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Dashing Through the Snow Hardcover – November 18, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The festive fifth holiday mystery from the bestselling mother-daughter Clarks (after 2006s Santa Cruise) focuses on a wish-fulfillment theme many Americans dream about—winning a fortune in the lottery. As Christmas approaches, the folks of Branscombe, N.H., are celebrating their first Festival of Joy. Visiting from New York City are novelist Nora Regan Reilly and her PI daughter, Regan Reilly, and their close friends Alvirah and Will Meehan, who won $40 million in the lottery a few years earlier. When four employees of Conklins Market win $160 million using numbers supplied by their associate Duncan Graham, they decide to share their winnings with Duncan. Duncan, alas, has vanished. The Reillys and Meehans soon get on a trail of intrigue involving an abduction, thieves, con men and a second winning lottery ticket. Though the plotting and the characterization can be as thin as early winter ice, this trifle still rates a cheerful ho ho ho. (Nov. 18)
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From Booklist

In the fifth Christmas mystery by the real-life mother-daughter team (Mary and Carol), the fictional mother-daughter team (Nora and Regan) is on the way to Branscombe, New Hampshire, for an old-fashioned, small-town Christmas festival. With the carefully orchestrated festival only days away, the workers at Conklin’s market, which is set to cater the affair, are disgruntled by unfair treatment from Old Man Conklin’s newest wife, especially when she denies them their expected bonuses. But when four of the workers realize that they hold a winning lottery ticket worth $160 million, they gladly snub Conklin and his wife, leaving them shorthanded with the festivities approaching. The group is concerned, though, when a fifth worker, Duncan, who has been part of their lottery-buying co-op for years but had opted out this time, cannot be found, as they planned to share the winnings with him anyway. Duncan had been cutting back on “useless” expenses, based on the dubious advice of scam-artist “investors,” and now he finds himself holding secrets that put him in serious danger. The amiable cast of characters—from the townsfolk to the two bumbling crooks to Regan and Nora’s group of friends—gives this pleasant holiday diversion a light charm that would be welcome any time of the year. --Mary Frances Wilkens

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; 1st edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439129177
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439129173
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By D. Bell on November 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark have come up with another of their Christmas mysteries featuring Alvirah, former cleaning lady now lottery winner, her husband Willy, Nora Regan Reilly (MHC's alter ego, a mystery writer), her husband Luke, their daughter Regan, and her husband Jack (no relation) Reilly. As usual, it is a fast, fun read. There are the usual assortment of quirky characters, most of whom are good people. There are, however, a few who are not including The Skunk, wife of the local storekeeper. Of course there are a couple of bumbling criminals who really aren't evil when push comes to shove. But there are two others. . .

Set in a little town in New Hampshire, the short but sweet novel takes place during the first annual Festival of Joy, which the young mayor and his camera-happy wife hope will put their charming little town on the map.
A group of disgruntled employees of the local grocery, who have reason to be unhappy because the owner's wife has given them wedding pictures of herself and her husband instead of the monetary Christmas bonuses they were counting on, have won the powerball lottery. But another winning ticket was sold in the next town. Who has it? And where is it?

Add to that a lovestruck grocery clerk and his sweetheart, who has flown from California to surprise him but has gone missing, and you have a situation just made for Alvirah & Regan.

I enjoyed this book, and you will, too. Take it with you on your holiday flight--it should fill the time between airports. I look forward each year to the Clarks' Christmas novel and to Anne Perry's Christmas novel. They did not disappoint me.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Linda Holman VINE VOICE on November 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted a light, fun read to get me in the mood for the holidays..seems like they are coming so fast...and I was not disappointed by Mary H Clark and Carol H Clark's new book.

It has all my favorite characters...the darling and dashing team of Regan and Jack O'Reilly, sophisticated mom Nora and her stoic husband, Luke Reilly, and those lucky lottery winners, Alvirah and Willy Meehan, who haven't let winning all that money stop them from being such great people.

The book is 226 pages, and I didn't want it to end!

It has the usual good guys and bad guys and I love the quirks and devious plot revolving around people that have money, and those that want to take it from them!

If you are concerned that this book is a re-print, it is brand new and has not previously been published.

If you have enjoyed any of their previous books, you won't be disappointed. If you haven't read any of them, you can still read this book without knowing all the back stories and be entertained. Then you'll want to get all the rest!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Irene C. Veillette on January 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book was so predictable and probably the worst I've ever read by this author. I'm sorry i wasted my time reading it , but it was for my book club. Everyone there agreed with me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"At the sound of a car turning into the driveway, adrenaline shot through his body. It was too late to go back to the basement. With the swiftness of Peter Rabbit, he hopped across the kitchen, into the living room, and ducked behind a large, dilapidated chair." -- From the book

I have read several Christmas-themed books from mother-daughter writing team Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, but Dashing Through the Snow is by far the most engaging, delightful one of the all!

Dashing Through the Snow features a picturesque village in the midst of busy preparations for the first Festival of Joy, as well as likable characters and brisk plot.

From the group of local market employees who have won $180 million in the lottery (one of which who is a lovelorn, dependable worker who decided to NOT go in on the lottery this time!), to a surprising villian, there's a good dash of romance, a smattering of humor and a heaping dollop of suspense in this good-natured holiday book.

In stark contrast to the horrible Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea, Dashing Through the Snow keeps MHC's obnoxious amateur sleuth (and lottery winner herself) Alvirah Meehan at a minimum; in fact, even Regan and Jack Reilly aren't major characters, really.

No, the main characters in this particular book is the charming town of Branscombe, a young couple in love, several unscrupulous thieves and kidnappers, a mysterious gemstone ring set in the shape of a flower, and the good-hearted townspeople.

This book could have easily skidded into holiday schmaltz, but fortunately for fans of MHC (and Christmas in general!), the authors deftly guide the story into a satisfying holiday mystery. Well done, Mary and Carol!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lynn on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
You can read a synopsis of the plot in any other review here, but the bottom line for me was that this was an incredibly boring book . . . and I ordinarily LOVE Christmas-themed books! The plot was thin and very predictable. The characters were one-dimensional and not fleshed out by any means. Perhaps, if I'd read the other books in the series they would be a bit more so, but after reading this one, I'd never waste my time doing that! The dialog was trite and left me yawning. The "action" was inane.
My sweet daughter bought me this book for Christmas, so I felt obligated to finish it. She's only fourteen and, after reading the enire book, I honestly feel that it was a total waste of her hard-earned money and a total waste of my (too little) free time. If they'll take it, I plan on selling it to a used book store, and give the proceeds to my daughter.
Don't waste your time or money on this book, as there are many, many good ones out there!
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