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The Christmas Thief    by Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark Amazon.com order for
Christmas Thief
by Mary Higgins Clark
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Packy Noonan was a scam artist. After bilking his clients out of millions of dollars and spending twelve and a half years in jail for the crime, Packy has set out with his cohorts to collect his ill-gotten gains from the place where he has hidden them from the authorities. He plans to retire on the beaches of Brazil after a quick facial reconstruction.

What Packy doesn't know is that the tree where he hid a flask of valuable uncut diamonds is to be cut down and transported to Manhattan, where it will become the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. What he also doesn't know is that amateur detective Alvirah and her husband Willy, professional detective Regan Reilley, and her fiancÚ Jack, along with her parents Nora and Jack, are all spending their vacation at the same place as the flask! Turbulence ensues and fun erupts. With ineptitude on the part of the criminals, and fancy reasoning and deep-seated instinct on the part of the vacationing party, an entertaining book evolves.

Mother/daughter team Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark have once again put their protagonists to work together. It's a short book, at 204 pages, not really long enough to develop characters. This may create confusion for readers who are not already fans of the Higgins Clarks, who could, in my humble opinion, have enlarged the scenario for an even better read. Nevertheless, The Christmas Thief is a good book to slide into the 2004 holiday season.

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