(30)No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark

Friday, April 10, 2020

In honor of the late, great, Mary Higgins Clark, my book club selected one of her books to read in April.  We all have memories of reading Where Are the Children? as an introduction to the mystery genre.

In No Place Like Home, Celia Nolan is newly married to a successful lawyer, Alex Nolan.  He decides to surprise her on her birthday with a new home in an upscale New Jersey neighborhood. What Alex doesn't know is that Celia is very familiar with the home.  It is where she accidentally killed her mother while trying to protect her from her stepfather, Ted Cartwright. She was acquitted of the crime and moved across the country to live with distant relatives, where she changed her name.  She has never told Alex about her past, nor about the history associated with the house he just bought for her.  But when their real estate agent ends up dead all of the old memories start to surface. And then another body is found.  And Celia is starting to worry that somebody has figured out who she is and is trying to frame her. But who would do such a thing?

Mary Higgins Clark is as nostalgic as an author Judy Blume or Francine Pascal.  I remember reading Where Are the Children when I was in junior high. Just like many avid readers, I was saddened at her death in January.  The thing about authors from our childhood is that those fond memories really should be what we hold on to.  No Place Like Home was published in 2005, but I strongly suspect that it was written long before then and just didn't get released until 2005. Cell phones seemed to have been mentioned as an afterthought.  There was still a discussion of things like answering machine tapes, and VCRs.  And then there is the whole misogynistic approach that was rampant in the 80s.  Not 2005. It was cringeworthy how Celia needed to have her husband go down to the prosecutor's office to tell them to stop picking on her. And the descriptions like "sexy secretary" was just more proof that this book had been sitting in a vault and it did not age well.  It wasn't hard to figure out the whodunit, but there were still some surprises at the end. - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS, 

Bottom Line - Mary Higgins Clark was a prolific mystery author who set the bar pretty high when it came to mysteries. Even though I was disappointed by No Place Like Home, she will be missed by her legions of fans.


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