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All Through the Night (Holiday Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fans of Mary Higgins Clark and cozy mysteries will relish this Christmas confection. Unlike her previous holiday novel, Silent Night, All Through the Night is virtually free of life-and-death crime. Rather, it is a Dickensian tale of good deeds rewarded and crimes punished.

The wintry story begins on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with 18-year-old Sondra Lewis, an aspiring violinist, tearfully leaving her baby on the steps of St. Clement's Church. Unbeknownst to her, Lenny Centino is robbing that same church on the same night, with his attention particularly on the Church's diamond inlaid chalice. He finds a buggy outside the church and uses it for cover as he flees. Only later does he realize that his take for the night includes the infant Stellina (Italian for star). The narrative then abruptly moves ahead seven years. Clark's lottery-winning protagonists, Alvirah and her husband Willy (introduced in Weep No More, My Lady) return for some amateur sleuthing. Sister Cordelia's thrift shop doubles as an after-school recreation place for neighborhood children (including a shy little girl named Star), but the building has been condemned. Bessie Maher had vowed she was leaving the house to the nun and her children. Now that she is gone, the will indicates that the tenants of the house, Vic and Linda Baker, are the true heirs. As December rushes on towards Christmas, Alvirah struggles to put things right before the children are left in the cold.

Like the best holiday stories, All Through the Night steers toward sentimentality, but it veers back on course with narrative wit and Alvirah's charm. Clark's prose is lean and her plotting is brisk. This is a mystery that would be a pleasure to share aloud with a family gathered at the fireplace for some holiday cheer. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Following Silent Night (S. & S., 1995), Clark's second holiday tale of suspense and sentiment opens with a young unmarried woman leaving her newborn baby on the steps of a church on Manhattan's Upper West Side. At the same time, a young man steals the church's precious chalice. Both the child and the chalice then disappear, and it's up to Alvirah, Clark's lottery winner turned sleuth, and husband Willy to solve the mystery.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Holiday Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Second Edition edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671027123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671027124
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If I were to define myself in one sentence, I would say, "I'm a nice Irish Catholic girl from the Bronx."

I was a Christmas Eve baby all those years ago, the second of the three children of Nora and Luke Higgins. Mother was pushing forty when they married and my father was forty-two. My older brother was named Joseph. Nineteen months later I, Mary, was born. Three and a half years later, my little brother, John, came along.

We lived in a very nice section of the Bronx on a street off Pelham Parkway. I loved our house. I still love it. After my father died, when I was eleven, my mother had to sell it.

I went to Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School. Two years ago I went back and was Principal for a Day. Escorted by two of the tiniest children, I was led into the auditorium while the whole student body sang "Hello Mary. You're back where you belong." I still tear up thinking about it.

I was awarded a scholarship to Villa Maria Academy which is in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, otherwise I couldn't have afforded to set foot in it.

I went to Woods Secretarial School and at eighteen had my first full-time job as Secretary to the creative director of Remington Rand's in-house advertising agency. If I were making that choice now I would have gone to college even though God knows we needed the income. On the other hand the three years I spent in Remington Rand was a tutorial in advertising which served me well when I was widowed with five small children. Another plus was that I left Remington to be a flight stewardess with Pan American Airways and when my contemporaries were seniors in college, I was flying to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Warren Clark and I were married on December 26, 1949 and had five children in the next eight years; Marilyn, Warren, David, Carol and Patricia. Warren died of a heart attack in 1964. The highest compliment I can pay my kids are that they are like him.

I sold my first short story when I was twenty-eight. It was alled 'Stowaway'. It had been rejected forty times before a magazine in Chicago bought it for one hundred dollars.

My first book was about George Washington. It was published in 1969 and disappeared without a trace. Three years ago Simon and Schuster co-published it with the Mount Vernon Historical Society and retitled 'Mount Vernon Love Story', it became a bestseller.

My first suspense novel 'Where Are the Children' was bought in 1974 for three thousand dollars by Simon and Schuster. Thirty-three books later, I'm still with S&S.

Time to wind up - at least for the present. As soon as I sold 'Children' I enrolled in Fordham College. Went there for five years at night and earned a B.A. in Philosophy. Summa cum laude, if you please.

I never thought I'd marry again but ten years ago I threw a cocktail party on St. Patrick's day. My daughter, Pat, urged me to invite John Conheeney. Her opening words about him were, "Have I got a hunk for you!" He came to the party and we were married eight months later.

I'm Honorary Chairman of FraXa Research. My grandson, David, has the Fragile X syndrome, which is the second leading cause of retardation after Downs Syndrome. Basically the brain of the people who have it can't send out the proper signals because there's a kind of short circuit in the synapses that carry the signals. We raise money for research with the goal of finding a medication that will work around that short circuit. I go all over the country to the fund-raisers as new chapters of FraXa are opened.

I'm always asked to name my favorite book. They're ALL my favorites. If there is one book that is very special to me, it is my memoir 'Kitchen Privileges' because writing it made me relive my early life including those first struggles to become a writer. I think 'Kitchen Privileges' is both tender and funny and it's me.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice on November 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"All through the Night" is a nice Christmas story with a happy ending. It is easy to read and entertaining. If you like Alvirah and Willy, go for it. If you prefer murder and breathtaking suspense, read one of Mary Higgins Clark's earlier novels.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Traci Bell on November 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you are looking for guts, gore and grit, look elsewhere. This is a mystery without a dead body. It pulls at the heart strings, and brings back my favourite Clark characters, Willy and Alvirah, who I can't get enough of. This is one of the fastest reads I have experienced, but it was heart-warming and perfect for the holiday season
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Ramos VINE VOICE on November 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic read. Short, but one of her best. Two sub-plots that do not hinder the other, tied together by a little girl named Star. The whole setting is easy to believe, so you can easily let yourself flow with the story. And it does flow; you will not wish to put it down. There are a couple things that are just too convient. But I guess you would need a much longer book to fit everything in. A good read for Christmas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura McKenney on February 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Alvirah and Willy make a great team, and since I am Catholic, I enjoy anything when somebody is trying to help the Catholic church. I was so angry when the theft was committed! No one should steal anything sacred from a church!
This book is best read at Christmas time. I know that next Christmas, I am very likely to read them again!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "skinnythangg15" on June 5, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All Through the Night
Mary Higgins Clark
Rebekah Sexton
Of the twelve Mary Higgins Clarks books I've had the privilege of reading, I've found All Through the Night to be among her best. Mary Higgins Clark ingeniously intertwines two plots through one little girl. Sondra's musical career and life hold a promising future for her as her dreams are slowly unfolding, until she becomes pregnant by mistake. She finds herself in a situation she doesn't know how to solve and determines that the only solution to her problem is to leave her newborn girl on the doorstep of a church in New York City. When Sondra returns seven years later in search of her daughter, she tragically finds that her daughter was never found and that the same night she left her, there was a burglary at the church. Left heartbroken, Sondra is left with questions that cannot be answered.
When Kate tragically discovers that her recently deceased sister, Bessie, left the will for her house to go to a couple she wasn't fond of, she becomes tragically aware of her sister's deceitfulness, something her friends were also unaware of. Positive that the will must be fraud, Alvirah, a close friend to Kate and Bessie, sets out to prove that the will is a fraud and that the Bakers are con artists. As Alvirah unfolds the mysteries of the events that happened the night that Sondra left her daughter at the church and of Bessie's will, the story unfolds plots and mysteries that leads one on a ride full of twists and surprises. Clark has once again outdone herself in All Through the Night.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mary Higgins Clark can't need the money. I thought the Lottery Winner was awful. Then she wrote The Christmas Box and I thought "Yikes, what drivel!. This NEW Holiday book is FAR and away her worst book and that is a distinction in of itself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of Mary Higgins Clark and I look forward to each novel she writes. I was very disappointed this time. We knew what was happening from the beginning not her usual twisting plot, page turning, keep you up all night suspense novel. I love Willie and Elvirah but it's time for something new. Are we getting lazy since the marriage??
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Siri on November 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for a murder, dead body, guts spilling type of mystery, look somewhere else, this is more a fairy tale happening in New York city type of mystery. Includes an abandoned baby, a building and a will, a criminal, and the one who raised the baby. Also a priest, some nuns, and the biological mother of the baby among others.
It is charming and an easy to read novel. No true suspense, but more of a hope it all ends well type of book. You are left to wonder how can there be people like that; stealing a baby, wanting to use the little girl for money/drug dealings, a couple doing everything in their power to take a house away from a nun-run day care center, etc. Also there is the mystery of the missing chalice! But then you realize that we all have angels, and the only way that you can explain that this book has a nice ending is because of them.
There are books which you think you will want to read again, this is not one of them.
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