Deck the Halls

Mary Higgins Clark, Author, Carol Higgins Clark, Joint Author Simon & Schuster $18 (202p) ISBN 978-0-7432-1200-7
On her own, each Clark has written reliably entertaining mystery/thrillers that occasionally exhibit storytelling magic. The authors' first collaborationDwhich also sees a collaboration by their respective publishers, as well as the teaming of two of their best-known sleuthsDis only middling, however, though it will please their many fans. Three days before Christmas, Luke Reilly, who owns a string of funeral homes, and his young female driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are kidnapped for ransom. Luke is the husband of Nora Regan Reilly, a bestselling mystery writer based somewhat on Mary Higgins Clark; both are parents to Regan Reilly, Carol Higgins Clark's series detective (Twanged, etc.). Regan gets on the case at once, but she doesn't make much headway until she pairs up with Alvirah Meegan, the cleaning woman who turned private eye after winning a $40-million lottery in Mary Higgins Clark's Weep No More My Lady. (Here, Regan and Alvirah make each other's acquaintance at a dentist's office.) Meanwhile, Luke and Rosita remain chained on a small boat offshore from New Jersey as their two bumbling kidnappers plan, execute and bobble a ransom run. The boat starts to sink. Will Luke and Rosita drown? There's probably not a reader alive who thinks they will, and it'll surprise no one when Regan and Alvirah trip over clues as big as Christmas trees to save the day. But if the novel generates little suspense, it does go down like roasted chestnuts, and fans will greatly enjoy the pairing of two favorite detectivesDand two popular writersDin a lightweight but amiably lighthearted Christmas ornament of a book. (Nov. 1)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
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