The Christmas Thief: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – Oct 26 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Mother and daughter Clark, each a bestseller in her own right, have produced a singularly slight and unmemorable tale with their third holiday suspense novel (after 2001's He Sees You When You're Sleeping). This time the villainy centers on an 80-foot Vermont spruce earmarked for the traditional Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Unbeknownst to the tree's owners, its branches contain millions of dollars' worth of diamonds, secreted there more than a decade earlier by con man Packy Noonan to conceal the proceeds of an investment scam. One of the scam's victims happens to be vacationing near the site of the planned tree-cutting, along with Alvirah and Willy Meehan, who successfully resolved a kidnapping in their previous caper. When Packy is finally paroled, he heads straight for the treasure, enmeshing him, his confederates, the Meehans and a bevy of other characters in vandalism, abduction and other crimes. Unfortunately, there's no mystery concerning who's doing what or why and little sense of menace or suspense. Classic mystery fans may be amused by the contemporary take on Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons," but many readers, including those devoted to the Clarks' solo efforts, will be disappointed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Mary Higgins Clark's books are world-wide bestsellers. In the U.S. alone, her books have sold over one hundred million copies.
She is the author of twenty-nine previous suspense novels. Her first book, a biographical novel about George Washington, was re-issued with the title, Mount Vernon Love Story, in June 2002. Her memoir, Kitchen Privileges, was published by Simon & Schuster in November 2002. Her first children's book, Ghost Ship, illustrated by Wendell Minor, was published in April 2007 as a Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
She is co-author, with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, of five holiday suspense novels Deck the Halls (2000), He Sees You When You're Sleeping (2001), The Christmas Thief (2004), Santa Cruise (2006), and Dashing through the Snow (2008).
Mary Higgins Clark was chosen by Mystery Writers of America as Grand Master of the 2000 Edgar Awards. An annual Mary Higgins Clark Award sponsored by Simon & Schuster, to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, was launched by Mystery Writers of America during Edgars week in April 2001. She was the 1987 president of Mystery Writers of America and, for many years, served on their Board of Directors. In May 1988, she was Chairman of the International Crime Congress.
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.See all Product Description
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a short book, which isn't bad for an evening if there are no good programs on television or a brief car trip. I was not happy that we didn't see much of the Meehans or the Reillys.
Opal is a sympathetic character, as is Milo, the "poet" who helped Packy and his gang but didn't know he was doing anything illegal. Packy is rather nasty, so it's good to see him get his comeuppance. And the tree's owners are too obsessive about the tree and its fate. That just doesn't ring true.
I'm not sorry I bought the book, and the Amazon price was right, but it's nothing that will stick with me over the long run.
I must admit I've always been a bit disappointed when Mary Higgins Clark's latest book is just short stories or is an Alvirah and Willy story. I'm always hoping for a new heavy duty full-length suspense novel that will worry me and keep me awake until I finish it.
Much as I wish I could give these very competent authors five stars, the story just isn't meaty enough for that. Go ahead and give it a read, but don't get your expectations up. Turn on the Christmas tree lights, get a cup of cocoa and zip through its 204 pages.