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The Christmas Thief (Regan Reilly Mystery)

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  3,380 ratings  ·  214 reviews
Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark, have again joined forces to create a suspenseful and humorous holiday tale. The folks who picked a beautiful eighty-foot blue spruce from Stowe, Vermont, to be Rockefeller Center's famous Christmas tree don't have a clue that Packy Noonan, a scam artist just r...more
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2004)
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Adrianna
Feb 03, 2010 Adrianna rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick and easy read (good for a pool or beach read).
Recommended to Adrianna by: Eureka, CA Library
Shelves: mystery, christmas
This was a simple, quick read. It took me a couple of hours, and I was able to finish it in one sitting. The story and plot was not complex, which was a bit disappointing. When you pick up a mystery novel, you want to spend time figuring out the clues and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. There were no mysterious details for the reader to discover. The thief was known from the start of the novel. Packy, the villain, was easy to dislike as well as the next door neighbor, Wayne. Overall,...more
Jackie
I was in the mood for a non-traditional Christmas book and picked this up to read. It was alright. The writing style seemed a bit stale; there was very little, if any, character development; and it was fairly predictable. I'm not a fan of Mary Higgins Clark (or Carol Higgins Clark), but thought I'd give their books another try. Plus, I wasn't much in the mood for anything thought-provoking or mind-intriguing, so the book fit my mind frame at the time I suppose.
Heidi
Predictable, but still liked it. Not one of my favorites of Mary Higgins Clark's, though still worth reading. I like her early books better. If you like the dumb criminal types, rather than the scary criminal types, (although, I don't know how realistic that really is) then read this one!
Loraine
This was a quick, easy to read, cozy mystery. It wasn't as detailed or had the depth that most Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark books have, but still enjoyed it.
JenniferJ
Alvirah Meehan always makes for a good story and this one was no dissapointment! She always gets her man!
Vanessa Kay Concon
My Mom and I saw this book at a bargain shop one day and decided to buy it for my mom is also a huge fan of MHC. Like mother like daughter eh. The story isn’t that bad, I still find myself enjoying the book for a fair few minutes. I don’t like it but I don’t hate it either. I lost count already on how many times I dislike MHC’s holiday books, and I don’t know why I can’t relate and be interested in this story like how I used to love her suspense/thriller books. I know I should stop reading story...more
Kara Jorges
The annual Christmas collaboration of the Higgins Clarks is just like their others; a lighthearted romp starring PI Regan Reilly and her family, plus a few other wacky characters. The story begins when swindler Packy Noonan gets out of jail, plotting to recover a flask of diamonds he has hidden in a tree. Packy’s accomplices, the Como twins, Benny and JoJo, could have starred as the crooks in the Home Alone movies. At the same time, everyone in Vermont is all aflutter over a local tree being cho...more
Kari Anderson


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And once the workers from Rockefeller Center cut down a beautiful blue spruce in Stowe, Vermont, it will also look like Christmas.

But when the crews go to cut the tree down, it’s gone and so is their flatbed truck.

As luck would have it, Alvirah Meehan, a former cleaning lady turned lottery millionaire and amateur sleuth, and her husband joins friends that include Regan Reilly, a private detective and her family for a weekend in Stowe. Alvirah’s frien...more
Elizabeth Rodriguez
1. Packy Coogan Noonan along with his accomplices Jo-Jo, Benny,and Milo. Are all after the $80 Million worth of diamonds inside a flask in the branch of a tree that Packy hid 12yrs ago before going into prison. The tree owned by lottery winner Alvirah Meehan had been scammed by Packy along with other friends of hers. The tree now on it's way to New York city to be displayed they have discovered the diamonds inside. Pack finally catches up with them keeping them hostage to retrieve his diamonds w...more
Elizabeth Noah Astle
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Sue
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Doris
Aug 30, 2013 Doris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Doris by: librarian
Shelves: cozies
This was a poorly edited story - so poorly edited that I actually took notes on the errors, not all of which I will list here. However, I will note that the most egregious and aggravating mistake was the lack of connector words between phrases. Example: “criminal who lives next store”

Completely unprovoked subject changes, just to introduce the “sleuths” to the character
Author appears hung up on “the Sound of Music” – has JoJo quote from it after he earlier confessed he didn’t know it

I can’t see...more
Mikka Gottstein
Pro:
Das ist mal ein Cover, bei dem es mich überhaupt nicht stört, dass es wenig bis nichts mit dem Inhalt zu tun hat - einfach deswegen, weil es so niedlich ist! Und zumindest sieht man direkt, dass es sich um ein Weihnachtsbuch handelt...
Allerdings ist es keine weihnachtlich-rührselige Geschichte, sondern ein unterhaltsamer Krimi mit überraschend trockenem Humor, skurillen Einfällen und schrulligen Charakteren! Ich habe oft schmunzeln oder sogar lachen müssen. Es ist kein Thriller, sondern eher...more
Becky
Stowe, Vermont is the place where the tree for the Rockefeller Center is to be cut down. A tree that Maria Van Trapp herself, stood next to a long time ago. Packy Noonan is just released from prison for a scam where he stool millions from unsuspecting people. One named Opal, who lost all her lottery winnings to. Packy stashed a flask with millions of dollars worth of diamonds in a branch of the same tree before he was incarcerated and is on his way to retrieve those diamonds. When he hears this...more
Lauren
The Christmas Thief follows Alvirah Meehan, a lottery-winning millionaire-turned-mystery-solver, as she and her husband, Willy, take a Christmas vacation in snowy Vermont. Joining them is Regan Reilly, private detective, her fiancée Jack, and her parents, including her mystery-writing mother. Also joining Alvirah is her friend Opal, a fellow lottery-winner who invested all her money with scam artist Packy Noonan and is now penniless once again. Little does the party know, Packy Noonan has just b...more
Ann
Con man Packy Noonan has been sitting in prison for 13 years. Before his incarceration, he took the precaution of hiding the cache of diamonds he'd purchased with the millions he'd swindled from gullible investors, and he has plans to retrieve the diamonds and hightail it to Brazil.

Unfortunately for Packy, the tree where he'd hidden his stash has been selected to grace Rockerfeller Center, and is about to be cermoniously cut down and reomved from its current location near the Von Trapp family lo...more
Maria
Mary Higgins Clark has long been a favorite author of mine. Her daughter Carol Higgins Clark has been writing with her and alone for quite some time now, but I'm partial to Mary. This book was a joint effort. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

The main characters have been written about in other books, but in The Christmas Thief, they lacked substance. The attempt to fill the reader in on them and their personalities from past stories was half-hearted at best. The bad guys didn't come off any be...more
LuAnn
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a book by either of these authors. In The Christmas Thief, Alvirah Meehan sets out to discover why someone has stolen a tree destined for New York’s Rockefeller Center. It’s a beautiful spruce that has been hand-selected to represent the season and it’s quite an honor for the owner of the magnificent tree. Yet, for some reason, it has disappeared in the middle of the night. But where is it? How does someone steal and hide an 80-foot tree without being seen?
I...more
Julie
Mary and Carol Higgins Clark do it again! Alvirah and the gang are back in this funny and heartwarming Christmas mystery.
"Packy " Noonan, a con man that swindled Alvirah and Wally's friend Opal out of her lottery winnings, has been released from prison. Packy has hidden a stash of diamonds in a tree chosen to grace the Rockefeller Center this year. Now Packy has to hurry to get to his tree before it gets taken to New York.
It just so happens that Alvirah and the gang are headed to Vermont on a li...more
Cheryl
I have always thought that both Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins Clark have been masters at writing nice, light fiction, particularly fiction centered around the Christmas season. And actually, the story itself is not too bad.

What REALLY makes this book suffer is its reading on Audiobook. If you are unsure how much a particular actor/author's reading influences your perception of a book, please try listening to an excerpt from "The Night Circus", read by the fabulous Jim Dale, or even a book ready...more
Barbara
This was a simple Christmas mystery. A thief hid diamonds in a tree, goes to prison and then is released and finds out the tree he hid them in is being used as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

It was a quick easy read. At times I felt it was a bit repetitive - the authors repeated facts in the story several times as though they thought the reader would not be able to remember them. Since it was a quick read - I read it in a couple hours - I'm not sure why the authors felt the need to do tha...more
Andrew
This is another of the Christmas crime stories from Mary Higgins Clark - again this was a spur of the moment read picked up from the local charity book shop. Its an easy read its a quick read (- and if you want an over view of the story look at some of the other reviews -) but all that said and done it was an easy and entertaining read - I am no crime expert but I wonder if there is a tradition of the christmas crime story a bit like the tradition of the christmas ghost story? If I had the time...more
Ryan G
So I finally got around to reading the second book in the Christmas collaboration between Mary and Carol Higgins Clark. I've already read the first, third, and fourth book, not in that order, so I'm not bothered by the fact I'm finishing with the second. My only regret, is that so far, the series is over with. I've now read the only four Christmas books starring Alvirah and the Reillys.

What I've enjoyed about this series was the lightness of it all. I now there is kidnapping, thievery, and gener...more
Rob Smith
A fluffy cushion of a book with zero violence. After recently reading a Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp novel, I was imagining Rapp entering this story and fixing the problems. That may have also been as realistic. This book uses more bad plot devices and name dropping than a Steve Allen novel (and I like Allen's much better). I would expect it from Allen but TWO writers outside the entertainment world should know better.

The story is also a bad redressing of the authors themselves. You can almost feel th...more
Danna
Fun little Christmas book that I really enjoyed! I always love the Alvirah character who won the lottery and turned amateur sleuth. Very quick read with slapstick characters.
Anna
Stylewise very similar to The Cat Who... series, but with a few less twists. But I guess for the time of the year when this kind of is intended, something nice, easy, and sweet as a nice cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows will do, and this is probably what the book would be if it was a drink. Strong hot cacao, the milk chocolate kind of, with some red pepper to spice it, some marshmallows, and something else.. gingerbread syrup to keep it themed, sweet and happy? (otherwise, way too cozy for...more
Karen
I have never really been a fan of either Higgins Clark and this book just reinforced that. Not that it was bad, but it wasn't good either. It had no substance and no real mystery. There were a lot of twists and turns, but it felt like they were thrown in just to make the story longer. The story centers on the theft of the tree picked to be the Rockefeller Christmas tree. There is a background story of scammed money turned to diamonds and the crooks who were coming back to get them. There were so...more
Sandra Strange
This novel is second in a series of Christmas “mysteries” written by the mother and daughter authors. The plot spins on a newly released from prison con man who has hidden away some of his ill gotten gains, and now wants to find them. However, he chose to hide his loot in an eighty foot blue spruce tree—which is due to be cut down to grace the Rockefeller Center! The plot goes from there to semi humorous, based-on-coincidence complications which prove to be only mildly engrossing/ entertaining....more
Jamie
This would be a great book for someone who is enrolled in an adult literacy program, or even for a middle-school aged kid. Very simple writing and concepts. No violence, blood-n-guts, curse words, sex, etc., none of which was missed. It's basically about a white-collar criminal scamming lottery winners out of their money. No one is actually hurt -- even the tree that is cut down was supposed to be cut down anyway. If my grandma were still alive, I would definitely give this to her.

Also, I found...more
Jackie
Nov 28, 2011 Jackie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jackie by: nobody
Packy Noonan was a thief who stole a bunch of money and ended up in jail.

Twelve years later , he was released on parole ...he had a plan to recover some diamonds he put in a blue spruce tree 13 years ago and was anxious to get out of the country and live his life in Brazil for the rest of his life . His plan didn't turn out the way he had dreamed .....

This same spruce tree was destined to be at the Rockefeller Center for the Christmas Tree Lighting in New York!

I thought it was a funny, suspen...more
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Mary Higgins Clar...: holiday reading 3 12 Dec 22, 2012 09:59PM  
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99044
Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins Clark Conheeney, best known as Mary Higgins Clark, (b December 24, 1927 in the Bronx, New York) is an American author of suspense novels. Each of her twenty-four suspense novels has been a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remain in print as of 2007, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are The Children, in its sevent...more
More about Mary Higgins Clark...
Where Are the Children? Loves Music, Loves to Dance Two Little Girls in Blue All Around the Town While My Pretty One Sleeps

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