this and the suspense, the atmosphere of France in the 50's, the dashing and gorgeous men, the impossibly elegant women, the allure of a bygone age - the nightly "heure du cocktail" where the hotel guests met up and sipped Vermouth was all just a wonderful holiday for me.
I especially loved the opening chapters describing the sun drenched balconies, cobbled courtyard, couture clothes and lazy long limbed fair girl who was the travelling companion for this gorgeous motoring holiday in an open topped racing green Riley sports car.
Too too too divine ... I will never forget this magical, mysterious, menacing adventure which Mary Stewart took me on which had everything including the promise of a jolly good kissing by a devastatingly dishy gentleman or two!
What more could a girl ask for?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jude
  • 11-04-18

So pleased to have this in my library - excellent

I am slightly biased, but I love this book, and I was so pleased when I saw Emilia Fox was narrating. I first read it in my early twenties, my mother was a great fan, and I was quickly caught up in the intrigue of Mary Stewart's novels. The locations and story intrigued me, and made me want to experience these fantastic places for myself all my life (Australia is a long way from France, but I am thrilled that I have now visited them all). So it was a happy to see Audible releasing modern narrations of Mary Stewart titles.

As far as I know, Mary Stewart was the first to write romantic suspense novels, and they are all set in excellent locations. They do not follow on from each other - they are all works that stand alone with different characters.

Written in 1955, Madam, Will You Talk? does have some period language, and the vehicles are obviously set in that time space. However, I listen in the same way I listen to Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, as period works. Mary Stewart's books have more suspense, but good plots - they were only 20 years old when I read them, now they are period!!

Filled with beautiful descriptions of rural France, historical Roman towns, car chases and the climate of France post WW2 and of course some romance, You tend to like the characters you are supposed to like, and treat the rest with suspicion.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sue
  • 11-23-18

Enjoyed as much as first time I read!

Fabulous reading of an old favourite which I loved when first published. A delight! Recommended highly. Super!