I occasionally will pick up a book by Mary Higgins Clark. My mom loves her books, and I’ve picked up the habit of buying them when I see them at yard sales and thrift stores. Her books make for decent quick, mindless reads and transport me back to a time when bold-colored pant suits, shoulder pads, and permed bangs were the norm. Usually, I can figure out the culprit within the first couple of chapters, but the suspenseful journey of the main character is usually a fun ride.
This is not so much the case with My Gal Sunday. Granted, My Gal Sunday is a collection of short-stories/novellas, which almost by definition lack depth and solid character development. I enjoy reading the occasional collection of short stories, especially then they involve characters that have been well-developed in novels or other media. Short-stories, do not, however, mesh well with the suspense genre. There’s no time or space to develop any real since of drama, the characters fall flat, and I’m very disappointed by the lack of red herrings. Where’s the suspicious guy everyone thinks done it, but really he’s the only one who know what actually happened and wants to help in his own creepy way? This depth that’s usually present, albeit wadding-pool deep, is missing completely from this collection.
The four stories in My Gal Sunday all revolve around husband and wife team Henry and Sunday. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a former president and she’s a congresswoman? and that they somehow have the time to solve mysteries and fight crime together? Most of Clark’s protagonists are well-to-do women, but this one takes the cake on the absurdity of the situation.
If you want to read a decent, mindless thriller, Mary Higgins Clark is usually a good author to turn to, but I highly recommend picking up one of her full length books and not this collection that seems lazy and thrown together.