Jinxed (Regan Reilly Series #6)

Jinxed (Regan Reilly Series #6)

4.0 16
by Carol Higgins Clark

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Fresh from tracking down a diamond thief in Manhattan, Regan Reilly returns to her Los Angeles office only to discover her horoscope says now is not really the best time to get started on a new case. Undaunted, she sets out to locate a missing young heiress. But Regan finds herself thwarted by a string of misadventures, inexplicably jinxed as she races up and down… See more details below


Fresh from tracking down a diamond thief in Manhattan, Regan Reilly returns to her Los Angeles office only to discover her horoscope says now is not really the best time to get started on a new case. Undaunted, she sets out to locate a missing young heiress. But Regan finds herself thwarted by a string of misadventures, inexplicably jinxed as she races up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. Just when thing seem to be turning from bad to worse, New York cop Jack Reilly steps in with some timely reinforcement.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Clark's sixth rollicking mystery featuring L.A. PI Regan Reilly (Fleeced, etc.) boasts a wonderful cast: Lucretia Standish, a wealthy 96-year-old former silent-film star (who claims to be 93); Lucretia's sneaky, fortune-hunting fianc , 40-ish Edward Fields; as well as the old lady's late (fifth) husband's family, a clutch of superannuated hippies who manage Altered States, a winery/hotel near Santa Barbara. Regan must track down a missing young actress and scion of Lucretia's late husband's family, Whitney Weldon, aka "Freshness Lilac," the name her hippie mother gave her. Adding to the fanciful mix are 21 tattooed bikers who have made Lucretia their pet; Regan's mother, who, like the author's own, is a successful novelist; television and movie people; and a host of other amusing California types. The redoubtable Lucretia made $60 million by being smart enough to dump some dot.com stock that Edward had foisted on her, but she's not smart enough to see through his schemes as their wedding day approaches. She drags him to Altered States to meet her eccentric family in her brand-new Rolls Royce, escorted by her idolizing bikers. It's up to Regan to sort everything out, and thanks to the transcontinental e-mail aid of her sweetheart, Jack "no relation" Reilly, she's more than equal to the task. As usual, Clark provides plenty of fast-paced fun, with all the substance of a soap bubble, and best of all, nobody gets hurt. (Aug. 27) FYI: Clark has coauthored two novels with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, He Sees You When You're Sleeping and Deck the Halls. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
New York Daily News

"Clark pours a Zinfandel that's light and fruity and perfect with cheese."

School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A fun detective romp set in California wine country. Regan, a private investigator, must find Whitney, an actress, before her great-aunt Lucretia's wedding as Whitney's family, former hippies running the Altered States Bed & Breakfast and Meditation Center, will receive a fortune if everyone attends. Lucretia, an aging silent-film star, inherited a fortune and then made more money in a dot-com enterprise. Of course, the groom and his cronies are criminals out to thwart the family attendance by kidnapping Whitney so that they will receive more money. Add to this framework a motorcycle gang, two friends in their 90s, buried treasure, news coverage, and wildfires for an exciting mystery. The story moves quickly with snappy dialogue and short chapters. Locales change frequently until the conclusion with everyone on location at the B & B.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
New York Daily News Clark pours a Zinfandel that's light and fruity and perfect with cheese.

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Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Regan Reilly Series, #6
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 4.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Thursday, May 9


Turn right at the bumpy dirt road," Regan Reilly instructed her beau, Jack "no relation" Reilly. He was at the wheel of her Lexus, and they were heading to the last winery on their tour of the Napa Valley and Santa Barbara County. Regan was reading from a guidebook.

"This bumpy dirt road?" Jack asked as he made the turn and the car started to bounce along, stirring up a cloud of dust in its wake.

Regan smiled. "I don't see any others."

"I can just imagine what this place is going to be like," Jack mused. "With a name like 'Altered States' and this out-of-the-way location..."

"They say it's the perfect place to relax, sip a glass of wine, meditate, sleep in the charming bed-and-breakfast...get away from it all, and leave your stress behind."

"Well, they were right when they said we were getting away from it all." Jack reached over and squeezed Regan's hand. "This place is way off the beaten track. And in the last week we've been to some remote spots."

Regan and Jack had met five months ago in New York when Regan's father, Luke, was kidnapped at Christmastime. Jack, the head of the Major Case Squad in Manhattan, had been instrumental in finding Luke.

Luke was returned safely on Christmas Eve. Regan and Jack's romance began that night. Perhaps an odd way for two people to meet, yet Luke claimed full credit and protested that he had not yet been paid his Dolly Levi commission. He and Regan's mother, suspense writer Nora Regan Reilly, were convinced that Jack was Regan's perfect match. Not only was thirty-four-year-old Jack handsome, nice, and smart, with a wry sense of humor, but he also was a go-getter. A graduate of Boston College, he had two master's degrees, and his goal was to become police commissioner of New York. Few who knew him doubted he would make it.

Now they were finishing up their first vacation together, a driving tour that took them north from Los Angeles, up the Pacific Coast Highway, and across to the Napa Valley wine country, then back down through the valleys. Altered States was their last stop before heading back to Los Angeles where thirty-one-year-old Regan worked as a private investigator.

The trip had been great. They'd walked the beach, stopped in little coastal towns, and discovered restaurants that were full of charm and good food. Even the characters in a couple of roadside dumps they'd stumbled upon provided a lot of laughs.

"You know," Jack said, smiling, "we haven't gotten on each other's nerves even once."

"What a miracle." Regan laughed as she glanced at his profile. God, is he good-looking, she thought. And he makes me so happy. He was 6 feet 2 inches tall, broad-shouldered, with sandy brown hair that tended to curl, strong even features, and hazel eyes. He was the perfect complement to Regan, who had inherited Black Irish looks from the Reilly side of her family. She had raven black hair, light skin, and blue eyes.

"This is the bumpy dirt road to end all bumpy dirt roads." Jack navigated the car down the seemingly endless stretch. It was almost five o'clock. They had been driving for hours and were looking forward to getting out of the car and having a glass of wine on the back deck of the inn that supposedly had a great panoramic view.

In the distance, they saw a cluster of old wooden and stone buildings, surrounded by acres and acres of vineyards. Regan whispered, "It does have the feeling of an old ghost town, just as the guidebook promised."

"This place was abandoned for decades, right?" Jack asked.

"Yes. Prohibition put the winery out of business, and then it stood idle for years. A couple bought it and started renovations, but then they went bankrupt. The new owners haven't had it for long at all."

They drove slowly through a lemon grove and into the open space in front of the main building. Jack stopped the car. They got out, and each took a deep breath of the fragrant air.

"It's so peaceful and quiet," Regan said.

Jack's cell phone rang. "You were saying," he remarked as he winked at her, pulled open his phone, and answered it. Regan could tell right away from the tone of his voice that it was his office calling. She slowly walked over to the large stone building and stepped inside the main entrance.

"Hello there." A tall, thin woman greeted Regan quietly from behind a massive reception desk. Numerous candles flickered on a shelf behind the desk. The woman looked about fifty and had flowing blond hair streaked with gray that gave her an ethereal quality. "We're so glad to have you here at Altered States."

This certainly feels like Altered States, Regan thought, but she said, "Thank you. It's nice to be here."

"Do you have a reservation?"

"Yes, we do."

"Wonderful. Please sign our guest book. Where are you from?"

"Los Angeles."

"That's great. Do you have a business card? We'd like to make sure you're on our mailing list."

Regan pulled a card from her wallet and handed it to the woman.

The woman stared at it for a moment, then looked up at Regan with a Zen-like expression. "You're a private investigator?"

Regan nodded. "Yes."

"How neat," she said. "That is really neat."

"Oh, it's neat all right," Regan agreed, and laughed. She could hear the door behind her open. She turned, already smiling, praying it would be Jack. This woman was just a little odd. Her prayers were answered, but Jack was not looking as relaxed as he had a few minutes before.

"I'm sorry, Regan. I have to get back to New York tomorrow. That case I told you about..."

Regan felt a stab of acute disappointment. "Oh, Jack, that means our vacation's over," she said with a look of mock horror.

"I know. I feel terrible. We should probably go down to Los Angeles tonight."

The woman behind the desk looked sympathetic. "We'll be happy to honor your reservation another time. We'd just love to have you come back and visit."

"We'd love to come back," Jack and Regan replied in unison, as a black cat jumped up on the desk.

None of them had any clue that Regan would be returning in less than twenty-four hours.

Copyright © 2002 by Carol Higgins Clark

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