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The original queen of the page-turner Mary Stewart leads her readers on a thrilling journey through a dangerous and deadly Provence in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.

‘Mary Stewart is magic’ New York Times

One of the great British storytellers of the 20th centuryIndependent

‘The terrible thirsty heat of the Provençal summer, the noise of the cicadas, the dust of the country buses . . . an excellent tale of mysteryThe Times

It sounds idyllic: a leisurely drive through the sun-drenched landscape of Provence. But Charity’s dream holiday turns into a nightmare when she becomes embroiled in a sinister plot to kidnap a young boy. She soon finds herself in a deadly pursuit and must uncover who to trust . . . and who to fall for.

Whenever I look back now on the strange and terrifying events of that holiday in Southern France, I remember the minutes I spent gazing at the golden arches of the Roman aqueduct over the Gardon… the last brief lull before the thunder.


‘A comfortable chair and a Mary Stewart: total heaven. I’d rather read her than most other authors.’ Harriet Evans

‘She built the bridge between classic literature and modern popular fiction. She did it first and she did it best.’ Herald