Thursday 1 December 2022

Deck the Halls

Finished November 21
Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

This mystery is set around a popular New York City based mystery writer and her family. Nora Reilly had planned to spend the holiday season with her husband Luke and daughter Regan in Hawaii. Unfortunately she tripped on a rug and broke her leg and now the family is spending Christmas in New York. Regan has flown in from her home in Los Angeles. Luke has a few plans, from putting in an appearance at a funeral taking place at the funeral home he runs with a partner to a dentist appointment before returning to the hospital later that day and then going out for a bit with Regan.
When calls go her dad go unanswered, and he doesn't show at the dentist, Regan knows something is wrong. At the dentist she runs into amateur detective Alvirah Meehan whose husband had an emergency dental visit just before Luke's scheduled appointment. Alvirah gives Regan a ride back to her parents' house and is there when a call comes in demanding a ransom be paid for Luke's release.
When Luke exited the hospital earlier, he and his driver were surprised by a former contractor with a gun. The contractor has teamed up with a disgruntled relative of a recently deceased business acquaintance of Luke's and the two have multiple grievances against both Luke and his young single mother driver Rosita Gonzalez. 
Gonzalez is worried about the inexperienced babysitter she had left her two young boys with and Luke is thinking of ways to provide information to his daughter that may help her find him.
Regan works as a private detective back in L.A. and with Alvirah's help and contacts quickly gets high-level support from the police. 
The ineptitude of the kidnappers provides both comic relief and tenseness as they seem to be ill-prepared for any changes to their plans. 
This is a light seasonal mystery book that provided me with a quick and enjoyable escape read. There is even a touch of romance. 

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