Rating: 3 of 5
A sweet holiday tale that may prove too predictable and lighthearted for hardcore fans of the thriller-mystery genre or Higgins Clark’s previous novels.
All of Alvirah’s deductive powers and Willy’s world-class common sense are called upon as the two stumble into a Christmas mystery. A woman abandons her newborn at a Manhattan church. Simultaneously, a thief is absconding with a treasured artifact, a chalice adorned with a star-shaped diamond. To elude police, he grabs the stroller and disappears. Seven years later, the mother returns to the scene and finds Alvirah and Willy helping neighborhood kids prepare for a Christmas pageant at an after-school shelter. Soon the savvy sleuths set out to solve the puzzle of the missing child and chalice — and to unmask scam artists threatening to shut down the shelter. (Source)
What I Liked Most
All Through the Night had a solid beginning and ending; there were questions for which I wanted answers. I’ll admit I even teared up a bit at the end. There was a positive vibe that warmed my heart which, as a Christmas story, it was probably meant to do.
What I Liked Least
During my teens I read several of Higgins Clark’s novels that I borrowed from my mom’s bookshelf. Those Higgins Clark novels were suspenseful, often involving a murder mystery, and usually featured a strong female lead.
All Through the Night lacked suspense and a strong mystery. It was too sugary for my taste. The mystery wasn’t really a mystery. The coincidences seemed way too thin to believe. And the connections Alvirah made in the story would, in the real world, have to be the result of psychic abilities, or some serious obsessing. I had to consciously suspend disbelief whenever Alvirah “solved” something because it was all just so darn easy. Sure, there was mild conflict but I didn’t believe anyone was in real danger; the overall tone felt like everything would work out fine for everyone anyway.
All Through the Night is a good selection for anyone, any age, who wants a quick and easy read filled with Christmas spirit. Remember, don’t expect anything thought-provoking or suspenseful, just light reading that’ll leave you with a serious case of the warm ‘n fuzzies.
Visit Mary Higgins Clark’s website for more about this and other books.
I picked this up to read for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2011.