Wrecked (Regan Reilly Series #13)

( 94 )

Overview

Now in mass market, New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark delivers the thirteenth installment in her crowd pleasing Regan Reilly mystery series, this time with Regan trying to find a mysterious woman’s identity while on vacation in Cape Cod, in a story The Daily Beast calls “thrilling.”

Private Investigator Regan Reilly and her husband, Jack “no relation” Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They are ...

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Wrecked (Regan Reilly Series #13)

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Overview

Now in mass market, New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark delivers the thirteenth installment in her crowd pleasing Regan Reilly mystery series, this time with Regan trying to find a mysterious woman’s identity while on vacation in Cape Cod, in a story The Daily Beast calls “thrilling.”

Private Investigator Regan Reilly and her husband, Jack “no relation” Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They are looking forward to a quiet romantic weekend out of town. Wouldn’t you know their choice of destination provides them with anything but!

Regan and Jack had considered going to Bermuda, but instead they decide to spend four days at his parents’ beautiful beachfront home on Cape Cod, a wonderful spot where they’d never been alone. During the summer the house overflowed with Jack’s family, bubbling with activity from morning until night. But to be up there for a weekend in April, just the two of them, sounded like a perfect escape.

However, the best laid plans...

In the bedroom, Regan opens the curtains to find Skip, the Reillys’ young caretaker, pressing his nose against the glass, supposedly checking for leaks. A moment later, Jack arrives home from the market, two gossipy older women who live up the street in tow. A branch crashed through their living room window, and they need a place to stay. When Regan thought things couldn’t get any worse, Skip comes running into the house, distraught that he’d just discovered Adele Hopkins, the woman renting the house next door, in a heap at the bottom of her staircase to the beach. Regan and Jack run back down with him, but huge waves are crashing on the shore. Hopkins is gone, presumably swept out to sea.

Regan and Jack begin an investigation to help their friends track down Hopkins’s family. They start by interviewing two young women who own the shop where Adele had bought the pillows. Pippy and Ellen opened Pillow Talk after they both lost their jobs. When a newspaper article revealing the terrible way the women had been treated by their former employers was posted on the Internet, business took off, they started to become well-known, and the Pillow Talk website became a place for people who had had similar experiences to vent their feelings.

Pippy and Ellen just received an anonymous e-mail from someone who spews venom about her former rowing coach—Adele Hopkins. Could she be the same Adele Hopkins?

Regan and Jack’s search for clues to this mysterious woman’s identity makes for an anniversary weekend they’ll never forget!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Clark's slapdash 13th mystery to feature New York City PI Regan Reilly (after 2009's Cursed), the disappearance of divorcée Adele Hopkins interrupts the plans of Regan and her husband, Jack, to celebrate their first anniversary at their weekend place on Cape Cod. During a storm, Skip, a local caretaker, finds Adele lying in a heap outside the house she's renting, her face bloody, her rowboat banging against the rocks in the nearby bay. By the time Skip returns with help, Adele is gone. As Regan and Jack aid the authorities in locating Adele's next of kin, clues surface that suggest Adele has been the victim of foul play. The two co-owners of the boutique Pillow Talk, who knew Adele as one of their best customers, offer Regan and Jack an important lead, while a visiting theatrical troupe lends a bizarre plot twist. Clark's easy humor will please cozy fans, but Regan's unconvincing eureka moment and the villain's lack of a credible motive disappoint. (Apr. 13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439170267
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 3/29/2011
  • Series: Regan Reilly Series , #13
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 306,583
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 4.22 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Higgins Clark

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

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

Regan Reilly shivered as she padded around the kitchen of her in-laws’ summer home. Outside, the wind was howling. Sheets of rain pelted against the house. At the sink Regan stopped and stared out the window. As far as the eye could see, whitecaps churned in the waters of Cape Cod Bay.

Regan pulled her terry-cloth bathrobe more tightly around her waist and smiled. I love this weather, she thought. There’s nothing like riding out a storm in a house like this. She and her husband, Jack, had driven up from Manhattan the night before to spend a quiet weekend in celebration of their first wedding anniversary. Arriving just as the bad weather started, they’d lit a fire in the den, poured glasses of wine, and enjoyed the basket of sandwiches and fruit and cheese Regan had prepared for the trip. They relished being alone and just doing as they pleased for the next three days. The only big plans they had were to go out for dinner on Sunday night to an award-winning restaurant on the water that had been converted from an old captain’s house and served only twelve meals a night. Apparently the chef could get a little cranky if he was asked to cook a morsel more.

The coffeemaker on the counter hissed and sputtered, firing the last few drops of freshly brewed java into the waiting carafe. That sounds so loud, Regan thought. You’d never even hear it during the summer, when the house was overflowing with Jack’s brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and assorted family friends—there was so much activity. Conversation filled the air. Someone was always attempting to tell a story or a joke without interruption. Few were successful. The days were filled with swimming and waterskiing and firing up the grill. In the evenings, everyone would gather on the big deck to watch the sunset. Thirty-nine steps down from the deck was the beach where Jack and his brothers often anchored the powerboat that they’d brought over from its spot at the marina. What a difference, Regan mused. Except for the wind and the rain and the creaking of the house and the coffeepot, this place is so quiet!

Regan poured coffee into a mug, then reached for the refrigerator door and pulled it open. She grabbed the container of skim milk that Skip the caretaker had stocked for them. Jack’s mother was in regular contact with him. A few days ago she asked him to bring in milk and juice and butter and bread when he did his weekly check on the house. Just enough for Regan and Jack to have breakfast on their first morning. The coffee smells great, Regan thought. I can’t wait to sit in the den with this cup and watch the storm. She poured the milk into the mug and stared in horror as it curdled. What? How can that be? She checked the expiration date. The milk had expired two weeks ago. Did he bring this from home? Regan wondered as she woefully poured her coffee down the sink.

Jack, freshly showered, appeared in the kitchen. “I’ll run up to the market and get the papers,” he said.

Regan turned to him and smiled. He looked so handsome. Jack was six foot two, with hazel eyes and sandy hair. He was wearing jeans and a windbreaker. “Put milk on your list.”

“I thought Skip brought in milk for us.”

“He did. Only trouble is, he managed to produce a container that expired two weeks ago.”

Jack laughed. “That kid is unbelievable. I don’t know why my mother doesn’t fire him.”

“That’ll never happen,” Regan said. “His little-boy-lost quality has made your mother feel very maternal and protective of him.”

Jack shook his head, leaned down to give Regan a kiss, and put his arms around her. “I’ll pick up some muffins. I’m not trusting that anything he bought for us is edible.” He hugged Regan tight. “It’s so great to be here alone with you. No work to distract us.”

Jack was head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. Regan was a private investigator. They had both been busy with cases that thankfully wrapped up in the past few days.

“It is going to be a wonderful weekend,” Regan said as Jack released her. “I’ll jump in the shower and look forward to your return.”

Jack laughed. “What you really want is for me to hurry back with the milk so you can have your first cup of coffee.”

“You know me so well,” Regan murmured as Jack headed for the front door.

In the downstairs master bathroom, Regan turned on the shower. The hot water felt so good on her shoulders and back. A few minutes later she pulled a pair of jeans and a sweater out of her suitcase on the bedroom floor. I don’t think I’ve ever been alone in this house, she thought. So why don’t I feel alone? She dressed, brushed her dark hair, then started to apply makeup to her pale skin. With her blue eyes, she fell into the category of “Black Irish.”

It might not be sunny outside, but I need more light, Regan thought. She stepped over to the window, fumbled for the cord, then gave it a yank. The curtains flew open.

A man in a yellow hooded slicker had his nose pressed against the glass.

Regan screamed.

It was Skip. He stumbled back. “Sorry!” he yelled.

Regan couldn’t hear the rest of what he was saying. She turned the handle of the window, which opened out.

“Sorry!” Skip yelled again through the roaring wind. “I was just checking the drainpipes.”

I’ll bet, Regan thought. “You startled me,” she said, her heart beating wildly.

“I didn’t mean to. This storm caused a lot of damage on the Cape. I’d like to come in and check all the windows and the basement. Make sure there are no leaks or anything.” He smiled up at Regan. Curls of brown hair escaped from the hood of his rain gear.

His face was the picture of innocence, but Regan felt unnerved. “Okay,” she said, wanting to ask him how he managed to buy expired milk.

“I’ll check the other drainpipes then come on in,” Skip said, waving his hands. “You can’t be too careful, you know.”

“No you can’t,” Regan agreed as she cranked the window shut. Jack’s mother had joked that the minute Skip came into the house he never stopped talking. Months of living alone up here in the wintertime took its toll. When he finally got an audience, he never let them go. Well, Regan thought, her heart still racing, I’m sure Jack can handle it. I wish he were here right now.

The sound of the front door opening flooded her with relief. “Regan?” Jack called.

Thank God, Regan thought as she raced out of the bedroom and down the hall. “Jack, I’m so glad you’re back!”

When she got to the living room, she stopped short. The two gossipy women who lived in the house three doors down were standing with Jack. Regan couldn’t think of their names but knew that they were sisters. They were like a double dose of Mrs. Kravitz, the quintessential nosy neighbor on the old TV series Bewitched.

“Gee, you two are like newlyweds,” one of them cackled. “Look at the way you run and greet your husband when he only was gone a few minutes buying the newspaper.”

“Jack tells us it’s your first anniversary,” the other chimed in. “The way you act, it seems more like you got married yesterday.”

Regan managed a smile. “I was just worried with him being out in this storm. I understand it’s done quite a bit of damage.”

“Oh, you’re right about that, Regan,” the taller sister said. “A huge branch snapped off the big tree in our yard and came crashing through our front window. What a mess! We flagged Jack down when he was coming back from the market. He pulled the branch out of the way, then covered the hole with plastic. There’s glass all over our living room. We asked if we could stay at your place until things are back to normal. Ginny and I both feel as if we’re coming down with colds as it is. Now our house is a drafty mess. You don’t mind, do you? Jack’s mother has been such a dear to us over the years.”

I don’t believe this, Regan thought. This can’t be happening. All our weekend plans. “Of course I don’t mind,” she finally croaked, stealing a glance at Jack, who raised his eyebrows in despair. He looked as if he were about to go through the floor.

“You’re so kind, Regan. Thank you. There’s nothing like neighbors you can call on in a time of need.” She sniffed the air. “That coffee smells great to me. Did you make that yourself, Regan?”

“Yes, I did.”

“I wouldn’t mind a cup. But I only take it with skim milk. Doctor’s orders.”

“We’ve got plenty of skim milk,” Jack said, holding up the grocery bag as they headed to the kitchen.

“Wonderful. Ginny and I want to hear all about your married bliss. But first I’d like to use your phone. I was trying to reach the window company from our house but had no luck. Something tells me it’s going to take a good bit of time before we’re back to normal.”

Jack turned to Regan and mouthed one word: Bermuda.

It was the only other place they had considered going for their anniversary.

© 2010 Carol Higgins Clark

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 95 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 8, 2010

    A typical Reagan Reilly mystery. Characters are quirky and shallow, but the book is a fun read. It met my expectations so I wasn't disappointed.

    Reagan and new hubby of one year try to celebrate their one-year anniversary at his parents' beach house in the middle of a storm. As expected, their plans for a quiet, intimate time together are never realized. Almost immediately upon arrival, their elderly, nosy neighbors barge in and insist on staying until their broken window can be fixed. In the meantime, another mysterious neighbor is believed to have been washed out to sea.
    A traveling acting troupe is also in town and set to perform. Of course among them is a difficult, psychotic actor who is holding the missing woman hostage. Fortunately, Jack and Reagan are on the case and won't rest until the mystery is solved.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 27, 2013

    a noisy neighbor

    the noisy neighbor made the book and you wondered what she would discover next for the detectives to solve

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

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Great fast read

    Book has many different storylines and people so it starts off slow, but the last 50 pages are so good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Highly recommended

    I read this book before and enjoyed reading it again.
    I love a good mystery and Carol Higgens Clark is a good mystery writer.

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Wyndham

    Cali!!!!! *glint of love and compassion passes through his eyes*

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Josie

    No! Cali! I WILL pray for her!!

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Haley

    Omg....i will totally keep her in my prayers! Hope she gets better soon...

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Leah

    :,(

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Zac

    Couldnt have said it better myself......omg

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Nathan

    Omg........ *he gets a worried look in his eyes.* Cali.... get well soon........................... T.T

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Sam

    Has and will pray.

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Luke

    Poor cal...WHY HER?????

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Izzy

    Omg

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Raena

    "Aww!"

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

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Calis bro

    Cali got hit in an accident today...she is not physically hurt but is mentally weak...sh will b on tonight but if she seems odd thats why....

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

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Fun

    Love this series

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2011

    A nice read, epes. during a storm

    This book is great to curl up with during a storm. You won't be able to put this book down! The only thing i found disappointing was the end. The whole books sets up for this epic ending, everything is suspenseful but the book just ends. There isn't much closure. So because of that it wasn't my favorite reads but I still recommended you read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2011

    wrecked

    another great book. when i finish #14 i would have read them all. i can't wait for the next one!

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Consistently Entertaining

    As with the other Regan Reilly books, this is an enjoyable read. Easy to pick up and put down when interrupted, without losing your place. It is light entertainment reading, enjoyable, almost deliciously sinful (like eating Hagen Dasz out of the container). I can't wait for the next installment.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Beats Me

    The book may be wonderful but the ePub file from Barnes & Noble won't work with the software that works on my Palm Pilot. The new eReader software apparently no longer supports the Palm Pilot nor does ePub file work with Mobipocket which claims to import ePub files. Barnes & Noble, of course, stands by their policy that they cannot switch formats once the file has been downloaded, so I am stuck. I was planning to buy a Nook. Now? I think I'll wait until Barnes & Noble gets their act together.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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