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Deck The Halls    by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark order for
Deck The Halls
by Mary Higgins Clark
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Deck The Halls, a first time collaboration by well known mother and daughter mystery writers Mary and Carol Higgins Clark, is a fun read. It's also an appropriate one to pick up when taking a break from wrapping Christmas presents.

In it, Mary Higgins Clark's amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan meets Carol Higgins Clark's professional sleuth Regan Reilly to form a delightful team of crime busters. Nora Reilly, famous author and Regan's mother, breaks her leg just before a planned Christmas trip. While she recuperates in the hospital, her husband and Regan's father, Luke, is kidnapped, along with his chauffeur Rosita Gonzalez, by as inept a pair of amateur criminals to grace the pages of a book for quite some time.

All sorts of laugh aloud humor follows. An unlikely pair of kidnappers bumble through their plan. One talks so much, the reader wants to tell him to 'Shut up.' The decrepit houseboat where Luke and Rosita are held is on the verge of sinking. The ransom drop scene is pure delight. The plot is tight and wistfully believable. The mother and daughter authors prove that collaborations do work, with the bonus of an interesting interview in the back of the book.

While this story takes place during preparations for Christmas, the holiday theme really doesn't figure heavily into the plot, and the story could have taken place in almost any month of winter - which was a little disappointing, considering the title. Personally, I would have enjoyed more emphasis on the big day. However the two women do write well together and turn out a graceful and fun book.

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