Gypped (Regan Reilly Series #15) [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Regan Reilly returned to the West Coast, where she began her career as a PI, she never imagined that her unsuccessful appearance on a game show seven years earlier would throw her trip totally off course!

REGAN REILLY is in Los Angeles with her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. After Jack finishes his meetings with the LAPD, the couple may head north to...
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Gypped (Regan Reilly Series #15)

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Overview

When Regan Reilly returned to the West Coast, where she began her career as a PI, she never imagined that her unsuccessful appearance on a game show seven years earlier would throw her trip totally off course!

REGAN REILLY is in Los Angeles with her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. After Jack finishes his meetings with the LAPD, the couple may head north to the wine country, or may head south to Baja. Their only plan is to see which way the wind blows.

The first day back, Regan goes shopping at an upscale new mall in West Hollywood. To her surprise, she runs into Zelda, a woman she’d become friendly with seven years before at a television studio in Burbank, when they were waiting to appear on the game show Puzzling Words. They haven’t seen each other since.

Zelda and Regan didn’t win much money, but Zelda made up for it! A year ago an elderly neighbor she barely knew left Zelda eight million dollars. She has been enjoying her newfound wealth but is aware of the need to give back. At a recent fundraiser, she bid on a week’s stay in an old Hollywood Hills estate and was the lucky winner. She’s currently in residence there and invites Regan to a party at the mansion.

While Jack attends a business dinner, Regan goes to Zelda’s by herself, unaware that she is being followed. Regan is more than surprised at the run-down condition of the house and grounds. People should be paid to stay here, she thinks. Zelda introduces Regan to a colorful cast of characters, including her old neighbors, friends from her yoga class, a filmmaker, Zelda’s financial adviser, her bookkeeper, and her personal assistant. It’s all good fun. As the guests are leaving, Zelda asks Regan to stay for a cup of tea. They’ve barely sat down to chat when Zelda falls ill. A worried Regan doesn’t want to leave Zelda alone and decides to spend the night at the isolated, aging estate. It’s not long before Zelda asks Regan to investigate people in her life, starting with her father’s new wife, Bobby Jo. The couple said “I do” in the back of a cab at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas after only three months of togetherness.

Has Zelda’s windfall put her in danger? Regan is determined to find out, not knowing that she’s a target herself!
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this flat and formulaic 15th installment in the Regan Reilly mystery series (after Mobbed), the titular PI and her husband, Jack, are in L.A. for a meeting and some downtime, but when Regan runs into a former fellow game show contestant, their trip takes a turn for the worse. Seven years ago, Zelda and Regan met and made nice on Puzzling Words. When they run into each other while shopping, Zelda divulges that she has recently inherited million from a deceased neighbor, and has used some of the money to bid on and win a weeklong stay at a Hollywood Hills mansion. Though Jack has to work, Regan agrees to attend a dinner party at the estate. Surprised to find the manse in deplorable condition, Regan rallies and stays for tea after the other guests have left. Zelda suddenly falls ill, and so Regan stays the night. The next morning she discovers a butcher knife hidden by her car, and soon the newly minted multimillionaire is entreating Regan to investigate her new cohort, including her pushy lawyer, Rich; her flamboyant assistant, Norman; and even Zelda's new stepmother, Bobby Jo, who married Zelda's father in Vegas after a distressingly brief courtship. As Regan digs deeper, she discovers that she and Zelda might be danger. Fans of the series will get they're looking for, but a barebones plot and lack of suspense make Clark's newest unlikely to appeal to new readers. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439170335
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Series: Regan Reilly Series , #15
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 18,887
  • File size: 6 MB

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

In a claustrophobic dressing room littered with straight pins, Regan Reilly was checking her reflection in the mirror. If there was anything she hated, it was shopping for jeans. With all the boot-cut, slim, straight, bell, stonewashed, low-rise, high-rise styles, and ever changing lengths, finding a pair that fit properly was a challenge. Harsh lighting didn’t exactly add to the joy of the occasion.

A deliberate pounding on the door was followed by a cheery, “It’s Turquoise. Any luck yet?”

Regan glanced at the pile of jeans she’d already rejected. “I think so,” she answered, trying to sound upbeat.

“What’s that? You need to speak up.”

Of course I do, Regan realized. “Yes, finally,” she called over the thumping music that filled the air.

“Awesome! Can I take a peek?”

Oy, Regan realized. This is the part of shopping I hate the most. She didn’t have to be psychic to predict the salesgirl’s reaction. Regan pulled open the door.

Turquoise, not her legal name, she’d informed Regan, although Regan might have guessed, had streaks of turquoise running through her wildly layered black hair. One small section looked as if she’d been to the barber for a close shave. Another section was cascading down to her waist. The black leather halter and low-rise jeans Turquoise was sporting brought to mind the expression, “And never the twain shall meet.” She quickly sized up Regan’s jeans. “They’re fab! Oh, I wish I were tall like you.”

“5'7" isn’t that tall,” Regan said with a smile.

“It is to me! If I didn’t wear these platform shoes,” Turquoise said, pointing to her indescribable footwear, “I’d disappear into the crowd.”

“Not a chance,” Regan answered.

Turquoise laughed and swayed back and forth to the thumping music. “I have one more pair that you have to try on.”

“That’s okay,” Regan began. “I think I’m done for the day.”

“No, wait! I’m so psyched. I thought we were out of this style but I found one last pair in the back and it’s your size! You’re going to love them.” Turquoise reverently unfolded the jeans in her hand and held them out. “Aren’t these cool?”

Regan stared. The jeans had holes in the knees the size of bread plates. Holes surrounded by fray. “I don’t think that’s what I’m looking for.”

Regan felt decidedly unhip. She was thirty-one years old but suddenly being around Turquoise made her feel at least a hundred.

“You never know until you try,” Turquoise said with a twinkle in her heavily made-up eyes.

“That’s true of a lot of things in life,” Regan said, “but I’ll take a pass.”

“No prob. Would you like to put your purchase on your Trendsetters credit card?”

“No, thanks,” Regan said quickly.

“Do you have a Trendsetters credit card?”

“No.”

“Would you like to apply for one today? You’ll get ten percent off.”

“No, really. But thanks. I’ll get changed and be right out.”

“Okay. I’ll meet you out front.”

Regan pulled off the jeans, started to lose her balance, and stepped on one of the straight pins that she had been carefully avoiding. “Ow,” she grumbled as she pressed her hand against the wall to steady herself. I’ve got to get out of here, she thought. She checked her foot to see if there was any blood before she slipped on the white pants that had felt chic before she set foot in the store. At the register, as Turquoise rang up the purchase, she asked for Regan’s e-mail address and phone number. “You’ll get advance word on Trendsetters sales!”

“I’d rather not.”

“Are you sure? You might miss out on some really super deals.”

It’s a risk, Regan thought, but a risk I’m willing to take. “I’m sure,” she replied as she signed the credit card receipt.

Turquoise folded the jeans and placed them in a plastic bag. The words “Come back soon,” had barely escaped her lips before she hurried off to greet an attractive, conservatively dressed woman in her fifties who had just come through the door.

Good luck, lady, Regan thought, as she escaped into the California sunshine and donned her sunglasses.

Regan walked along the upscale outdoor mall that was a welcome addition to the Los Angeles shopping scene. A large, modern timepiece towering over the fountain that was the centerpiece of the mall read October 4th, 4:05 P.M. The warm air and the softening of the afternoon light calmed her. And just being out of that dressing room was a relief! But Regan was ready to head back to the hotel.

Private investigator Regan Reilly had lived in Los Angeles when she met Jack Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. The occasion? The kidnapping of Regan’s father, Luke, along with his driver. Regan and Jack had worked, along with his team, on getting them back safely. The two had been together ever since. People often laughed about how convenient it was they both had the same last name, then invariably added that they looked like they were made for each other.

Regan’s dark hair, blue eyes, and light skin were termed “Black Irish.” 6'2" Jack was sandy-haired, hazel-eyed, and what Regan termed “incredibly handsome.” They had an apartment in Tribeca—the triangle below Canal Street—in New York City. Her parents, Nora Regan Reilly, a well-known mystery writer, and Luke, owner of three funeral homes, lived in Summit, New Jersey, where Regan had grown up. Luke loved to take the credit for introducing them. “If I hadn’t been kidnapped, . . . ” he’d joke, his face beaming with pride. “Anything for my daughter.”

So much about my life has changed since I left L.A., Regan thought as she headed for the multistoried parking structure. It’s hard to believe I was living here not so long ago. It’s good to be back for a visit, especially since I’m with Jack.

They’d arrived late the night before on a last-minute trip. For the next few days Jack would be meeting with the LAPD, then they would take off in their rental car. Perhaps head north to wine country for the weekend. Perhaps south to Baja. See which way the wind blew, that was their plan.

Regan decided to stop for a moment and sit on a bench near the fountain and check her phone. The fountain that not only gushed water, but played music. Miracles will never cease, she thought as she reached in her purse. Jack had texted her. No surprise that I never heard my phone in that store. She read his message:

Looks like today’s meeting will run well into the evening. Giving you a heads-up so you can make dinner plans with one of your old pals. I love you. Jack.

Regan felt a stab of disappointment. I shouldn’t, she thought. His work is the reason we’re here. She put her cell phone back in her purse, stood up, and once again started toward the parking lot. A slender woman wearing a long skirt and peasant blouse was a few steps ahead of Regan, moving quickly, carrying several shopping bags in each hand. A small brown bag at the top of one of them fell to the ground. Regan scooped it up, caught up to the woman, and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” Regan said. “You just dropped this.”

The woman slowed down and turned to Regan. She was wearing large sunglasses. “Huh?”

“This just fell out of one of your bags.”

“Oh, thank you! That is so nice of you,” she said, putting her bags on the ground. “I’m rushing too much.” She took the bag from Regan, then tried to fit it in with her other purchases but there wasn’t enough room. “Oh, my,” she mumbled.

“If you’re going to your car, I’ll help you,” Regan offered.

The woman shook her head vehemently as she continued to try and rearrange her bags. “Oh, no, that’s okay. I can handle it.”

She must be afraid I’m some kind of con artist, Regan thought with amusement. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“You’re not going to let your old game show friend help you out?” Regan teased.

“What?” The woman quickly glanced up at Regan.

“As I recall, we had a lot of laughs the few days we spent together at the television studio in Burbank waiting our chance to wow the world on Puzzling Words.”

The woman straightened up and screamed. “Regan?”

“Zelda!”

They hugged, then both took off their sunglasses. “I’m so sorry I didn’t recognize you,” Zelda stammered as she pushed back her mane of brown curls. Beads of sweat had formed on her forehead. “I’m in such a hurry.”

“That’s okay. It must be about seven or eight years. You look great.”

“Thanks, you too! Neither of us won the big money but we both came so close!” Zelda cried. “And remember that horrible clue your celebrity gave you when you were playing for twenty grand?”

Regan laughed. “I’ll never forget it.”

“You were in detective school. We exchanged numbers but never got in touch.”

“I called you once,” Regan teased. “But I never heard back.”

“You’re right. My life was in such confusion. First I was so upset about not winning the money, then I thought too much time had passed to call you back.”

“It’s okay,” Regan said.

“Is that a wedding ring you’re wearing?”

“Yes. And I live in New York now. We’re out here for my husband’s work.”

“Wonderful! I’m still looking for the right guy. Maybe I’ll meet him before I turn forty. That gives me three months! But I’ve had a few good things happen in my life since I last saw you. . . .”

They walked to Zelda’s car, during which time Regan learned that Zelda had been left $8 million by an elderly neighbor she barely knew.

“Eight million dollars!” Regan gasped.

“Can you believe it? This woman lived in my apartment building. She was a loner. I always said hello when we passed each other in the hallway, I held the door for her, and when she wasn’t feeling well I offered to walk her dog. She let me do that a few times but wasn’t interested in even having a cup of tea together. After she died, I was flabbergasted she left me anything, never mind that much. My building was nice, but not the kind of place where you’d imagine someone down the hall had at least eight million dollars in the bank.”

“I guess it makes up for losing on the game show,” Regan remarked.

“It does,” Zelda said. She laughed heartily, instantly bringing Regan back to those days in the studio. Not a single bad clue went without comment. Zelda and Regan both prayed Betty White would be their celebrity partner. No such luck.

“So when did you become a multimillionaire?”

“Almost a year ago.” They reached Zelda’s Mercedes and loaded the bags in her trunk. “Listen, Regan, I have to hurry. This week I’m staying in an old Hollywood Hills estate. I don’t think anyone has lived there in years. The owner donated the use of the house for a week, as a prize at a charity auction. I bid the most—which isn’t saying much because nobody else wanted it. I’m having a dinner party tonight. Why don’t you and your husband come along?”

“Jack is working.”

“So come by yourself. The place is a kick. There are hiking trails next to the property. I was thinking of suggesting a moonlit walk after dinner if people are up to it.”

“That sounds great, Zelda. What time?”

“8:00.”

“I’ll be there,” Regan said as she wrote down the address. “It’s so funny to run into you like this.”

“It was meant to be, Regan. I truly believe that. I’ve been studying the universe. Everything happens for a reason. I coach people on that.

“Coach people?”

“I’m a life coach. I’ll tell you about it tonight. Can I give you a ride to your car?”

“No, thanks, it’s up on the next level. It’s easier to walk.”

“Okay. See you later.”

Regan waved as Zelda backed out her car. Wow, Regan thought. What a story. She turned, and immediately noticed a tall, scruffy guy wearing a baseball cap and jeans coming into the garage from one of the side stairwells, a set of keys in his hand. Anxiously, he glanced around. Regan watched as he rushed down one aisle, up the next, then tried a key in the passenger door of a small car. It didn’t work. Quickly he backed away. He walked up another aisle and tried the key again with no luck.

What is he doing? Is he looking for a car to steal? Regan asked herself. Most people have at least some idea of where they parked their car. Surreptitiously Regan followed him as he went up and down the aisles looking around, then headed for the main staircase and hurried down the steps. Her heart beating fast, Regan followed after him to the lower level where he also scouted out cars. She tried to keep her distance, but when he started back toward the main stairwell he seemed to sense her presence, stopped, and glanced around. Their eyes met.

People were strolling to their cars, unaware of what was going on. I can’t put anyone in danger, Regan thought as she quickly turned and started to walk away. A moment later she turned back.

He was gone.

Regan headed to the security office as fast as she could.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    loved the story line, so naturally had to get the this book. It

    loved the story line, so naturally had to get the this book. It did not disappoint!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Highly recommended

    I love the Regan Reilly series. It's funny and entertaining and a little drama,too. I also love Mary Higgins Clark. I have been reading their books for years and have never been disappointed.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    Regan meets an old acquaintance who asks her to look into some o

    Regan meets an old acquaintance who asks her to look into some of the people in her life and Regan quickly uncovers duplicity and fraud. I love this series. The several subplots enhanced the main plot with a comfortable tone that was easy flowing in this fast-moving story. As always, Regan gets to the root of this mystery that is satisfactory to all involved. This was a great read and I enjoy every minute of my visit with the Reilly clan and look forward to more fun-filled adventures in this wonderful and entertaining series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Regan Reilly Series

    I have read all of the series and keep coming back to them. They are fun to read and I can't wait for the next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Title.

    Couldn't believe the title. Shouldn' t an editor know the origin of the word?

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    what a terrible choice for a title. do people still not realize

    what a terrible choice for a title.
    do people still not realize that the term "gypped" is egregiously racist? because it is.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    TO ALL

    Move to 'rle' res one to 11!!!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Not the worst but far from good

    I've heard better stories having coffee!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Gypped! This is the first book I have read by Carol Higgins Cla

    Gypped! This is the first book I have read by Carol Higgins Clark. I felt it was good. Love her mom's books - Mary Higgins Clark!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Flameburst

    Yes, i would *smiles*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    another enjoyable book. Carol Higgins Clark provides many funny

    another enjoyable book. Carol Higgins Clark provides many funny scenes again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Only 176 pages...

    As a reader of all of her titles, i found this very disappointing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Review title: Schemes and Scams. Another interesting storyline w

    Review title: Schemes and Scams.
    Another interesting storyline with protagonist Regan Reilly is between these pages for you. Enjoy a fascinating mystery-suspense thriller taken from real-life stories as Regan investigates the background of several characters. Just when you think you have figured it all out new information is revealed. So good is the plot that you could read this book in one weekend. *Great escape for the weekend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 1, 2012

    4 STARS I really like Regan Reilly P.I. who married Jack Reilly

    4 STARS
    I really like Regan Reilly P.I. who married Jack Reilly no relation except by now being married.
    Jack is a police Detective in New York where they now live. He is in LA for a conference. Regan had lived for years in L.A. but moved back to New York after they got married. Regan wants to show Jack some places and meet some of her friends after his conference is over.
    Regan out shopping while Jack is busy with the conference runs into an old friend she made while they were on a game show together. They both lost.
    Her friend tells her that she was now rich a neighbor who lived in her apartment that she sometimes walked her dog when she was sick left her to her surprise 8 million dollars.
    Regan was invited to a party she was having this evening in a rundown mansion she bid on a charity auction and won for a week. After the party she asks Regan to help her find out about her father's new wife when she finds out they eloped.
    Before Regan finds out much her friend gets really sick so she stays the night to keep watch and help her.
    Earlier in the day Regan saw a suspious guy trying to get into multiple cars and reports it to security at the mall. She doesn't realized that she is followed to her hotel or the party.
    I liked the story it was not her best but it was good. She usually comes out in the spring with her books. I read some of others reviews until then I did not realize that Gypped was a racist title until it was pointed out. Maybe they did not realize or think of it in that context either. Sorry some people got hurt I will try not to use it now that I know.
    04/03/2012 PUB Scribner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews

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