Review : Willy & Alvirah by Mary Higgins Clark

Plot summary ( from Audible )

Follow the adventures of lottery winning couple Willy and Alvirah Meehan through these best selling short stories . The couple is targeted and pursued by ex-cons after winning the lottery in ” Plumbing for Willy ” , they discover the body of actress Fiona Winter in their New York apartment in ” The Body in the Closet ” , and they help Cynthia Lathem solve the murder of her stepfather in ” Death in the Cape ” . As a special bonus , author Mary Higgins Clark pushes the aura of suspense sky – high in ” Stowaway ” and ” Milk Run ” , a pair of stories set aboard jetliners . . .

My thoughts on the book :

A quick note before getting started with the review – I have given the star rating for individual stories also ( just count the stars next to the title ) . . .

In Death in the Cape *** , Cynthia Lathem has served twelve years for a crime she did not commit – the murder of her step – father . She is back in town looking for answers to the questions which continue to haunt her about the night her step – father was murdered . Luckily for Cynthia , Alvirah is holidaying in town and she is not the one to miss out on a case like hers . . .This one suffers from too much of classic Clark – isms and a very predictable plot – a damsel – in – distress who is determined not to lean on anybody and is on a mission , her Prince Charming standing on the sidelines hoping that she would let him help her and looking only for a cue from her so that he can swoop in and help her in her mission ( obviously that cue is not going to come from our heroine – so Prince Charming should finally put his foot down and make an appearance even if our heroine thinks she can handle it all on her own . . . ) and Alvirah ‘s sunburst pin . . . Still , Clark ‘ s average outputs are superior to some of the much – hyped recent releases which are riddled with plot holes . . .

The Body in the Closet **** has Alvirah trying to hunt down the murderer of an up – and – coming actress Fiona Winter when her favorite playwright nephew becomes the prime suspect . While this is a clever one , Alvirah trying to play the Cupid in every story involving young people is highly exasperating . Also , several of the elements mentioned above have almost become constants with every MHC offering and it does not need a Kirkus to call them out . Still , it would have been a welcome surprise to have at least regulars like Willy & Alvirah evolve with every new anthology – I am expecting Alvirah to go all teary eyed ( and Willy to pragmatically observe that Alvirah should leave the lovebirds alone ) when two young people finally decide to get together after their life – altering ordeal and both never disappoint me . ( Duh ! )

I would suggest that you start with Stowaway ***** & Milk Run ***** – both definitely have some of the elements which I have mentioned earlier but the brilliant plotting makes them fantastic reads ( especially with Stowaway ) . Oh , you can also expect some mid – air drama in the style of movies involving plane hijacking . . . In a nutshell , Stowaway has a flight attendant helping a young boy from the underground evade capture by the Soviet police . In the Milk Run , a flight attendant is entrusted with some secret papers only to find that they have been stolen mid – flight . . . Can she retrieve them before touchdown ?

Alvirah ‘ s long suffering husband Willy gets kidnapped in Plumbing For Willy *** after a bunch of ex – cons watch an episode of the Donahue show in which Alvirah and her husband make an appearance . The ex – cons are sharp as marbles and with Alvirah roping in her sister – in – law Sister Caroline & friends in the rescue mission , you are guaranteed a romp . . .

Rating : 4 / 5

If you have already read Willy & Alvirah , let me know in the comments section about your thoughts on the book  . If you have any interesting recommendations , please do share them . Until the next review then . . .

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