When Kate Herrick's grandmother asks her to travel down from Scotland to her childhood home in Todhall to retrieve some papers and family mementoes before Rose Cottage is sold, Kate is happy enough to go, but curious as to the changes she may find there. Widowed in the recent war - this is the summer of 1947 - and comfortably settled now in London ...
When Kate Herrick's grandmother asks her to travel down from Scotland to her childhood home in Todhall to retrieve some papers and family mementoes before Rose Cottage is sold, Kate is happy enough to go, but curious as to the changes she may find there. Widowed in the recent war - this is the summer of 1947 - and comfortably settled now in London, she is in some doubt as to how the village will receive her. Rose Cottage - a tiny thatched dwelling with fragrant roses in the garden - is unchanged, and the villagers seem friendly. But there is evidence of a break-in at the cottage, and then her nearest neighbours, three elderly ladies from what the villagers call 'Witches' Corner', come with tales of night-time prowlers in the cottage garden, and even ghosts. In the process of solving the mystery, Kate finds romance.
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This book was great from finish to end. It did not end at all the way I expected, which is always a pleasure.
Jan 13, 2012
Love Mary Stewart!
Mary Stewart stories are excellent mysteries written in the 1960's. A little bit gothic romance but mostly mystery. I loved her books as a girl and am collecting them to read again.
Oct 14, 2010
Classic Reading, Classic Author
This tale of a woman settling into a small English community is classic Mary Stewart. I borrowed this so many times from the library, I decided I needed my own hardcover copy.
Jul 24, 2008
Marvelous Mary Stewart reading -- takes you to a world -gone-by -- a life of sensing the beauty around us (and the mystery). I recommend ALL of her books --------- for a pleasant "escape" from the mundane, humdrum,war-weary world we are forced to live in.
Sep 21, 2007
Couldn't get into this book. Didn't hold my attention until the last 1/4. FORCED myself to keep reading hoping that it would get better. If you want a sleeper, this is it.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-08-18 In an old-fashioned romantic tale, veteran novelist Stewart (My Brother Michael, etc.) paints a nostalgic portrait of a dying way of life in rural post-WWII Britain. Young Kate Herrick, a newly wealthy war widow, is sent by her grandmother to retrieve some furniture and family heirlooms from Todhall, where the older woman was cook to the titled Brandon family. Kate, or Kathy (as everyone in Todhall village calls her), was born out of wedlock and raised by her grandmother after her mother "ran away with the gypsies." Kathy never knew who her father wasæit may have been a gypsy or even Sir Brandon. The mystery may be untangled by papers left in the safe her grandmother has instructed her to empty; when Kathy manages to crack the safe, however, with the aid of good-looking young carpenter Davey Pascoe, it's empty. Then the local mystic claims to have seen Kathy's mother and a gypsy in the cemetery standing over her grandfather's grave. The harassing question of Kathy's parentage, the plundered safe, her class status (Kathy Welland or Kate Herrick? London widow or Todhall cottager?) and her perhaps forever-broken heart, are all resolved in one long night of tea and buttered toast, during which half the village seems to crowd into the tiny cottage kitchen. Stewart writes a bit like the old milk pony, Rosy, who knows her route by heart. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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