Santa Cruise (Regan Reilly Series)

( 33 )

Overview

Alvirah Meehan, lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, and private investigator Regan Reilly are guests, along with their spouses, on the "Santa Cruise." The cruise is a gift from Commodore Randolph Weed to a select group that "has made the world a better place." His largesse is prompted by the desire to create a buzz about his new cruise ship, the Royal Mermaid, as she sets out on her maiden voyage.

Alvirah, Regan, and her new husband, Jack — head of the NYPD Major Case Squad — ...

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Santa Cruise (Regan Reilly Series)

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Overview

Alvirah Meehan, lottery winner turned amateur sleuth, and private investigator Regan Reilly are guests, along with their spouses, on the "Santa Cruise." The cruise is a gift from Commodore Randolph Weed to a select group that "has made the world a better place." His largesse is prompted by the desire to create a buzz about his new cruise ship, the Royal Mermaid, as she sets out on her maiden voyage.

Alvirah, Regan, and her new husband, Jack — head of the NYPD Major Case Squad — are joined as guests on the cruise by a mystery fan convention celebrating a "ghost of honor," as well as ten men who donated time playing Santa Claus, now hoping for a restful post-season. That tranquility vanishes when two Santa suits disappear from a locked room, a storm develops, and an attempt is made on a passenger's life. As the Royal Mermaid sails through troubled waters, Alvirah, Regan, and Jack uncover clues that lead them to dangerous criminals not on the original guest list....

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  • Mary & Carol Higgins Clark
    Mary & Carol Higgins Clark  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of the lighthearted fourth yuletide mystery from the bestselling mother-daughter Clarks (after 2004's The Christmas Thief), Randolph Weed, "self-styled commodore," launches his newly refurbished boat, the Royal Mermaid, from Miami with a "Santa Cruise" to raise money for charity and reward 400 "Do-Gooders of the Year." Meanwhile, Weed's greedy nephew, Eric Manchester, has made a secret $2 million deal with escaped felons Bull's-Eye Tony Pinto and Barron Highbridge to keep them hidden aboard the Royal Mermaid until it reaches Fishbowl Island, where they can make trouble out of federal jurisdiction. Fortunately, there are plenty of Do-Gooders to foil the bad guys, notably the mystery mavens of the Oklahoma Readers and Writers group and sleuthing philanthropist Alvirah Meehan. Full of mystery-lite cheer but lacking in style and substance, this collaboration is never quite buoyant enough to really deck the halls for fans of the Clarks' superior solo efforts. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The day after Christmas, a host of Clark & Clark regulars-amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan and husband Willy, plus P.I. Regan Reilly and groom Jack-join a cruise with 50 writers and fans at a mystery seminar. Alas, the deceased writer to whom the seminar is dedicated seems to have shown up as well. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416538028
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Series: Regan Reilly Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 253,914
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 4.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. She is also the coauthor with Carol Higgins Clark of five holiday suspense novels. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of fourteen previous 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 of her mother’s works as well as her own 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

The Queen of Suspense, Bronx-born and -bred Mary Higgins Clark has achieved international success against heavy odds. Her father died when she was 11, and her mother struggled to raise and provide for Mary and her two brothers. Clark attended secretarial school after high school and worked for three years in an advertising agency before leaving to become a stewardess for Pan American Airlines. Throughout 1949, she flew international flights to Europe, Africa, and Asia. " I was in a revolution in Syria and on the last flight into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain went down," she recalls. In 1950, she quit her job to marry Warren Clark, a neighbor nine years her senior whom she had known and admired since she was 16.

In the early years of her marriage, Clark began writing short stories, making her first sale in 1956 to Extension Magazine. Between writing and raising a family, the decade flew by. Then, in 1964, Warren Clark suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his young widow with five children to support. She went to work writing radio scripts; and, around this time, she decided to try her hand at writing books. Inspired by a radio series she was working on, she drafted a biographical novel about George Washington. It was published in 1969 under the title Aspire to the Heavens. (In 2002, it was re-issued as Mount Vernon Love Story.) Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, appeared in print in 1975. It was a huge hit and marked a turning point in her life. Since then, she has developed a loyal fan base, and each of her novels has hit the bestseller lists. She has also co-written stories and novels with her daughter Carol, a successful author in her own right.

In the 1970s, Clark enrolled in Fordham University at Lincoln Center, graduating summa cum laude in 1979. A great supporter of education, she has served as a trustee of her alma mater and Providence College and holds numerous honorary degrees. She remains active in Catholic affairs and has been honored with many awards. Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, funds an annual award in her name to be given to authors of suspense fiction writing in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition.

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    1. Hometown:
      Saddle River, New Jersey and New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 24, 1929
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      New York University; B.A., Fordham University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Santa Cruise

A Holiday Mystery at Sea
By Mary Higgins Clark

Scribner

Copyright © 2006 Mary Higgins Clark
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1416535527

Chapter One

Monday, December 19th

Randolph Weed, self-styled commodore, stood on the deck of his pride and joy, the Royal Mermaid, an old ship he had bought and paid a fortune to refurbish and on which he intended to spend the rest of his life playing host to both friends and paying guests. Docked in the Port of Miami, the ship was being readied for its maiden voyage, the "Santa Cruise," a four-day trip in the Caribbean with one stop at Fishbowl Island.

Dudley Loomis, his forty-year-old PR man, who would also serve as cruise director, joined Randolph on the deck. He took a deep breath of the refreshing breeze blowing off the Atlantic Ocean and sighed happily. "Commodore, I have e-mailed all the major news organizations once again to let them know about this unique and wonderful maiden voyage. I began the release, 'On December 26th, Santa is turning in his sleigh, giving Rudolph and the other reindeer some time off, and taking a cruise. It's the Santa Cruise -- Commodore Randolph Weed's gift to a select group of people who have in their own unique way made the world a better place this past year.' "

"I've always liked giving gifts," the Commodore said, a smile on his weathered but still handsome sixty-three-year-old face. "But people didn't always appreciate it. My three ex-wives never understood what a deep and caring man I am. Forgoodness' sake, I gave my last wife my Google stock before it went public."

"That was a terrible mistake," Dudley said solemnly, shaking his head. "A terrible mistake."

"I don't begrudge her the money. I've made and lost fortunes. Now I want to give back to others. As you know, this Santa Cruise was created to raise money for charity, and celebrate those who have given of themselves."

"It was my idea," Dudley reminded him.

"True. But the money to pay for this cruise is coming out of my pocket. I spent considerably more than I expected in order to make the Royal Mermaid the beautiful ship she has become. But she's worth every penny." He paused. "At least I hope she is."

Dudley Loomis held his tongue. Everyone had warned the Commodore that he'd be better off having a new ship built than dumping a fortune into this old tub, but I do admit it cleaned up rather well, Dudley told himself. He had been cruise director on mammoth vessels where he had to worry about several thousand guests, many of whom he found intensely irritating. He would now deal with only four hundred passengers, most of whom would probably be happy to sit on deck and read instead of having entertainment shoved down their throats twenty-four hours a day. Dudley had come up with the idea of the Santa Cruise when reservations for passage on the Royal Mermaid were almost nil. He was a PR man right down to the rubber soles of his yachting shoes.

"We should have a free cruise the day after Christmas to get the kinks out of the ship before any paying passengers, or reviewers, come on board," he had told his boss. "You'll donate passage to charities and do-gooders. It'll only be a few days, and in the long run it will pay for itself with the good publicity I'll get for you. By the time our official maiden voyage rolls around on January 20th, we'll be turning people away. You wait and see."

The Commodore had needed a few minutes to think about it. "A totally free cruise?"

"Free!" Dudley had insisted. "Everything for free!"

The Commodore had winced. "The bar, too?"

"Everything! From soup to nuts!"

Eventually, the Commodore agreed. The special Santa Cruise would set sail in one week, the day after Christmas, and return to Miami four days later.

Now, as the two men walked along the freshly scrubbed deck, they went over the final details. "I'm still hoping for one of the television stations to at least attend the pre-sailing cocktail party on the deck," Dudley said. "I've sent word to the ten Santa Clauses you are treating to get here early so they can try on the lightweight Santa Claus outfits that you had made for them. They should be ready to mingle with everyone at our evening cocktail party.

"It turned out to be a blessing in disguise when I had that fender bender with that Santa Claus from Tallahassee last month. While we were exchanging insurance papers, he got weepy and confided how exhausting it was to listen to children all day long, have pictures taken with them, and, worse yet, be sneezed on. By the time Christmas Day rolled around, he'd be exhausted and unemployed again. That's when the light went on in my head to include ten Santas among the guests..."

"You're always thinking," the Commodore agreed. "I just hope we get enough paying passengers in the next few months to keep this ship afloat."

"It'll all be fine, Commodore," Dudley said in his most cheery cruise-director voice.

"You said we hadn't heard from all the people who won this trip at charity auctions. What's the status on that?"

"Everyone is coming -- we're just waiting to hear from one passenger. She was by far the highest bidder at an auction for this cruise. I sent her a letter by FedEx, and as an enticement offered her the remaining two staterooms so she could bring friends. She's a good person for us to have on board. She won forty million dollars in a lottery, appears on television regularly, and is a contributing columnist to a large newspaper." He did not add that he had lost the name and address of this winner -- who had attended his friend Cal Sweeney's auction -- and had just followed up on it. He almost fainted when he realized Alvirah Meehan was not only a celebrity, but a columnist.

"Splendid, Dudley, splendid. I wouldn't mind winning the lottery myself! In fact, I may need to -- "

"Good morning, Uncle Randolph."

They had not heard the Commodore's nephew, Eric, come up behind them.

Sneaky as always, Dudley thought as he turned to greet the newcomer. I swear he could make his living as a mugger.

"Good morning, my boy," the Commodore said heartily, beaming at his kinsman.

The warm smile on thirty-two-year-old Eric Manchester's face was the expression he reserved for the Commodore and other important people, Dudley observed. With his perfect tan, sun-streaked hair, and muscled body, Eric had obviously divided his time between the beach and the gym. He was wearing a Tommy Bahama floral shirt, khaki shorts, and Docksiders. The sight of him made Dudley ill. He knew that when the passengers came on board Eric would be outfitted as an officer of the ship, although God knows what office he was supposed to hold.

How come I wasn't born good-looking, with a rich uncle? Dudley wondered wistfully.

"I'm running into town, sir," Eric addressed the Commodore, totally ignoring Dudley. "Anything you need?"

"I'll let you two chat," Dudley said, anxious to get away from the farce of watching Eric pretend he was of any use to the Commodore, the Royal Mermaid, or the upcoming Santa Cruise. Eric had wormed his way onto the payroll immediately after his uncle bought the ship.

The Commodore smiled at his sister's son. "Don't need a thing I don't already have," he said heartily. "Have fun at the party you went to last night?"

Eric thought of the wad of cash he'd been given at that party, the down payment on what would make the Santa Cruise a risky and dangerous trip -- and profitable for him..."It was lots of fun, Uncle Randolph," Eric said. "I was bragging to everyone about our upcoming Santa Cruise and how generous you are helping to raise money for charities. Everyone there wished they were coming with us."

The Commodore slapped him on the back. "Good work, Eric. Get people interested in us. Get people to sign up for one of our voyages."

I did, Eric thought, but you won't know about them...He shivered slightly, yet he couldn't help but smile at the irony.

Eric's guests would be the only two paying passengers on the Santa Cruise.

Copyright 2006 by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark



Continues...


Excerpted from Santa Cruise by Mary Higgins Clark Copyright © 2006 by Mary Higgins Clark. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 33 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    ALL MHC-CHC joint writings.

    When Thanksgiving begins to merge into my consciousness one of the first things I do is to check to see if there is a new MHC-CHC collaboration due. <BR/>I thoroughly enjoy the joint ventures and Alvira is a fun character addition.<BR/>Certainly one can find flaws in any writing but I tend to read for enjoyment not criticism. And this series provides great enjoyment. It is not, nor does it suggest that it is to construed as, serious drama. Simply, this is a lovely series. I hope that they keep this up for many years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2006

    Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea (Regan Reilly Series)

    I liked this installment from this mother/daughter team -- I've been curious to see Regan and Jack in the marriage relationship and how their careers would complement each other. However, I feel more suspense was due in this story. Carol and Mary, if you're reading this, how about more suspense in your next book together?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2007

    Decent Read

    I received this book from my parents for Christmas (autographed by both authors!). I read it within two days. I found myself incapable of putting it down. The plot was decent and it was a very easy read. It's a little confusing because the characters in the story are a part of past novels. However, they were integrated into the story well enough that one with no previous readings from the authors (such as myself) can understand and follow the story. Definitely recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Movie

    Last night i saw the movie and it was nothing like the overview. A little surprised that it isn't like it. But i want to read the book.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    A fun book with amateur sleuthing and a Christmas voyage at sea.

    A fun book with amateur sleuthing and a Christmas voyage at sea. There are a lot of things going on aboard this small ship. A good clean fun read.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    Great book

    I really enjoyed this book and shared with friends once I read it. This is the 3rd or 4th Mary Higgins Clark book I have read in less than a year and like the variety.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    Mary Higgins Clark/ Carol Higgins Clark

    I have this book and it is great. These two are my favorite writers, and I try to keep up with all their books. I like mystery novels, therefore Mary Higgins and Carol Higgins sure know how to write books and keep the writer in suspense to the end. This book comes highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    Good but Not the Best

    I love Mary Higgins Clark's books. This was not one of her best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Santa Cruise is an excellent read

    Book was excellent, read in one weekend. Characters were interesting, fun, and writing was very descriptive. Couldn't put it down, had to find out what was going to happen next.

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  • Posted January 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Story for Rainy Days

    Incredible that it has taken not one , but TWO authors to write such a poor book...

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  • Posted November 20, 2008

    Abandon Ship

    The bookcover with a hand holding a wreath has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the book. It gives the impression that this is a murder mystery which it isn't. <BR/><BR/>I am an avid MHC fan and I was very disappointed in her to think that she would publish such a lame story or have her name associated with it. I have never read anything by CHC so am wondering if this was actually her writing and her mom's name was put on the book so it would sell? I can't imagine MHC actually allowing her name to be associated with this book. Did she even read it herself?<BR/><BR/>The characters have no substance, the plot is lame, the predictaments of the characters are silly at best, and the repetivitve dialogue, i.e. we know Alvirah is a lottery winner and to keep reminding us every other chapter is annoying. Their are several characters that add nothing to the story except to maybe fill in space to have more pages in the book.<BR/><BR/>At times it felt like I was reading a See Jane.; See Dick.; See Jane and Dick.; reading book for beginners. <BR/><BR/>I have no idea why I read this story to the end but I guess I was hoping it would get better; it didn't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Not impressed

    This book like so many others of Carol Higgins Clark have a multitude of characters. So many that you have to stop and think 'now who is this character and how does he/she fit in the story'. The plot is thin to say the least. And Carol Higgins Clark would do her readers a favor if she would hire a professional reader to narrate her books. The tone and inflection of her voice leaves a lot to be desired. I would not buy another book of hers if she is the reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2007

    Not very mysterious

    I love Mary Higgins Clark books but this one is not the usual. You basically know who every bad person is and it's not too mysterious. It was ok but I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2006

    No mystery

    I was very disappointed. I have read all her books. I enjoy a book where they keep you guessing until the end. You know from page one what is going to happen. Would not recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2006

    Forget about listening to it, don't read it either

    There was absolutely nothing to this book. I am very surprised Mary Higgins Clark would have her name associated with this weak, transparent and thoroughly predictable 'storyline'. I am trying hard to think of a word to describe the book, but all I am coming up with is 'cheesy'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2006

    Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea (Regan Reilly Series)

    I liked this story, but it seemed to drag in places. The suspense was lacking in the story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    Read it, don't listen to it......

    I always enjoy these Higgins Clark quick reads and I wish I'd read this one. Ms. Higgins Clark may not have been the best choice for the audio book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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