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Publisher's Summary

The pioneer of romantic suspense Mary Stewart transports listeners to the idyllic hills of midcentury Crete in this tale of peril and intrigue that will keep fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym on the edges of their seats.   

While on a walking holiday through the beautiful, deserted hills of Crete, Nicola Ferris stumbles across a critically injured Englishman, guarded by a fierce Greek. Nicola cannot abandon them and so sets off on a perilous search for their lost companion - all the while being pursued by someone who wants to make sure none of them leave the island.... 

When the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon flowers, and wheeled into the mountain, I followed it.

©1962 Mary Stewart (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic Reviews

"Mary Stewart is magic." (New York Times)

"One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century." (Independent)

"A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I'd rather read her than most other authors." (Harriet Evans)

What listeners say about The Moon-Spinners

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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If You Like Mary Stewart, You Will Like This Book

This is a classic Mary Stewart work, with all the elements we fans have come to expect: stunning location, beautifully described; a plucky heroine capable of much more than the men around her believe; and a well-plotted suspenseful story with an exciting ending. The narration is fine -- once you realize it needs to be set at 75% speed, not 100%. I think there was a production error and it was simply released at the wrong speed.

11 people found this helpful

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Frustrating volume variations

Disclaimer: I have hearing loss, but with well-fitting earbuds I usually do fairly well. This book is frustrating in that I was constantly fiddling with the volume as the narrator's voice dropped away into a whisper and then increased again to near-shouting. I think she does a wonderful job of dramatizing the story, and the character voices were all good, but the volume thing drove me crazy. There are some small problems with pronunciation. I don't know how caique should be pronounced, but the narrator uses at least three different ones throughout the story.

I am a long-time fan of Mary Stewart's romantic mysteries, and I was so thrilled to see them published on Kindle and then on Audible. The quality of the narration and recording has been disappointingly uneven, unfortunately.

20 people found this helpful

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Great story, not so great narrator.

One of my favorite gothic romance authors. The narrator talks so fast, had to listen in .75 time to understand words. She talked very loud, then so soft I couldn’t hear at all. When she whispered sentences, couldn’t hear what she was saying. It was a pain to have to rewind many times, increasing volume so I knew what was going on. Then she would practically yell, and had to grab device to quickly lower volume so it wouldn’t hurt my ears. I recommend this be recorded by different reader.

8 people found this helpful

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Classic thriller, but wish narrator was literate

Don't have to say much about Mary Stewart; everything she wrote is tightly plotted, brilliantly characterized, beautifully evocative. Her work and its popularity speaks for itself. I was motivated to leave a review only because the narrator, who does a fairly good job otherwise, pronounced the word "Levite" as "levity." A little cultural literacy goes a long way. Please, Audible, either select educated narrators or educated editors who will catch such errors. Make your products attractive to people who actually read (but are now losing their near vision!).

17 people found this helpful

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Classic!

First read this when I was a kid, after seeing the Hayley Mills movie. I enjoyed the book lots more.

The subtle differences in attitudes about women, the simplicity of an "unspoiled" rural population and other notions don't really bark out at you, and the rapidly moving plot is well put together.

I've always enjoyed a good Mary Stewart. My favorite is Airs Above the Ground, which could have been written for the horse-obsessed young girl that I was.

Thanks for the memories!

By the way, I didn't find a single thing to criticise in Daphne Kouma's reading.

Jay Thomas

4 people found this helpful

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terrible narration!

really??? you pick a narrator that slurs her speech and mumbles and talks to fast?? for one of Mary Stewarts best novels??? i am returning it. very disappointed.

17 people found this helpful

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Great story. Narration a problem.

The story is great. One of my favorites. The narrator has potential; however, the constant change in volume is a problem. I would get the volume to a level where I could hear her and then she would raise her voice for a character and it would become way too loud. If she only did it occasionally, I would not comment, but it is through the entire book. Obviously, the narrator needs to work on this. She has a great voice and good characterization, so it is a shame.

7 people found this helpful

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Fast moving and exciting

I love Mary Stewart and this is one of her best. Not a dull moment.

3 people found this helpful

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Daphne Kouma is the best!

Have e hoyed Mary Stewart for many many years and Moon Spinners has always been one of my favorites. Daphne Kouma did a fabulous job. She's a wondefful story teller, NOT just a narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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A good listen!

Another Mary Stewart favorite. It's terrific that I can listen to it, because I can then do chores at the same time; can't do it with a book in my hands! :-)
Good job in the reading and recording. Thanks!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maggie
  • 08-16-19

An old and well loved friend

Those of us who are Mary Stewart aficionados have been so pleased over these past few months to find all of her books have been, or are about to be, recorded unabridged (thanks Audible). The balance, mainly her later, shorter, titles are due to follow in November.
Language evolves, we all know that, and it's been interesting to hear how this, one of her earliest and best loved novels from the 1960s, (Hayley Mills was young when they filmed it) would sound in the hands of a young 21C female actor. I'm assuming that as this seems to be her first narration for Audible? Some unfamiliar words do defeat her, (deprecate was pronounced depreciate and it seems nobody in the studio had heard of the Levites, who became levity). That’s a shame as someone could have guided her: the saddest was Psyche - we got sickie all the way through. Seriously? Nobody had heard of psychiatry?
But apart from the limited knowledge of pronunciation, this was good. It's of its time, as all Mary Stewart books are, The Boy meets Girl is from a more innocent age, but the murder and general nastiness is not.
Kouma's characterisation is not bad at all, giving us the very believable light touch of the rather lovely (despite everything) Tony and the sadness and worry of Sophia - and as with all Stewart's practical heroes, Max sounds good. OK, her Colin age 15 sometimes sounds like a bit childish by today's standards, but on the whole her voices and accents are excellent
Now onto My Brother Michael, The Ivy Tree and The Gabriel Hounds, all also released yesterday. For Mary Stewart readers, Christmas has come early. Shame in some ways that the narrators are such a scatter gun mixture, rather than a single voice, but just glad they are all recorded.
As to Daphne Kouma, a really good first attempt. Hope she goes on to record more.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Bhanacharaid
  • 01-10-21

A classic exciting adventure story

I don't give 5 stars lightly: sometimes Mary Stewart can spend soooo long on descriptive material that it lowers your engagement with the plot and there are some strongly descriptive passages but in this book, it doesn't detract from the plot at all and really helps you envisage the landscape where the story takes place.
I first read this book about 50 years ago! (gulp!) and it was Mary Stewart's books set in Greece that made me long to go there as a teenager. I've recently decided to reread all her books, eking them out to savour them, and while some have really jarred with modern sensibilities - with women far too subservient to the men in the story - the heroine of this book, along with her cousin, represent two strong women and - while of their era - their actions power the story.
This is the book I've always recommended to those new to her writing and in re-visiting it, I remember why. The narrator is just right for the main character and manages to represents the supporting cast, including the men an children, very creditably, bringing them to life without imposing herself upon them.
An excellent listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-22-20

Reading

The reader whispered conspiratorially and it was impossible to hear what she was saying. These ‘asides’ were mostly very important to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • em
  • 05-25-20

A Greek adventure from your armchair

First read this amazing book a long time ago returning to repeat my journey in the beautiful Cretan landscapes. With Mary Stewart's love of strong women we follow the heroine through adventure and strife handled with daring do. On the whole a great adventure that leaves you begging for more. The audio narrative overpowered the book in some places too modern in inflection.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marianne Caton
  • 03-02-21

excellent

This is my favourite of the Greek books by MS. The narrator was very good. I have no idea whether the Greek words were pronounced correctly and I did not even hear the word Psyche mentioned. But she had just the right tone of breathlessness and characterisation. The plot cracked along in the Cretan atmosphere. The heroine played the major role in the acts of daring and bravery. I hope her young man was suitably impressed and married her haha!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-01-20

The moon spinners.

Great book and great narrator who makes the story come alive. Mary Stewart's description of countryside can make you imagine you are there..

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  • Jessica
  • 03-30-20

Pretty good but of its time

This is an enjoyable escape murder/romance set on the beautiful island of Crete. A little dated, but I’m not going to slate the story for references that are ‘of their time’.

What spoilt it for me was the poor pronunciation of ‘caique’ (which should sound like ‘cake’ but ended up sounding like ‘caikee’) and the younger boy with an estuary accent that was not remotely like his elder brother in those rather proper times.

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  • Mother bird
  • 09-30-19

Beautifully done

Brilliant narration of one of the best Mary Stewart stories. Riveting and engaging. Thoroughly enjoyed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • NJC
  • 03-04-21

Wonderful story, excellent narrator.

This novel is a longstanding favourite of mine. Daphne Kumma's reading is beautiful, her tone and phrasing conveying mood and sense of the text with emotion, understanding and humour.

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  • Gianetta
  • 07-23-20

A favourite writer.

Mary Stewart wrote beautifully and I think that the newest audiobooks should have been read by more experienced narrators sensitive to the characters, their speech and the period the story is set iñ.

Daphne Kouma was good but I like to forget the narrator while I'm listening to an audiobook and found it hard to do so.

A lot better though than the very poor narration of Stormy Petrel which is my favourite story with Mary Stewart's Wonderful descriptive writing . So very disappointing.