Spurred on by Kerrie’s Suggest a Christmas Title meme I rescued The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol Higgins Clark from my TBR pile even though I’m a bit of a Scrooge around this time of year.
The book tells the tale of a tree that is selected to be the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Thirteen years prior to its selection the tree was the hiding place used by Packy Noonan to hide the diamonds he bought with the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme that stole money from hundreds of people and landed Packy in jail. On his release he makes his way to the site of the tree at the same time as locals and the media are gathering to watch the tree be cut down so it can be shipped from Vermont to New York. Newspaper columnist and amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan and her husband Willy and private investigator Regan Reilly and her fiance Jack are among the people staying in Vermont at the time and due to their friendship with one of Packy Noonan’s victims they become embroiled in the events.
This is a light-hearted tale that will suit people who enjoy a story jam-packed with Christmas images and a guaranteed happy ending. The plot stretches the bounds of believability in a few spots but overall it’s fun. Because the book brings together several key characters from both authors’ other books there’s too many people to be introduced to leave much scope for in-depth character development but if you like being able to spot the good guys from the bad ones and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing the bad guys will get their comeuppance in one way or another then this is the book for you. It’s also one of the few crime fiction books you’ll read that doesn’t feature anyone dying which is a bit of a relief for the holiday season.