Mary Stewart’s Books

Mary Stewart died last year at the age of 94. She has long been a favorite of mine, so in her honor, I decided to revisit all of her romantic suspenses.

Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve re-read all of Mary Stewart’s books, in order of publication, but not including the Merlin stuff or her kids books. I even found one I hadn’t read before.  Needless to say, I’m still a fan.

Lady Mary (she never called herself that, but she could have and should have) had an amazing ability to evoke a location. Sights, sounds, smells, she brought it all in. I found myself going to Google Earth and hunting down her locations, though many of them are fictional. But it was so fun to zoom in on a Scottish coastline or try to find that Bavarian castle. Fictional though these places are, Lady Mary made them seem so REAL.

Her characters, too, are wonderfully developed. With a few swift brush strokes, I learned what I needed to know about a character to draw me into a story and then as I read on, layers were added with a sure touch.

Seriously, it’s like watching a master painter at work.

I get much of my love of reading and writing from Mary Stewart. I love her stories and want to write like her. It may not be fashionable to write the kind of books she did and publishers may not want to sell them, but I don’t care. There’s a lushness of setting and character in her work that sweeps me away into a wonderful tale. And isn’t this is all we ask for in a story?

• Madam, Will You Talk? (1954)
• Wildfire at Midnight (1956)
• Thunder on the Right (1957)
• Nine Coaches Waiting (1958)
• My Brother Michael (1959)
• The Ivy Tree (1961)
• The Moon-Spinners (1962)
• This Rough Magic (1964)
• Airs Above the Ground (1965)
• The Gabriel Hounds (1967)
• The Wind Off the Small Isles (1968)
• Touch Not the Cat (1976)
• Thornyhold (1988)
• Stormy Petrel (1991)
• Rose Cottage (1997)

Mary Stewart – 1916-2014