In Wildfire At Midnight, Mary Stewart created a page-turning mystery novel and threw in a reunited romance for good measure.
The cast of characters include Gianetta a fashion model who is divorced from Nicholas because of his wandering eye, a lesbian couple, a movie star and a madman. The madman is not divulged until almost the end of the story, which gives the reader much time to contemplate the motives and opportunities of the other guests at Big Skye, an out-of-the-way retreat.
The characters are well-written so that the reader feels that they know them. The plot is excellent and goes whizzing - or crawling - by as the story demands. The settings are so acutely described that the reader feels as if they can see the beauty and danger of the Scottish land.
Despite being written in the 1950s, the plot and character sketches are as prescient today as they were then. The only slightly telltale sign of the age of the story is Gianetta’s mother’s refusal to recognize her daughter’s divorce.
The method of the male and female love interests recognizing their love for each other and getting back together is skillfully inventive. All in all Wildfire At Midnight can only be considered a well-written contemporary novel.