Deck the Halls and The Christmas Thief brings us the first collaboration by well-known authors Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol Higgins Clark. The two books combined in this holiday suspense volume bring holiday cheer to Higgins Clark fans around the globe.
Deck the Halls was first published in 2000 and was the duo’s first joint effort, and brought together Carol Higgins Clark’s young sleuth Regan Reilly and Mary Higgins Clark’s Alvirah Meehan. Regan is a private investigator based in Southern California. Alvirah and her husband retired after Alvirah won big in the lottery. Since then she has become somewhat of an amateur sleuth.
The two meet in dentist’s office and join forces when Regan’s father, Luke Reilly, and Chauffeur, Rosita Gonzalez are kidnapped and held for $1,000,000 ransom.
While Regan’s mother, the popular mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly recuperates in the hospital from a broken leg, and a winter storm threatens to plummet the area, Regan and Alvirah must contend with the bumbling, but dangerous, kidnappers. How the two are able to meet the strident demands of the kidnappers provides another great mystery from these prolific writers.
The Christmas Thief was first published in 2004. The dynamic duo of Regan and Alvirah again team up for another kidnapping. This time an eighty-foot blue spruce chosen for the Rockefeller Center in New York comes up missing when it is time for the ceremonial cutting down and hauling to the Big Apple for the Christmas holiday. Our sleuths and their families are gathering in Stowe, Vermont for a weekend of skiing and socializing.
In the meantime, Packy Noonan, newly released from a 12-year stint in a Federal Prison, also heads to Stowe hoping to retrieve the missing 80 million hidden before he was captured. He then plans to join his two accomplices in beautiful Brazil where they are living the high life. As usual for Packy, nothing goes the way he planned.
The fun of this novel lies in the trouble Packy gets into because he does not think through the consequences of his actions. Add a jealous and cranky neighbor and an angry visitor caught in Packy’s investment fraud, and the result is a wonderful mix of action and fun.
Having both stories in one novel is a wonderful gift for any Christmas holiday. Fans of the authors will enjoy the back-to-back stories. I hope that the authors will continue to provide an annual holiday offering of similar wonderful suspense novels.