Cursed (Regan Reilly Series #12)

( 48 )

Overview

PI Regan Reilly moved from Los Angeles to New York City when she married Jack “no relation” Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. To help a friend, Regan takes on a case that takes her back to her old stomping grounds. . . .

On a snowy day in New York City, PI Regan Reilly gets an urgent call from her former neighbor, Abigail Feeney. A Hollywood hairdresser, Abigail believes her life has been cursed since the day she was born— Friday the ...

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Overview

PI Regan Reilly moved from Los Angeles to New York City when she married Jack “no relation” Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. To help a friend, Regan takes on a case that takes her back to her old stomping grounds. . . .

On a snowy day in New York City, PI Regan Reilly gets an urgent call from her former neighbor, Abigail Feeney. A Hollywood hairdresser, Abigail believes her life has been cursed since the day she was born— Friday the 13th.

Always unlucky in love, Abigail now needs Regan’s help in tracking down an ex-boyfriend who was just spotted in downtown Los Angeles—a “nogood bum” who borrowed $100,000 from her three months ago, then promptly disappeared. Abigail desperately needs to get that money back, money given to her by her grandmother who is heading to L.A. Grandma Feeney, no shrinking violet, has plans to buy an old friend’s condo for Abigail and will need that hard-earned money to make the deal.

With hubby Jack away, the weather in New York miserable, and the guiltprovoking memory that Abigail had brought her chicken soup when she was sick, Regan agrees to hop a plane. Before long, the hunt for Abigail’s ex takes some dangerous turns. . . . But when Abigail becomes a suspect in a murder investigation, Regan begins to wonder if the curse is real—and possibly contagious!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The first phone call, like the first phone call of most good mysteries, slices through a day of tranquility. In this case, Regan Reilly is sitting on the beach in the Hamptons. The call is from Los Angeles: Abigail, an eccentric former neighbor, wants Regan to drop everything and come west to find her missing boyfriend. And, of course, Regan, after some convincing, agrees. From there, all bets are off, except the promise that you will continue reading. A typically suspenseful, fast-paced, and quick-witted mystery from Carol Higgins Clark.
From the Publisher
“Entertaining . . . light and fast-paced . . . and it will surprise you, too.”
—Deseret Morning News

“Rambunctious . . . Clark’s bubbly humor makes this a great vacation read for mystery-lite fans who love a Hollywood twist.”
—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Few authors perform their own work nowadays, but Carol Higgins Clark prefers to read her own novels as well as some of those of her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. Unfortunately, as evidenced by her awkward performance of this light Hollywood murder mystery the younger Higgins Clark is not a skillful audio performer. Most of the characters sound similar with a noticeable regional accent (New Jersey?), and her voice rises into a faint question at the end of each sentence; it sounds as we are eavesdropping as Higgins Clark tries out the lines aloud in front of her computer. While a Barbara Rosenblat or Linda Emond could work wonders with the entertaining material, the book suffers from the author's amateurish delivery. A Scribner hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 30). (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416563839
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Series: Regan Reilly Series , #12
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 282,361
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Higgins Clark

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of the bestselling Regan Reilly mysteries. She is coauthor, along with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, of a bestselling holiday mystery series. Also an actress, Carol Higgins Clark studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and has recorded several novels. She received AudioFile’s Earphones Award of Excellence for her reading of Jinxed. She lives in New York City. Her website is CarolHigginsClark.com.

Biography

If Mary Higgins Clark is the Queen of Suspense, then her daughter, Carol, could be considered the Princess of the Pratfall for the quirky comedy she liberally sprinkles throughout her bestselling Regan Reilly mysteries. As a reviewer once said, "Mary Higgins Clark goes for the jugular; Carol Higgins Clark goes for the funny bone."

Clark's apprenticeship to her mega-bestselling mom began early on. In 1975, when she was a student at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, mama Mary was still working full time, supporting five children on her own while trying to get her fledgling career as a novelist off the ground. Daughter Carol did her part to help, pitching in between term papers and acting classes to peck away at her mother's pages on a manual typewriter, making savvy edits along the way.

She recalled to the Philadelphia Inquirer her early days as an unsung editrix of her mother's work: "In one of her books, Loves Music, Loves to Dance, she had a serial killer who was making dates through the personal ads and then killing the girls. So the best friend of one of the girls he killed is trying to figure out who might have done it, so she's going out on these dates. So I was reading it and going over it with my mother and she had all these bars in New York. I said, 'No one goes there, no one goes there.' So I changed all the bars and restaurants. And People magazine said in its review: 'Clark offers a well-informed tour of New York's singles haunts.' So that was my contribution to that book. But I was really learning a lot."

After a few acting stints in off-Broadway theater, movies, and television -- her first role was as an extra on the soap opera Ryan's Hope -- Clark decided to try her hand at writing her own novel. She conjured up a semi-autobiographical heroine, sleuth Regan Reilly (who just so happens to have a celebrity author mother), and Decked debuted in 1992, garnering nominations for both an Agatha and an Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Clark relishes researching each new Regan Reilly adventure, gleaning inspiration from real-life capers both daffy and decadent.

After establishing herself in her own right as a farcical force to be reckoned with -- all of her Regan Reilly novels hit the New York Times bestseller list -- Clark teamed up with her mother in 2000 to pen their first holiday-themed thriller, Deck the Halls. We think it's pretty safe to say Carol didn't have to do all the typing!

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Clark:

"My first job was at a dry cleaner's. You'd be amazed at what you find in people's pockets! All sorts of clues about their lives! I had a character in Iced who worked at a dry cleaner's."

"I started out as an actress, and that background has helped me with my books. I love going to the theatre."

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Read an Excerpt

1

Snow and sleet were swirling in all directions as Regan Reilly steered her car onto the lower level of the Fifty-ninth Street Bridge in Manhattan, headed for Long Island City. This might not have been the best day to get ambitious about moving old files to a storage unit, she thought. The early morning had been cold and gray, with threatening skies and a prediction of what forecasters liked to call a "wintry mix" for later in the day. It wasn't even noon yet and the storm had arrived. It would have been a good time to hunker down indoors with a cup of tea or a mug of hot chocolate. But Regan was proud of herself for getting this far.

Ever since Regan had moved east from Los Angeles to marry Jack "no relation" Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, her mother, Nora, had been asking politely, yet with increasing frequency, what Regan was going to do with all the things she'd stored in her parents' garage. "Now that the bad weather is hitting us," Nora had said the other day, "we'd like to be able to park both our cars inside."

"Okay, Mom, I'll take care of it," Regan had said, somewhat daunted by the thought of figuring out what to do with the remains of her life in Los Angeles. A private investigator, Regan still missed the small office that she rented in an old building in Hollywood. When she first walked in there, it had reminded her of the office building where her grandmother had worked on West Fifty-seventh Street in New York City. Black and white tiles on the floor dating from the year one, dark wood molding in the hallways, doors with thick, foggy glass, the feeling of a place from another era. Even its smell was familiar and comforting. Regan had been intrigued. She had the sense that the old walls held the stories and secrets of the people who had worked there over the years. Being of Irish descent, Regan had a special interest in tales of any sort. It was part of her genetic makeup. With thoughts of her grandmother, she'd signed the lease and never looked back.

But when it was time to leave, for what was a wonderful change in her life, she couldn't bear to part with her scarred old desk, her one-of-a-kind funky floor lamp, which she'd found at a yard sale at an old estate in Beverly Hills, and her battered file cabinets that the former tenant of the office left behind. To her they had a certain charm and would always bring back memories of her salad days as a PI. Among other things she kept was the thermos that she'd brought to work every day, filled with coffee. None of it belonged in Regan and Jack's newly renovated loft in Tribeca, where she had a home office replete with a custom-made cherrywood desk and matching wall-to-ceiling bookshelves, but to forsake these earthly possessions seemed impossible. They were like old friends.

"Perhaps we can turn the guest room upstairs into a replica of your western office," her father, Luke, owner of three funeral homes, had joked. "If you ever become president, we can turn it into a museum and charge admission."

"Dad, believe it or not, I have a sentimental streak."

"So did the Collyer brothers," Luke remarked, referring to the brothers who lived in a brownstone on Fifth Avenue in New York City and became infamous after they died in 1947 thanks to their stunning inability to throw anything away. When the police received an anonymous tip that there was the smell of a dead body emanating from the residence, they tried to enter the house through the front door but were blocked by a wall of old newspapers, boxes, and piles of junk that you'd find on a street corner waiting to be taken to the local dump. A patrolman entered through a second-story window and found the body of Homer Collyer. It was presumed that his brother, Langley, had skipped town. Only after the authorities had spent a couple of weeks working to clear out the more than one hundred tons of rubbish from the residence was Langley's body discovered, just ten feet away from where his brother had been found, hidden under a pile of newspapers. After that any mention of the Collyer brothers brought to mind one heck of a mess. They even had a syndrome named after them.

Regan ignored her father's quip. "Living in the city, Jack and I don't have a basement or attic so I have no place to put this stuff."

"Thank God," Jack had joked.

Now all three of them were away. Her parents were in Palm Beach, Florida, and Jack had left yesterday for a law enforcement seminar in Miami. I'll show them, Regan had thought early this morning. She hadn't slept well. It was the first night Jack was away since they had been married. Funny how things change, Regan had thought. I was single until I was thirty-one and used to being on my own. Now that I'm with Jack, I feel out of sorts when he's not around. How easily one gets accustomed to a good thing.

After Regan crossed the bridge, she turned left on Northern Boulevard, and stopped at the light. She'd been down this road three hours ago after looking in the yellow pages and calling several storage companies. At Store Your Stuff they had a special deal on an available unit that was the right size and climate controlled. Regan had checked it out, filled out the necessary paperwork, then been fingerprinted.

"We don't want to do business with anyone who won't give us thumbs up," the receptionist had joked. "There's always a creep or two who'll want to use our facilities to hide ill-gotten gains."

"I can imagine," Regan had replied, thinking she should leave them her card. She'd then driven to New Jersey, loaded up her car with boxes and files, and headed back to New York. Maybe tomorrow she'd rent a van and get someone to help her load the unwieldy items like the desk and the lamp. Her mother was going to be so shocked when she returned from Florida.

When the light changed, Regan started to drive, passing a stretch of industrial buildings. A subway train went speeding by on the tracks above the road. After a few blocks the big sign atop Store Your Stuff 's warehouse beckoned her. Here we go, Regan thought as she turned down a dead-end side street just past the sign, backed her car into the loading area, wheeled a cart up to her trunk, and started to unload. When she was finished, she pulled her car back out onto the dead end in case someone else with a Collyer brothers streak needed the space to drop off whatever junk it was they couldn't part with. Twenty minutes later, having deposited her precious cargo on the floor of her newly acquired rental property, and padlocking the door with a brand-new lock, Regan was stepping back out into the cold.

There goes a hundred bucks a month, she thought as pelts of what was certainly a wintry mix stung her face. She pulled her keys out of her pocket and hurried to the car. Her cell phone began to ring as she was opening the driver's door. She reached in her pocket again, grabbed the phone, and glanced at the caller ID. From the area code she could tell it was a Los Angeles number.

"Hello," Regan said as she gratefully sank behind the wheel and turned on the ignition.

"Regan, it's Abigail!"

"Abigail, how are you?" It was a question Regan was almost afraid to ask. A former neighbor, Abigail Feeney had moved into the apartment across the hall from Regan in a building in the Hollywood Hills not long before Regan moved back to New York. A hairdresser who worked in film and television, Abigail believed she'd been cursed since birth. Not only was she born on Friday the thirteenth, her parents had unwittingly given her a name that, combined with Feeney, added up to thirteen letters. In Abigail's book that was a bad start. Since then she'd had her share of unlucky things happen to her, including breaking her leg in the eighth grade just before a class trip, graduation, and all the swim parties. In high school she came down with the chicken pox right before her prom. As an adult she'd been unlucky in love more times than she liked to count. Shortly before Regan moved to New York, Abigail had met a guy she really liked. A guy that Regan instinctively didn't trust.

In October, Abigail had called Regan and told her that her boyfriend, Cody, had disappeared right after she lent him one hundred thousand dollars.

"He signed an IOU, Regan, that said he'd pay me back in three months. Then, a week later, I came home from work to find a note he'd left for me. He said he had to go out of town for a few days but he'd give me a call. That was five days ago and I haven't heard a peep out of him! And he won't respond to the messages I've left on his cell phone!"

"If it's a three-month IOU, then I don't think there's anything you can do just yet," Regan had told her.

In November, Abigail called Regan to tell her that she'd been injured on a movie set. A piece of scaffolding fell, knocked her over, and she broke her arm in two places. "Can you believe this Regan? I had to have surgery. They put pins in my arm. I obviously can't work, and the production company is acting like the accident was somehow my fault. I'm going to have to hire a lawyer. Furthermore, I tried to get in touch with you-know-who and his cell phone is disconnected."

Now it was a new year. Regan had called Abigail over the holidays but her home phone had also been disconnected. Regan didn't have her cell number. She braced herself for Abigail's answer to the state of her well-being.

"Regan! The nogood bum has been spotted in downtown Los Angeles. I desperately, and I mean desperately, need the money he owes me. The IOU runs out tomorrow, January thirteenth, which just happens to be my birthday. Can you please come out here and help me track him down?"

There was no need for Regan to confirm with Abigail the identity of the nogood bum. She remembered being in her apartment and seeing Cody Castle, the socalled producer, sitting by the pool, bent over his cell phone, text messaging nonstop. A good-looking guy who knew it, he was a little too impressed with himself for Regan's taste. She hadn't liked him and was quite sure that the feeling was mutual.

"Track him down?" Regan asked half-heartedly as cold air blew from her dashboard.

"Yes! I have to at least try. I didn't tell you where I got that one hundred thousand dollars I lent him."

Regan frowned, visions of loan sharks dancing in her head. "Where did you get it, Abigail?"

"My grandmother!"

"Your grandmother?"

"Yes. From the time I turned eighteen, she's been putting ten thousand dollars a year in an account for me. She wanted me to eventually use it for a down payment on a house or an apartment. I had every intention of doing that. But the other day she called and said she feels terrible that I had this accident and that Cody and I broke up. She's decided she's going to come out here and stay at her friend Margaret's condo on Kings Road in West Hollywood. Her friend is selling the place, and if it meets with my grandmother's approval, she's going to buy it for me. With cash! That cash is supposed to include that one hundred thousand dollars! If she ever finds out that I lent the money she scrimped and saved, and I do mean scrimped and saved, she'll kill me!"

A loan shark suddenly doesn't sound so bad, Regan thought. "When is she coming out?"

"Tomorrow. For my birthday! She's flying out from Indiana. I tried to stall her but she's already bought her ticket. I have to find him, Regan. I have to get my money back!"

Regan's feet were frozen, her nose was red, and Jack was out of town. Abigail had been awfully nice to her last winter when she had the flu, bringing her homemade chicken soup. Regan thought of her own grandmother and how hard she'd worked. I would never have wanted to face her if I'd lent one hundred thousand dollars of her money to some fly-by-night guy. "Okay, Abigail. I'll go home and check with the airlines. The weather's bad, but hopefully I can get a flight out tonight."

"Thank you, Regan! You won't be sorry. It's eighty degrees out here."

"I look forward to that. Oh, Abigail, I had tried to call you in December but your home phone was disconnected."

"Another disaster! The owner of my apartment returned from her adventure overseas. She gave the required thirty days' notice. With a broken arm I had to pack up my stuff and get out of there before Christmas. Most of my stuff is in storage."

Regan blinked. Abigail and I will have a lot to talk about, she thought. "Where are you now?" she asked. "Where will we be staying?"

"I'm looking after three different homes whose owners are away. My primary duties are watering plants and collecting the mail. Don't worry. You'll have a place to sleep."

Terrific, Regan thought. I should have appreciated my lonely bed last night. "Okay then, Abigail."

"Okay, Regan. Call me when you book your flight. You have no idea what this means to me."

Copyright © 2009 by Carol Higgins Clark

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 48 )
Rating Distribution

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(20)

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(18)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Though a bit light Carol Higgins Clark provides another exciting fun to read mystery

    Regan Reilly is all alone in New York City while her husband NYPD Major Case Squad chief Jack Reilly (no blood relation) is in Miami attending a seminar and her parents are in Palm Beach. After being reminded to remove her property from her parents' garage so they can park their cars inside, Regan moves her stuff into a Long Island City storage unit. On the way back to her car, she receives a call from her former apartment neighbor in Hollywood Hills Abigail Feeney.------------------

    Her former boyfriend Cody Castle borrowed $100K from her a few months ago to make a movie; he promised to pay her back in three months but instead vanished but recently was seen. She needs Regan to return to California to find him before her grandmother arrives in town to give her a condo as a birthday gift; that 100,000 is needed to pay part of the principal. Regan knows Abigail is a kind person who is a hairdresser to the stars but gives free styling at a nursing home so she agrees to help. However the case takes a spin when someone kills an old rich man she gave a haircut to and the police suspect Abigail in spite of her recent injury on a set. Regan needs to find the murderer, clear Abigail and get Cody which is all in a day's work for the brilliant private investigator. ---------------

    Regan leans no good deed goes unpunished as besides the cops seeking Abigail for questioning, a stalker believes she is married to the man who Abigail is house sitting for and tries to kill her. Abigail brings comic relief to the tense plot with her belief she is cursed by the number thirteen (read to learn why she reached her Triskaidekaphobia conclusion). Though a bit light Carol Higgins Clark provides another exciting fun to read mystery.--------

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    GREAT READ

    Just finished reading this and as always with her books it was a very enjoyable read. with a bit of humor mixed in keeps you guessing until the end who the killer is Bonekittie

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    childsplay

    Cursed was probably the most childish book I have read (and had to pay for) in a long time. I recommend it for the kinder tots, perhaps they would find it a good mystery. Too bad, she normally writes much better than this awful display.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very enjoyable

    Carol Higgins Clark is a very charming lady and it was a real delight to read her book. I couldn't put it down till the last page ! She signed my book at Barnes and Noble in Manhattan. I was so pleased to meet her and her mom! Soooo lovely !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Higgins-Clark

    Enjoyed the book, doesn't quite come up to her Mother's novels however. Really shallow plots and very predictable. As noted above good for a quick read and escapism. I will continue to follow Regan Reilly

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Carol Higgins Clark is one of my favorite authors.

    Carol Higgins Clark writes easy-to-read mysteries. Although I read many different genres, she's one of my favorite authors. I keep all her books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Cursed

    I like her books. It is an easy read. I take them on vacation. I have read all of her books and share them with my family and friends. I do hate that she always says that she married her husband no relation Reilly. It bugs me.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Another installment that is fun to read

    This installment of the series followed the same format as before. A good quick read for me, that had suspense and fun. The characters, as usual, were fun to meet.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Different Carol Higgins Clark book.

    This book was different from other Carol Higgins Clark books it centered just on Regan and her friend rather than the rest of the family. Was suspensful and very well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I love this series by Carol Higgins Clark

    This book was great. I loved the plot and I tried to figure out "whodunit" before I got to the end, but this time I couldn't get it until the reveal.

    She's a great storyteller! Keep up the good work Carol.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Entertaining and Funny

    I love the characters and plots. Helps me to relax and forget about day to day demands on my time.

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  • Posted July 2, 2009

    Great Addition to the Regan Reilly Series!

    Carol Higgins Clark has done it aagin! Cursed is another good Regan Reily mystery. As usual, Clark has a well-written plot with a wide cast of charcters, and just when you think you figured out who the murderer is, she throws you a clue that changes evrything. Good summer read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unlucky 13?

    Carol Higgins Clark delivers another Regan Reilly mystery with a twist. This curse is fast-paced, plenty of non-stop action and suspense to keep you reading. You can read it through in two days. Find out if Abigail gets her money back; see if Cody is the killer; and if Regan can close up the loose ends and uncover the curse. Great storyline, a coast-to-coast thriller.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great Regan Reilly Novel!

    This is another great addition to the Regan Reilly series by Carol Higgins Clark. Very captivating book. Did not want to put it down while I was reading it - it only took me two days to read because I had to sleep and work.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    Carol does it again.

    Reagan is at her very best in this story.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Always Entertaining

    Carol Higgins Clark has a very easy writing style. When you pick up the book you have a hard time putting it down. This one was no exception. Had to find out if there really was a curse.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    A great read!!

    Carol Higgins Clark is one of my favorite authors!! I love reading about Regan Reilly & family with their crime solving adventures. A can't miss read!

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  • Posted June 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good if you like cozy mysteries.

    This story is good if you like cozy "mysteries". I place quotes around mysteries because although I liked the story, the plot is too predictable and there's no mystery to it.

    Regan's husband, Jack, is away at a conference and Regan receives a call from a friend, Abigail, asking Regan to track down an ex-boyfriend who owes her some money. Regan flies to Los Angeles to help this friend and works this case.

    One thing that bugs me about Carol's stories is that she can choose some absolutely ridiculous names and if you've read her stories a while, you can figure out who plays what part of the story: helpless victim, criminal, etc.

    Her earlier books on the Regan Reilly series were more suspenseful than the recent ones.

    Still, if you like to read stories where's there not much happening at once, you'll like her stories, although you'll need to read her mother's book if you prefer suspenseful stories, like I do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    I enjoy all of Carol Higgins Clarks books - buy them whenever I see one.

    I love the Reagen Reilly series - so cute & realzing to say the least. Enjoyable reading - especially love when she writes a book with her mother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

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