Title: Deck the Halls
Authors: Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark
Simon & Schuster
Read for: Queen of Suspense Challenge
Three days before Christmas, Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels of Carol Higgins Clark, accidentally meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark’s famous lottery winner and amateur detective, at a New Jersey dentist’s office. That’s where it all begins.
While Regan’s mother, Nora, the famous mystery writer, is in the hospital with a broken leg, her husband, Luke, and his chauffeur, Rosita, are kidnapped and held for a million-dollar ransom. Together, Regan and Alvirah track the case as the inept yet dangerous kidnappers make their demands known. Meanwhile, Luke and Rosita are held captive on a houseboat on the Hudson River and a fierce winter storm is gathering force.
This short novel is very fast-paced. At only 202 pages, this book offers as much characterization as possible while still moving the plot forward. Fans of both Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark will probably like the combination of two of their characters.
I had not read many Mary Higgins Clark novels previously, but Alvirah comes across as a lovable do-it-yourselfer who specializes in mysteries. Carol Higgins Clark’s character, Regan, is a smart detective, and I was glad to see that not only was she tough enough to handle herself in harsh situations, she is not so tough that she is void of emotion.
The short novel is also a nice change of pace from the who-dun-it mysteries. We know who has kidnapped Regan’s father and his driver from the beginning, and it was fun watching the other characters try to find them.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Its quick pace and few pages make it a very fast read, and I recommend anyone looking for a quick mystery to pick this one up.
Originally posted 02 January 2011.