Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mary Stewart Week - Nine Coaches Waiting

Mary Stewart Reading Week is hosted by Gudrun's Tights
I was so very excited to see a Mary Stewart Reading Week! I thought I was maybe the only person left in the world who read her books. I love their feel, the gothic cozy mystery, set somewhere fabulous. I love them especially on rainy nights, with a cup of tea or a glass of red wine, but I will read them anytime, especially when I am looking for a comfort read.

Title: Nine Coaches Waiting  
Author: Mary Stewart
Source: My personal collection

Goodreads Summary:

The opulence and history surrounding Linda Martin at Chateâu Valmy are all part of some wondrous, ecstatic dream. But there is a palpable terror crouching in the shadows. And then an accident that is no accident nearly kills the young English nanny's innocent, nine-year-old charge.
This is not "chance" -- this is something planned...and deadly.

My thoughts:

There is usually a house in Mary Stewart's books - a big old neglected house, or a house of secrets, or a shining mansion. In Nine Coaches waiting, the house is a house of secrets, and young nanny Linda has a secret of her own.  

Linda Martin is a young nanny, her charge Philippe, the future heir.  He lives with his aunt and uncle, overbearing and cold relatives. He is starving for affection and love, and when Linda begins work, they soon form a close relationship. She is protective of him, and truly cares about his health and well being. Then he is shot at while they are out hiking the property together. She begins to think of all the "accidents" that surround Philippe, and begins to suspect the worst. She is intimidated by Philippe's Uncle Leo and Aunt Heloise. The two potential love interests for Linda, because there is always a touch of flirtation and romance in a Stewart book, are possible heroes, but they are surrounded in shadow, and the reader only knows what Linda knows.

So who to trust? Where to turn? The story and suspense build until the final pages, where the action reaches a crescendo and the reader still is unsure of where and who are safe, until the very end. 

I loved this book, it is one of my absolute favorites of Stewart's. The atmosphere, the Frenchness, the mystery, the old glamour of decades past, the romance of it all, I eagerly succumb to, and I read it at least every year. 

 And lucky me, it qualifies for the European Reading Challenge!


  1. My copy of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is by my front door. Every day it reminds me that I'm failing that book by still not having read it! It is definitely on my list for this fall as well. :) And of course, Doctor Sleep!

  2. I just finished Nine Coaches Waiting last night and it is my new favorite Stewart! I thought it was her most successfully constructed suspenseful plot and I really enjoyed the romance. Thanks for reading along - there are lots of Mary Stewart fans out there!

    1. There is just something about it... I kept hoping she would hook up with William Blake, and then I was afraid he was in on it! Kept me guessing for sure. I am glad to hear that there are other fans out there!

  3. I just read this one for the first time a couple of months ago, and I loved it! It kept me guessing all the way though.

  4. I wanted to read this one, but I don't have a copy and I forgot to order it from the library. I love nanny/governess stories, and putting one together with the other things that Mary Stewart does well sounds like heaven.

    1. I love them too! Its so romantic, I think. I am sucker for romances done Mary Stewart style. :)

  5. This sounds fantastic! I like the idea of a mystery set in a creepy old house.

  6. This sounds very good, the plot strong and the book more fleshed out perhaps than others I've read about. I love that houses are a particular feature in her books, knowing that makes me want to read more of her work sooner, there's just something so appealing about it.


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