Deck the Halls/The Christmas Thief: Two Holiday Novels

Overview

From beloved storytellers Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, two favorite suspense novels filled with holiday cheer.

Deck the Halls (first published in 2000) was the mother-daughter duo's first collaborative effort, a brilliant story of high-stakes intrigue and detection played out against a holiday setting. Christmas is only three days away when Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels ...

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Overview

From beloved storytellers Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, two favorite suspense novels filled with holiday cheer.

Deck the Halls (first published in 2000) was the mother-daughter duo's first collaborative effort, a brilliant story of high-stakes intrigue and detection played out against a holiday setting. Christmas is only three days away when Regan Reilly, the dynamic young sleuth featured in the novels of Carol Higgins Clark, accidentally meets Alvirah Meehan, Mary Higgins Clark's sharp-witted lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, at a New Jersey dentist's office. When a call comes through on Regan's cell phone notifying her that her father and his driver, Rosita Gonzalez, are being held for $1,000,000 ransom, Alvirah insists that Regan allow her to lend a hand in gaining their release. Complicating the situation is the fact that Regan's mother, the famous mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly, has just been hospitalized with a broken leg, and a brutal winter storm is bearing down on them all. Regan must comfort her mother while trying to meet the harsh demands of her father's kidnappers, who are not just rank amateurs but also laughably inept — making them all the more dangerous and unpredictable.

In The Christmas Thief (2004), Alvirah and Regan team up again to investigate another kind of kidnapping. When an eighty-foot blue spruce is chosen to spend the holidays as Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree, the folks who picked the tree have no idea that attached to one of its branches is a flask chock-full of priceless diamonds that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just released from prison, had hidden there over twelve years ago. When an excited Packy breaks his parole and heads to Stowe, Vermont, to reclaim his loot, he discovers that his special tree will be heading to New York City the next morning, so he and his bumbling crew have to act fast. Meanwhile Alvirah Meehan and Regan Reilly happen to be on a weekend trip to Stowe with their families when they learn that the tree — and Alvirah's friend Opal, who won the lottery, but lost all her winnings in Packy's scam — has gone missing.

With two novels filled with twists and turns, intrigue and danger, as well as a hearty dose of good cheer, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark offer stories that are as breathlessly suspenseful as they are heartwarming — Christmas classics for many holiday seasons to come.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439175675
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark’s books are worldwide bestsellers, with more than 100 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. Visit her on the web at MaryHigginsClark.com.

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of fourteen previous bestselling Regan Reilly mysteries. She is coauthor, along with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, of a bestselling holiday mystery series. Also an actress, Carol Higgins Clark studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and has recorded several of her mother's works as well as her own novels. She received AudioFile's Earphones Award of Excellence for her reading of Jinxed. She lives in New York City.

Her website is www.carolhigginsclark.com.

Biography

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    hese are reprints of entertaining lighthearted mystery collaborations of Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.

    Deck the Halls. California private detective Regan Reilley flies home to New Jersey to spend the holidays with her parents. Regan visits her mother, Nora a patient at the Manhattan Hospital for Special Surgery for a leg she broke tripping over a rug. At her mother's room, Regan also sees her father Luke, a funeral home owner, who quickly races off to attend the Goodloe funeral before going onto a dentist. However, Luke never makes his appointments as Petey the Painter and C.B. Dingle kidnap him for providing terrible financial advice. C.B. demands Nora send them one million dollars for the safe return of her spouse and his driver. Regan searches for her abducted father starting at the dentist's office where she meets local amateur detective Alvirah Meehan, who offers her help. --------------

    The Christmas Thief. Con artist Packy Noonan talked people into investing over 100 million in his phony shipping company, but though his confederates escaped Packy went to jail. After serving twelve years he heads to Stowe, Vermont to get the diamonds that are hidden in an eighty foot blue spruce tree belonging to his former employees Lenny and Viddy. He doesn't know the tree is heading to Rockefeller Center. Others head to Stowe like Alviah Meshim and Megan Reilly with a convergence about to occur.---------

    These are reprints of entertaining lighthearted mystery collaborations of Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Each entry is fun as stars from the mother daughter authors' solo books team up for the holidays. Although the underlying premises for the action are stretches, no one will care these are enjoyable Christmas suspense thrillers.---------------------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

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