• Tantra Bensko

The Queen of Suspense Can Even Make Holiday Fiction Work



Mysteries are technically supposed to be intellectual puzzles while Suspense fiction is more emotional, about worry and concern for the characters in danger. However, the two genres are very often combined, which is a trend that seems to be happening more all the time, through putting the sleuths in danger and by featuring a ticking clock for the safety of the potential victims. And Suspense works very well with convoluted complexities for the reader to try to figure out. So, though this is a Mystery, Clark's label of The Queen of Suspense is still fitting.


A single woman can't take care of her baby, so she leaves it on the door of a church in New York. She calls the church and believes they've found the infant, but in fact, the child was stolen by a thief who is nicking a chalice from the institution.


I'm not religious and I have never had any interest in any holiday themed books of any kind. However, I've loved the books I've read by the great Mary Higgins Clark such as All Around the Town, so when I came across this one in a Little Library, I decided to give one holiday book a chance. I'm glad I did. It was written with great sensitivity toward religious variations; nothing in the book made any claims about Christian history, or supernatural causes for the events in the novel.

It did however have a heartwarming sense of things coming together by the end in a way that highlights the miraculous nature of reality. That adds to the subject of the plot to create a celebratory feeling of family love and the motivation to be a good person. All that fits with Christmas and this is still timely, so it would make a sweet gift.

It's also simply a good story at any time of the year.

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