Why do I love Mary’s writing? Let me count the ways:

“Sometimes, when you’re deep in the countryside, you meet three girls, walking along the hill tracks in the dusk, spinning. They each have a spindle, and on to these they are spinning their wool, milk-white, like the moonlight. In fact, it is the moonlight, the moon itself, which is why they don’t carry a distaff. They’re not Fates, or anything terrible; they don’t affect the lives of men; all they have to do is to see that the world gets its hours of darkness, and they do this by spinning the moon down out of the sky. Night after night, you can see the moon getting less and less, the ball of light waning, while it grown on the spindles of the maidens. Then, at length, the moon is gone, and the world has darkness, and rest…..

…on the darkest night, the maidens take their spindles down to the sea, to wash their wool. And the wool slips from the spindles into the water, and unravels in long ripples of light from the shore to the horizon, and there is the moon again, rising above the sea….Only when all the wool is washed, and wound again into a white ball in the sky, can the moon-spinners start their work once more….”

Wow. Can this woman write or what? Nicola Ferris takes a vacation from her job at the British Embassy in Athens and plans on meeting her cousin Frances in a small village on the island of Crete. Arriving a day early, she decides to traipse through the White Mountains and in true Stewart fashion soon finds herself in the thick of danger, mystery and of course a hero in need of feminine assistance. Mark Langley and his younger brother Colin had been attacked after witnessing a crime, Mark was wounded and they assume Colin is murdered or been taken hostage. Nicola spends a night tending to Mark as Lambis goes for supplies and she is then forcefully sent on her way to forget what she’s seen and continue her holiday. But of course it’s not quite as simple as that and once settled into her hotel she recognizes Mark’s attackers from the description he gave her and the adventure begins.

And that’s all I’m going to tell. What follows is a darn-near unputdownable tale of mystery, cat-and-mouse intrigues and unexpected plot turns all leading up to one incredible nail-biting finish (I must get hold of the film now). I really enjoyed the characters of Nicola and Mark, they had just the right spark and spunkiness to play off of each other and add a perfect light-heartedness to the story (lol, his comments at the end where she had to wear his brother’s slightly too tight pants), and I loved the way she can set up her scenes – everything on the island literally came alive for me from the tiniest flower, to the windmills, the mountains as well as those treacherous rocks alongside the bay. She made me want to jump on a plane and see it all for myself. Don’t miss this one – I’m now off to get my hands on the movie.

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