Thursday, April 30, 2015

Death Wears A Beauty Mask And Other Stories - Mary Higgins Clark

Death Wears A Beauty Mask And Other Stories
Mary Higgins Clark
Simon & Schuster, Apr 28 2015, $26.00
ISBN: 9781501110993

“Death Wears a Beauty Mask.”  On their honeymoon, LA Deputy District Attorney Michael and college student Janice stop in New York to see her older sister Alexandra the supermodel, but she fails to meet them.

“Stowaway.”  Even with the deadly Commissioner of Police onboard, Carol the stewardess hides a young stowaway.

“When The Bough Breaks.”  Marian blames her son’s best friend Peter for his accidental death.

“Voices In The Coalbin.” Laurie suffers nightmares of musicians playing “Chinatown”.

“The Cape Cod Masquerade.”  After meeting Cynthia just released from prison, Alvirah and Willy believe she never murdered her stepfather.

“Definitely, A Crime of Passion.”  Once the Secretary of State, Tom is indicted of murdering his second wife; but the former President and First Lady reject he committed a homicide.

“The Man Next Door.”  He has a secret place for visitors to stay with him; his current guest being his next door neighbor.

“Haven’t We Met Before?”  Westchester County ADA Jack questions William re the attempted murder of Emily.

“The Funniest Thing Has Been Happening Lately.”  Fred waited years to kill four people he holds responsible for what happened to Jenny.

“The Tell-Tale Purr.”  Fred wants his inheritance now so plots to kill his octogenarian grandma by using her fear of cats while arranging a power failure to leave her trapped inside her elevator.

The title novella and the nine shorts are entertaining though not all are excitingly tense.  The best are the Alvirah and Willy entry, the Stephen King-like “Voices In The Coalbin”, the Twilight Zone-like “The Funniest Thing Has Been Happening Lately” and the classical Mary Higgins Clark suspense “Death Wears a Beauty Mask”. 

Harriet Klausner

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