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Midnight Clear by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

Midnight Clear (1998)

by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

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It's a few days before Christmas and Callahan thinks for once she has things under control. But when her brother, Brian, missing for over ten years, strolls through the door, and lugging his three-year-old daughter, Maura, in his arms, Callahan knows that Brian carries trouble wherever he goes. Brian reveals he's kidnapped Maura from his estranged wife, who's on the warpath and, of course, has the law on her side. When Brian's ex-wife is found dead, Brian disappears again, leaving Maura behind for Callahan to look after, and forcing her to clear his name without his help.

This was mainly about investigating what happened to the ex-wife with a little of Christmas sprinkled in here and there. Callahan is likeable, feisty at times and funny at times. There are also some touching moments but this was only a so-so story for me. ( )
  gaylebutz | Dec 13, 2017 |
It’s Christmas time, and what better gift than to have all the family gathering for Christmas. Unless one of the family members is a long-lost brother who shows up unannounced with his previously unknown three-year-old daughter – his kidnapped daughter, that it. Before Callahan can fully appreciate this family reunion, her brother’s beyond-trashy ex-wife is found murdered, and her brother becomes quite a person of interest to the cops. If things aren’t complicated enough, a custody battle ensues, with both of the child’s grandmothers wanting Maura. It may not be your typical, heartwarming tale, but baby Maura is a charmer. This audio version is a delight to listen to, and the intricate plot will keep you guessing until the very end. ( )
  Maydacat | Jan 19, 2015 |
I am enjoying the Callahan Garrity series and have one more to go (have not read them in order). They could be a standalone; however, once you start reading them, you will want to read them all to learn the crazy colorful southern characters.

Again, Callahan solves a mystery as she has a nose for being digging and finding clues to get her murderer. (she owns a cleaning service House Mouse as well as being a PI-former cop). This time the investigation hits home as involves her long lost brother Brian, his 3 yr. old daughter, and a murdered sister in law, and an array of shady characters.

Set in Atlanta, Edna the mom and all the House Mouse crew come together to solve this mystery with lots of humor and some Christmas cheer. Whether writing as Mary Kay Andrews or Kathy Hogan Trocheck –she knows southern humor! The audio version was very well done. ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
It's a few days before Christmas and sometime sleuth/full-time cleaning lady Callahan Garrity has things under control for a change, until her ne'er-do-well brother, Brian -- missing over ten years -- appears with his toddler daughter, Maura, at the back door to the house that Callahan shares with her mother, Edna. Trouble has always followed Brian, and now he's in deeper than ever because he's kidnapped Maura from his estranged wife, Shay Gatlin, a real slut and a vengeful shrew with the law on her side.

A few days later, when Shay is found dead, the cops suspect Brian. Though he's done many things wrong in his life, Callahan knows Brian is no murderer, and she is flabbergasted when she learns from her old buddy Deavers (from her days on the Atlanta PD) that they are reopening a couple of very cold murder cases from a decade ago and trying to find a way to connect Brian to those murders as well. Between jaunts to track down clues, Callahan finds herself falling in love with little Maura, and will fight for custody of this child herself if need be.

I'm liking these books better and better. ( )
  madamejeanie | Sep 18, 2008 |
3 ( )
  peggyheacock | Dec 30, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061098000, Mass Market Paperback)

Christmas festivities and family bonding provide the backdrop in this seventh mystery featuring cleaning service owner-operator Callahan Garrity. While Callahan and her mother Edna are busy preparing trifle and a potent Garrity version of eggnog for their annual Christmas bash, Callahan's youngest brother, Brian, appears after a 10-year absence. Edna is thrilled, both with Brian and with the granddaughter he has presented; Callahan is more dubious, particularly when it becomes clear that her brother has been in town for well over a year and that he has taken the 3-year-old Maura without her mother's permission. Callahan, with pressure from Edna, agrees to help Brian fight the custody battle against his ex, but things only get more complicated once the woman is found stabbed to death. Police, not surprisingly, put Brian at the top of their list of likely suspects. After all, if he is willing to commit one felony by kidnapping his daughter, what's to prevent him from murdering her mother?

Despite overtones of O.J.--Brian is also accused of occasionally resorting to violence--there is much to enjoy here: Edna's toilet-training philosophy, Maura's precociousness, and the suburban South's peculiar social dimensions (just what constitutes white trash, anyway?) provide much to chuckle over. Callahan and her band of merry mop-bearers take on the police, Brian's mother-in-law, and even Brian himself to demonstrate his innocence so that he can stay out of jail and secure custody. Callahan is an admirable and entertaining heroine. Kathy Hogan Trocheck has a lighter touch than Sarah Paretsky or Sue Grafton, and Callahan is rarely as unforgivably foolhardy as counterparts V.I. Warshawski or Kinsey Milhone can be. With Callahan and her more charming relations at the novel's heart, Midnight Clear offers jolly holiday reading with both poignant and hilarious moments. --K. Crouch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:32 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the midst of the Christmas rush, Callahan Garrity's long-lost brother Brian appears with his two-year-old daughter Maura, then as abruptly disappears without the child when his ex-wife, from whom he kidnapped Maura, is found murdered. It is up to Callahan and "the outrageous band of 'girls' in her Atlanta cleaning crew" to clear Brian's name.--Jacket.… (more)

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