STORMSWIFT by Madeleine Brent
Kirkus Star


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Brent, the Phyllis Whitney of 19th-century British romantic suspense, again takes an iron-nerved heroine through harrowing adventures and a shuffling of borrowed identities--encountering, along the way, some engaging people who are not exactly what they seem. In 1879 Sir George and Lady Lawley perish in an Afghan massacre at the British garrison at Kabul; their daughter Jemimah is captured, sold to a Kafiristan king, discarded--and now she's the slave of elderly Sandru, a Franco/Greek doctor, once a medical officer in the British Army. But, when Sandru learns that Jemimah is to be a gift to a chieftain known as Akbah the Mad, he engineers her escape: a 500-mile trek with a cold, ruthless Afghani named Kassim. . . who turns out to be, in truth, an English spy named Caspar! And, after saving Caspar's life, Jemimah reaches England at last--all set to claim her estate of Witchwood Hall in the village of Oakhurst. But what's this? Ensconced in Witchwood is a stranger who says she's Jemimah; indeed, our Jemimah is branded an impostor by cousin James, the local doctor, even the vicar. So, when ""Lord"" Henry Boot and good-natured gypsy girl Paloma pass through town with their rickety Punch and Judy show, Jemimah joins up for some jolly vagabonding--and a highly unskilled fling at puppeteering. Then, after a spate of luxury, Jemimah finds herself the companion to lovely, mysterious Anne Galliard of Whitchurch. And eventually all of these strands lead back to the enigmatic spy Caspar--whose now-declared love for Jemimah seems doomed until after an old mystery is exorcised. . . with another expedition to Kafiristan. Filled out with jaunty comic relief, endearing supporting players, and the narrative verve of a plucky heroine: another generous serving of sheer escapism from the author of A Heritage of Shadows, Moonraker's Bride, and several others.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Doubleday