Dashing Through the Snow

Dashing Through the Snow

The latest Christmas mystery from 'Queen of Suspense' Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter Carol.

In Dashing Through the Snow, their fifth holiday suspense novel, bestselling writers- and real-life mother and daughter Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark once again serve up equal parts hilarity and suspense with an unforgettable Christmastime caper. This time the adventure unravels in a small town in snowy New Hampshire, where private eye Regan Reilly, star of Carol Higgins Clark's highly popular mystery series; her NYPD detective husband, Jack; Regan's parents, mystery writer Nora and funeral director Luke; and Mary Higgins Clark's irrepressible character, Alvirah Meehan- erstwhile cleaning woman turned lottery winner and amateur sleuth- converge for the first Festival of Joy.

Hoping to create an annual event that will bring in the tourist, the folks of Branscombe, New Hampshire, are staging a new holiday tradition. But with the Festival of Joy just a day away, things are anything but joyful for the employees of Conklin's Market. Accustomed to receiving a generous holiday bonus and counting on the money to make ends meet, the five key employees are shocked when the owner's controlling new wife, aka 'The Skunk,' substitutes a tacky framed wedding picture for cold hard cash. Their disgust is quickly replaced with glee, however, when, two hours later, four of the stiffed recipients learnt they have collectively won $180 million in the lottery.

The fifth disgruntled employee, Duncan, has always gone in with the gang on the joint lottery tickets and, in fact, it was his Powerball number that has won the group the jackpot. Yet this week, convinced of the futility of buying lottery tickets by his increasingly questionable financial advisors, Duncan decided not to throw in a dollar. Nonetheless, he coworker Glenda threw in the extra dollar in his stead used Duncan's number and so the group of devoted old friends decides the right thing to do is to cut Duncan in for one-fifth of the prize. The problem is they can't share their decision with Duncan, who has disappeared. And making a strange sequence of events even stranger: someone else has bought another winning lottery ticket not ten miles away from Branscombe. As suspicions grow the town begins to wonder, could it have been Duncan?

Alvirah Meehan, meanwhile, has had an accident and the doctors suggest she cancel her trip to New Hampshire where she planned to spend the weekend with her friends Regan and jack and Regan's parents. But when she hears about the extraordinary lottery win, nothing can keep her away. Arriving in Branscombe with her husband Willy, Alvirah is determined to offer her services as an expert on coping with a lottery windfall. In her wildest dreams, though, she couldn't have asked for a more intriguing mystery to solve, with the whole town in an uproar, trying to find Duncan and his now missing girlfriend, who has flown in from California to surprise him, and also speculating on the identity of the secret ticket holder.

With the combination of Jack's professional resources and the infallible investigative instincts of Alvirah, Regan and Nora, it is soon clear that everything about the little town of Branscombe is not benign. But will they get to the bottom of things in time to catch the crooks and save the Festival too? Blending characteristic wit and whimsy with their unrivalled talent for cooking up a cleaver and suspenseful plot, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark ladle out a hearty portion of Christmas cheer in Dashing Through the Snow.

Dashing Through the Snow
Simon and Schuster Australia
Authors: Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
ISBN: 9781439129173
Price: $29.95