This audio book is a collection of six related short stories that all involve the same two characters, Alvirah and Willy Meehan. They made their first appearance in Weep No More My Lady by Mary Higgins Clark, and return here as loveable 60ish sleuths who manage to find a mystery wherever they go.
The Main Body:
Alivrah, a former cleaning woman, and Willy, an ex-plumber, have been enjoying life since winning forty million dollars in the New York State Lottery. Each story in this collection tells of their exploits in a different locale as they attempt to solve crimes and work for justice. Both of the main characters are fully developed as the tales continue, and will remind most listeners of someone they know, maybe a favorite aunt and uncle, or the slightly eccentric couple that lives across the street.
Alvirah has landed a job as a newspaper reporter who describes her travels and exploits for her editor back home. As a result, she uses a small recording device, which is hidden in a sunburst pin that she wears wherever she goes. She has a definite knack for becoming involved with unsolved mysteries and unsavory characters, so the peaceful vacation that Willy is continually longing for never quite materializes. He is a good sport, however, and helps his wife of forty years to unravel clues and reach conclusions that point to the solutions of the mysteries they encounter.
Fans of Mary Higgins Clark may be a little surprised by the humor and light-heartedness found in these stories. As an author known for the nail-biting tension in her novels, Clark has taken a different path in The Lottery Winner. Because the stories are short, the plots are simpler than in most of the tales she writes. Alvirah’s escapades provide their own brand of suspense, however, and the brief nature of the tales makes them perfect for times when the listener wants an entertaining diversion for an hour or so.
Jean Stapleton, accomplished stage and screen actress, narrates the book. Folks who remember her Emmy winning performances as Edith Bunker on TV’s All in the Family will enjoy her folksy style as narrator. She captures Alvirah’s excitement over her cases perfectly, and does justice to the other characters, as well. The book also has a short introduction by Mary Higgins Clark who explains why she decided to write more adventures about Willy and Alvirah, the only recurring characters in the author’s large body of work.