Saturday, September 17, 2022

Madam, Will You Talk? - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Madam, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart

Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)
Source:   Purchased - Audio

Description:  Widowed Charity Selborne had been greatly looking forward to her driving holiday through France with her old friend Louise - long, leisurely days under the hot sun, enjoying the beauty of the parched Provencal landscape. But when Charity arrived at their hotel in the picturesque French town of Avignon, she had no way of knowing that she was to become the principal player in the last act of a strange and brutal tragedy. Most of it had already been played. There had been love--and lust--and revenge and fear and murder.

Very soon her dreams turn into a nightmare, when by befriending a terrified boy and catching the attention of his enigmatic, possibly murderous father, Charity has inadvertently placed herself center stage. She becomes enmeshed in the schemes of a gang of murderers. And now the killer, with blood enough on his hands, is waiting in the wings.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I'm trying to read through all of Mary Stewart's books and this was next on my list.

My Impression: This was definitely my favorite Mary Stewart book so far!  This is the first book on audio so I'm not sure how much the fantastic job narrator Emilia Fox did influenced me but I think this was just the strongest story I've read yet.  Charity Selborne is visiting France with a friend when you meets a young boy and gets involved in a tangle of lies and danger.

I did guess how it was going to play out (with a few exceptions) though that didn't keep me from being engaged with the story from beginning to end.  Charity is a likable main character who is competent and intelligent but not experienced with dangerous situations so she doesn't always do the right thing.  She's still coming to terms with the loss of her husband and is looking for peace and distraction as she tours Roman ruins in France.  I was caught up in the story and felt like I was holding my breath through the last few chapters as everything played out.

What kept this book from being a 5 star for me was the romance.  I can deal with some insta-love but this was so over the top and seemed ridiculous.   Other than that this was a interesting and suspenseful read and in my opinion one of Stewart's best.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Definitely!  I'm trying to decide what my next book by her will be.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you like atmospheric mysteries and can overlook some over the top insta-love then I think you'll enjoy this one just as much as I did!


  1. Nice review. I also wonder how much an audio experience helps me like a book.

  2. I know I read this book, but it's been so many years ago I honestly don't remember anything about it. Looks like I need to read it again. :D

  3. I looked and I've read nothing by her. I really need to fix that. Adding to my list!

  4. I do remember I read this years and I mean years ago and I enjoyed it. Probably being young and romantic the insta love didn't bother me!!!

  5. Hi Katherine! Oooooe this was one of my favorite Mary Stewart books! Yea!! So glad you also enjoyed it. I have made a note here now to check out a few of Emilia Fox's narrations. I will probably enjoy it as well.

    Elza Reads

  6. I don't think I've read this author. It sounds like a good mystery though.