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The Moonspinners    by Mary Stewart order for
by Mary Stewart
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2003

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* *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

While working at the British Embassy in Athens, young, beautiful Nicola Ferris makes plans to meet her cousin at the small, peaceful village of Agios Georgios in the verdant island of Crete for the Easter holidays. Arriving a day earlier than planned, Nicola takes an innocent hike in the hills. She is almost killed by a knife-wielding Greek and encounters, and aids, a badly wounded fellow Englishman.

With the killer relentlessly on their heels to finish what he started, both are in peril. Nicola is soon up to her neck trying to save Mark. In the process, she begins to lose her tender heart to her stoic countryman. But a determined Mark insists that Nicola return to the relative safety of Agios Georgios, while he continues his search for his missing brother. Reluctantly Nicola leaves, but back at the hotel, she discovers that she's jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Kidnapping, murder, sleuthing, skulking, cloak and dagger business this is turning out to be a holiday like none other. Is there a happy ending in sight?

Mary Stewart's story is descriptive, smoothly flowing and full of surprises. The author skillfully conveys the natural beauty of the Greek island of Crete in the context of ancient Greek legends - a strong and startling contrast to the danger and violence seething just below the idyllic surface. The suspense in the story is always perilous and edgy, while the growing romance between the central characters is subtle and very tender.

Editor's Note: The Moonspinners was made into a movie starring Hayley Mills in 1964. This current edition is a reissue, a little dated but still a wonderful read.

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