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Jinxed [Mass Market Paperback]

Carol Higgins Clark
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 31 2006 Regan Reilly Mysteries
Carol Higgins Clark, bestselling author of Fleeced and co-author with Mary Higgins Clark of He Sees You When You're Sleeping, returns in top form in her new Regan Reilly mystery, blending her talent for intriguing locales, eccentric characters, and fast-paced suspense laced with humor.

In Jinxed, smart, saucy sleuth Regan Reilly faces a new challenge -- the case of the missing wedding guest.

Regan, an L.A.-based private detective, returns to her office after a vacation with her beau, Jack "no relation" Reilly. Their tour of the wineries in Napa Valley and Santa Barbara County is cut short when Jack has to fly back to New York City, where he is the head of the Major Case Squad of the NYPD. Their last stop had been at Altered States, a run-down winery owned by three siblings who are all former hippies -- Lilac, Earl, and Leon Weldon. Not knowing how soon it would be put to use, Regan leaves her business card behind.

Within minutes of being back to work, Regan gets an excited call from Lilac. The Weldon family has been invited to the wedding of ninety-three-year-old Lucretia Standish, a former silent-screen star, who made a killing in a dot-com before it went bankrupt. Lucretia had been married to the Weldons' Uncle Haskell and had invested the money she inherited from Haskell in the dot-com. Lucretia's maid, Phyllis, clues Lilac in on the fact that Lucretia plans to give the Weldons $2 million each -- if they all show up at the wedding. The wedding is two days away, and there is only one problem -- Lilac's daughter, Whitney, aka Freshness, a young actress, has taken off on one of her go-with-the-flow weekends. Whitney is out of touch and goes where the wind blows. If it doesn't blow her back into town by Sunday morning, the Weldon family will be out $8 million.

Regan's job is to find Whitney. But unbeknownst to Regan, there's someone else on the hunt. Lucretia's fiancé, the much younger Edward Fields, has hired an accomplice in crime to locate Whitney and keep her away from the wedding. Edward knows Whitney will recognize him as the con man she'd met in acting class in New York. He wants to say "I do" to Lucretia and her millions before Whitney can protest. When Edward finds out that Regan Reilly has been hired to find the missing Whitney, he gives the order to get rid of her as well.

Meanwhile, Lucretia is befriended by a gang of bikers, the story of her upcoming nuptials is featured on national television news, and wildfires are threatening to consume the barn where Whitney is being held captive.

As in her previous novels, Carol Higgins Clark has created a novel that is both exciting and vastly entertaining. As no less a master of suspense than Nelson DeMille has said, "Clark's writing is elegantly clear and concise, her characters are witty and engaging, and her plots and pacing are perfect." And in Jinxed, she is at her very considerable best.

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From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ripoff Sept. 5 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's a shame that there are so many good writers out there who can't get published, while this one squeaks by on who she knows with a plot that's so transparently a mirror of her own life that it's not even remotely entertaining.
Regan is one of the most boring characters I've ever "met." Everything in her world is too pat and happens to easily -- for a PI, it seems she never has to lift a finger or investigate because every piece of the puzzle and every clue she needs just happens to fall into her lap at exactly the right moment. And is it really necessary for a 30-something year old PI to have her Mommy and Daddy around for every case she solves?
Nepotism, thy name is Carol Higgins Clark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-Paced Sept. 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this book at a convenience store in Newark airport out of desperation. I finished it before my flight landed in Portland. Don't expect anything deep or profound. However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It was extremely fast-paced. I found it to be both interesting and enjoyable. This isn't ordinarily something I'd pick up, but I would highly recommend it to someone traveling. Helps the time pass more quickly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars action-packed thriller Sept. 24 2002
Regan Reilly and her boy friend Jack "not related" Reilly visit the California wine country until he has to return to his work as the head of the NYPD Major Cases Squad. Private sleuth Regan goes back to her office in Los Angeles. Almost the moment she arrives at work, Regan receives a call from the Weldon siblings, who she met when she and Jack toured their winery. Apparently their ninety-six going on ninety-three years old stepmother, former silent screen star Lucretia Standish, is getting married once again. If the Weldon trio plus the daughter of one of them all attend the ceremony, Lucretia will give them two million dollars each; if even one fails to show up they receive zero. The Weldons hire Regan to find the daughter off on one of her vanishing act weekends.

Regan begins investigating and receives help from Jack via email. However, the forty something groom has other plans for his fiancee's money, which include leaving the Weldons with nothing. If it means killing a detective to insure a Weldon fails to appear so be it.

JINXED is an action-packed thriller that moves at the speed of light, which leads to a fun time for the audience if one does not mind escapist cerebral cotton candy. The story line is fluff yet the audience will enjoy every page of it and most will finish in one sitting. Regan is a wonderful protagonist while readers will find the antics of the support cast quite pleasant and amusing. Carol Higgins Clark does what she does best entertain her fans.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY Sept. 29 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
The author reads this book. She is great, her different accents for her characters very accurately portray them. I have not missed a single one of these mysteries. You will not be disappointed in Jinxed!!
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