Popped (Regan Reilly Series #7)

( 50 )

Overview

It's up, up, and away with sleuth Regan Reilly in this whirlwind adventure from New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark
L.A.-based private detective Regan Reilly heads to Las Vegas to help out her old school chum Danny Madley. Danny is producing a reality TV show featuring three married couples who have all suffered the proverbial "Seven Year Itch," but are now vying for a chance to renew their vows in a wedding-cake-shaped hot air balloon ? and win one million ...

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Popped (Regan Reilly Series #7)

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Overview

It's up, up, and away with sleuth Regan Reilly in this whirlwind adventure from New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark
L.A.-based private detective Regan Reilly heads to Las Vegas to help out her old school chum Danny Madley. Danny is producing a reality TV show featuring three married couples who have all suffered the proverbial "Seven Year Itch," but are now vying for a chance to renew their vows in a wedding-cake-shaped hot air balloon — and win one million dollars! But Danny has received an anonymous letter warning him to halt production, and "accidents" start happening on the set. It's up to Regan to find out what's lurking behind the scenes....After all, the show must go on!
Popped takes us from the kitschy glamour of the Las Vegas casinos and run-down hotels off the Strip to the world-famous Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta — a funny, fast-paced romp!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly The wealth of eccentric characters would be at home in a Dickens novel.

Harlan Coben Pure delight.

Publishers Weekly
Set in Las Vegas, Clark's seventh Regan Reilly mystery (after 2002's Jinxed) takes aim at all sorts of eminently spoofable targets, including reality TV shows, advice columnists and screen actors. Regan answers a plea from a grade school chum who's involved in a contest where someone isn't playing by the rules. The owner of the Balloon Channel (aka Hot Air Cable) is sponsoring a contest between two groups-one developing a pilot for a sitcom, the other for a reality TV show. Both, according to the whimsical rules of magnate Roscoe Parker, must have a ballooning theme. The winning group gets its show on the air and a $1 million prize. Regan's friend Danny Madley is trying to put together the reality show, with a couple of assistants, six contestants and a couple of advice columnists. Then there's the cast of the sitcom and its producer, as well as Roscoe, his girlfriend and his assistants. Even Danny's parents show up to meddle or help, as does Danny's ex-girlfriend. The wealth of eccentric characters would be at home in a Dickens novel, but is too much for this slender volume to support. While Regan attempts to figure out who's doing what to whom, Roscoe continues to add obstacles to make the competition more exciting. It all adds up to zany, if not particularly brilliant, fun in the desert, with an ending series fans will love. (Sept. 23) FYI: With her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, Clark is the coauthor of He Sees You When You're Sleeping and Deck the Halls. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Regan Reilly's latest clients are full of hot air-she's been asked by organizers of the nine-day Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta to find out who's threatening the event with disaster. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743476652
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Series: Regan Reilly Series , #7
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 149,726
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.00 (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

Chapter 1

Regan Reilly sat down at the scarred oak desk in her cozy office on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Developers were dying to take a wrecking ball to the ancient structure, but so far the building managed to remain standing, which made Regan very happy. A private investigator who worked alone, Regan loved everything about her work, except the fact that it kept her three thousand miles from her boyfriend of ten months, Jack Reilly. Jack was the head of the major case squad in New York City. He was coming out to spend the weekend with her, but that was still four more days away.

Monday mornings, Regan thought, as she took a sip of coffee. They're the pits even if you like your job. There's just something about them. For one thing, they certainly put a damper on Sunday nights. I shouldn't complain, though, Regan mused. This Monday morning brings me one day closer to seeing Jack.

The quiet of the early October morning was broken by the ring of the phone.

"Regan Reilly."

"Wow. Am I talking to Regan Reilly after all these years?" a male voice asked.

"You're talking to Regan Reilly," she assured the caller. "Who's this?"

"You don't remember me?"

Here we go, Regan thought. It's not even nine o'clock on a Monday morning, and the weirdos are already on the horn. Don't these people ever give it a rest? "I have no idea who you are," Regan answered simply as she turned on her computer.

"I'll give you three guesses. But only three."

All this before my first cup of coffee, Regan thought. "Why don't you call back later," she suggested. "I'm sure you'll have your identity figured out by then. Bye." She started to put down the phone when she heard a shout from the other end.

"Wait! Regan, it's Danny Madley. The tree boy!"

Regan's hand froze in midair. Her mind raced back in time. The tree boy. No, it couldn't be. She pulled the phone back to her ear. "Tree Boy?"

"Yes!" he replied triumphantly.

"Danny Madley." Regan laughed. "I guess you haven't changed a bit." She pictured the gangly boy from her grammar school days in New Jersey. Danny was the class clown, the one who always had a scheme going. In second grade the teacher refused to give him a speaking part in the school production of The Wizard of Oz because he'd been such a nudge. She cast him as one of the trees. But, of course, trees talk in The Wizard of Oz, and Danny managed to blurt out a few lines he'd written especially for the occasion. He even stuffed apples in his pockets to throw at poor lost Dorothy, a scene the teacher had deliberately omitted from the official version of the play. The kids always called him Tree Boy after that. That is, after he'd spent a week in solitary confinement in a corner of the principal's office.

"You can tell that I haven't grown up?"

"That can be a good thing," Regan replied. "So, Danny, to what do I owe the honor of this phone call?"

"For one thing, I know you're a private investigator."

"You know that, huh?"

"Yes. You're always mentioned in the articles about your mother and her books, and I read something recently about when your father was kidnapped. Your new boyfriend's name is Reilly. Very cute."

Regan's mind wandered back to Christmastime when her father had been kidnapped in New York City. It was when she met Jack. He had been in charge of the investigation and had worked day and night to get Luke back. Jack always joked that it helped to get on the good side of a girl's family from the beginning. And Luke always said he'd do anything to contribute to his child's happiness — even if it meant getting kidnapped. Regan's mother, Nora, the suspense writer, was just thrilled that Regan finally had a decent boyfriend, however they happened to meet. Regan now smiled and informed Danny, "Jack Reilly is a great guy."

"I'm sure he is. Regan, I looked you up on Our Lady of Good Counsel's website and saw that you were registered. That's how I got your phone number."

"Those school websites are kind of fun, so I figured why not?" Regan said, leaning back in her chair. "It's great to hear from old friends, and it's a good way to network."

"That's why I'm calling. Regan, I really need your help."

Oh, God, Regan thought. Knowing Danny, what can he be up to now? "What's the matter?" she asked.

"I live in Las Vegas and work in television. I was asked to produce a reality show. There's a competition to see if my show will get on the air..."

Just what the world needs, Regan thought. Another reality show.

"A guy named Roscoe Parker who's been out here for years owns a local cable station called the Balloon Channel, also known as Hot Air Cable. That's because he also owns a hot air ballooning company. Anyway, he has a ton of dough. He gave me money to produce a reality show and is backing somebody else who is producing a sitcom. Both shows involve hot air balloons. This week we're putting together pilots to show Roscoe on Friday afternoon. The one he likes best he'll put on the air Friday night."

"That's competition for you," Regan commented.

"You're not kidding. Roscoe's station is small but it's growing. This is a big chance for me. If my show is chosen, I'll have a regular slot on the Balloon Channel lineup. But things have been going wrong on the set lately. Yesterday one of our cameras was stolen. Then I was filming an introduction to the show at the hot air balloon field and the platform I was standing on collapsed under me. I think someone is trying to sabotage my operation. What I was wondering is, could you come to Vegas for a few days and help me out?"

Regan was afraid to ask but somehow she managed. "What is your show about?"

"It's called Love Above Sea Level. Calamine lotion for the proverbial seven-year itch."

"Excuse me?"

"I wanted to create a show for married couples. So many reality shows are about singles looking for love. How about one for people who have found love and now need a little help to keep it going? We have three couples who no longer consider themselves honeymooners, to say the least, spending the week in Vegas recapturing the love they once knew. At the end of the week the advice columnists Aunt Agony and Uncle Heartburn will decide which couple truly deserves to renew their vows. We're flying to the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta on Roscoe's private plane. We'll all go up in a hot air balloon shaped like a wedding cake as soon as the sun rises on Friday morning. With a camera, of course. The winning couple will be announced up in the air. Then they'll renew their vows and come back down to earth with a million bucks."

I have not words, Regan thought.

"Regan, are you there?" Danny asked anxiously.

"Indeed." Regan cleared her throat. "Just out of curiosity, where did you find these couples?"

"Roscoe's people found them. I guess they had plenty of folks to choose from. We wanted couples who needed our help and could benefit from a little excitement in their relationship. I see this as the only reality show that is a real positive contribution to society. If we can get just one couple to rekindle that lost spark, then we've done our job."

The thought of a million dollars would make any couple do a lot of rekindling, Regan mused. "So you want me to come to Vegas?"

"I know I can trust you."

"Really?"

"Anyone you survived grammar school with you should be able to trust. There's got to be a permanent bond between two people who sat together in the same class for eight years."

"That's true." Regan laughed. "But I have to tell you: I know at least one person from our class has served time. Credit card theft. I'd never ask him to hold my purse no matter how many years we sat together."

"Let me guess. Bobby Hastings."

"Bingo."

"Well I'm afraid there's at least one Bobby Hastings kind of character hanging around my show. And I'm afraid whoever it is is going to cause more trouble."

Regan opened the drawer of her desk and pulled out her trusty legal pad. This is what I get for signing up for that classmates website, she realized. What was the old expression...be careful what you pray for? She picked up a pen. "Okay, Danny. Let me ask you a few more questions. Then I'll call the airlines. I'm sure I can catch a plane to Vegas this afternoon. But I have to be back Friday night."

"Don't worry, Regan. By Friday the show will be finished. One way or the other."

Copyright © 2003 by Carol Higgins Clark

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    UP, UP, AND AWAY!

    Carol Higgins Clark's POPPED takes us on a fast, fun, action-packed ride through the gritty, gaudy streets of Las Vegas, then it lifts us up, up, and away to a cliffhanger in the New Mexico skies. Ms. Clark's vivid imagination and effortless writing style breathe life into the delightfully wacky assemblage of characters that inhabit the pages of this clever mystery. From cover to cover, a delightful read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2014

    Not one of her best

    It wasn't one of her best books. It was a big sluggish.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Blurb too long and intros too many characters

    This plus annoying spam reviews all fives wish these kids would text each other then book wouldnt down load this has been a rook nooked day also suggest all reviews limited to 1500 characters granny

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Another great Regan Reilly adventure!

    This 7th entry in the Reagn Reilly Series does not disappoint. If you have been reading the others, you will know Carol Higgins Clark's style & how the suspects aren't all that they seem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2004

    Ridding on mother's coat strings

    This is one of the worse books I have ever read. She has a problem letting you get involved in the story line and living the story with the characters. I had heard she was a fair writer but I think that was a generous statement. Needless to say I won't buy her books again

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2003

    Another awesome Regan Reilly book!!

    Once again, Carol has worked her magic. I truly enjoyed this book as I have her others. The characters were, as usual, the oddballs. It was a good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2003

    Worst in the Regan Reilly series

    I love the Regan Reilly series but this book was horrible. The names of the characters are ridiculous and the plot is even worse. Don't waste your money buying this book. UGH!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2003

    light reading

    i love the regan reilly series. light reading that require no thinking. a satisfying mystery that keeps you guessing and entertained until the final page.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    lighthearted satirical cozy

    The owner of Hot Air Cable Roscoe Parker has two television shows competing against each other for a slot on his network. Bubbles Ferndale is producing and starring in a sitcom she hopes to get on the air while her competition Danny Madley is trying to get his reality show on Rosco¿s network. Danny has three married couples competing to see which one should renew their vows in a hot air balloon and cash in a million-dollar check.<P> When malicious pranks start happening on the set, Danny is worried enough to call his friend private investigator Regan Reilly to learn who is sabotaging the show. Many, but not all the tricks, can be attributed to Roscoe who loves stirring the pot. However, someone outside of his control is trying to hurt the contestants and he wants to discover the culprit. Between escalating pranks, each team trying to outwit the other, and team members trying to outsmart the competition, Regan has a hard time keeping everyone alive.<P> The judges of the reality show Uncle Heartburn and Aunt Agony are just two of the funny, quirky and eccentric characters that populate the pages of POPPED. This is a delightful screwball farce that will have the audience in stitches of laughter. Nobody gets killed and no blood is shed so fans that don¿t like violence in their mystery novels will want to read Carol Higgins Clark¿s lighthearted satirical cozy.<P> Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2014

    Stopped reading at page 29 and archived this stinker

    Ditsy, shallow, cutesy, frenetic,and yet terminally boring. I was so disappointed, because of the family name, I expected much better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 29, 2014

    Lots of fun

    You will want to hang out with Riley! She is fun, smart and ready to solve any murder! Good build up to a fine conclusion. Read it!

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

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Nates vote : seth

    Seth . Peter is a newbiee & seth has been here longer

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Aj

    Me not in a good way

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Ryan

    Seth

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

    Posted August 22, 2014

    The Doctors vote: Seth

    Seth. He's the creator and a friend. To me and all. Sure he might do somthing stupid or be mean but he's still a good guy. Everyone knows Seth

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

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Lia

    Seth!

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

    Posted August 23, 2014

    D.J.

    Thinks this is stupid

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Bliss vote: Peter

    PETER!!!!!!!!

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

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Jack

    PETEE PETER PETER PETER

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

    Posted August 22, 2014

    U cant vote fro urself

    I pik peter

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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