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When ​Lucy Waring came to Corfu to visit her sister Phyllida Forli, she was elated to discover that the castello above their villa had been rented to Sir Julian Gale.

A very minor cog in the London theatre, Lucy not unnaturally felt something close to reverence for Sir Julian, one of the brilliant lights of England’s theatrical world. But any hope of meeting him was quickly dashed by Phyl, who indicated, with uncharacteristic vagueness, that not all was well with the great man and that his composer son, Max, discouraged visitors, particularly strangers . . .

Lucy encounted Max Gale the first morning of her arrival—and a tempestuous meeting it was. For Lucy had made friends with an enchanting dolphin by whom she had first been thoroughly frightened then completely captivated. It was when she was sunning on the rocks above the cove that the shots came, and the only person in view was Max Gale . . .

Thus begins a series of mystifying and thoroughly frightening events which tinge the otherwise sparkling setting of Corfu with the dark hues of violence. In every way This Rough Magic measures up to its predecessors—in spirited characterization, vivid description, glowing romance and unrelenting excitement. This is storytelling at its best.
—jacket William Morrow edition, 1964

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