This trio of interconnected tales is
smart, funny and spiced with a hint
of intrigue. Each one is unique, but
the three fit together beautifully.

In Stuart's "Claus and Effect," Boston cop James Fitzpatrick is accused of murder and complicity in a jewel heist. Desperate, he kidnaps Dr. Ellie Pollard, hoping she has information that will clear him. Ellie doesn't have a clue, but like it or not, she's along for the ride.

In Leonard's "Caught at Christmas," librarian Jean Norville is in Texas to be her best friend Molly's maid of honor. Gunfire erupts before the ceremony, and Jean's taken into protective custody by Molly's brother, ex-Texas Ranger Sam Broadbent. Keeping ahead of the bad guys proves even more difficult for the grumpy bachelor than resisting Jean's charms.

In Lennox's "Candy Canes and Crossfire," attorney Molly Broadbent's wedding plans are abruptly canceled by armed men. Seeking refuge at a home in Australia, she finds Joe Cartland and three orphans in residence. Suddenly, making a Christmas for the kids outweighs Molly's worries -- until her ex comes calling, that is. (HARLEQUIN, Nov., 320 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer