It was a winter night. Christmas is round the corner and it's the night she decided to abandon her infant, nevertheless to say, with a heavy heart. She was just 18 years old. With no other alternative left, she decided to leave her baby at St.Clement's rectory. She wanted the baby to grow in New York with a lovely family. She loved the place and was wanting to come back once she could stand on her own feet.
Her plan was to leave the baby and then alert the monsignor from a phone booth.
It was the same night Bishop Santory's chalice was stolen. He had planned it but little did he know that he would find a baby along with the chalice in a stroller which he strolled back to his house. When the security alarm rang, he ran and conveniently put his backpack under the foot of a stroller which was kept in the rectory.
Seven years after, her guilt made Sondra search for her baby but was shattered to know that the St. Clement vicarage never got such a baby. Thus began her search for her baby.
Alvirah's friend Kate was in deep trouble as she found her deceased sister, Bessie left her house, in her will to a stranger husband and wife who recently, occupied one part of her house. Just two days prior to Bakers' informing her about her sister's will, Monsignor Ferris had informed Kate just the opposite of what the Bakers said - she left her house in the name of her younger sister and Kate was thinking of giving it to two nuns to run a shelter home for poor children. Alvirah found the will brought by Bakers phony.
How these two puzzles are related, that reader has to find.
I would call this story a “ short and simple mystery” for Christmas. There's no murder and 'whodunnit' but two puzzles which are vaguely connected. But without establishing that faint connection, the whole mystery cannot be solved.
I enjoyed it. What attracts me to Mary Higgins Clark's book is always her language. It's so simple yet powerful to make you feel that you are not walking with the characters but running with them.
My second book of Mary Higgins Clark, this year.