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Gypped: A Regan Reilly Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Carol Higgins Clark
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.74
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

When Regan Reilly returned to the West Coast, where she began her career as a PI, she never imagined that her unsuccessful appearance on a game show seven years earlier would throw her trip totally off course!

REGAN REILLY is in Los Angeles with her husband, Jack, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. After Jack finishes his meetings with the LAPD, the couple may head north to the wine country, or may head south to Baja. Their only plan is to see which way the wind blows.

The first day back, Regan goes shopping at an upscale new mall in West Hollywood. To her surprise, she runs into Zelda, a woman she’d become friendly with seven years before at a television studio in Burbank, when they were waiting to appear on the game show Puzzling Words. They haven’t seen each other since.

Zelda and Regan didn’t win much money, but Zelda made up for it! A year ago an elderly neighbor she barely knew left Zelda eight million dollars. She has been enjoying her newfound wealth but is aware of the need to give back. At a recent fundraiser, she bid on a week’s stay in an old Hollywood Hills estate and was the lucky winner. She’s currently in residence there and invites Regan to a party at the mansion.

While Jack attends a business dinner, Regan goes to Zelda’s by herself, unaware that she is being followed. Regan is more than surprised at the run-down condition of the house and grounds. People should be paid to stay here, she thinks. Zelda introduces Regan to a colorful cast of characters, including her old neighbors, friends from her yoga class, a filmmaker, Zelda’s financial adviser, her bookkeeper, and her personal assistant. It’s all good fun. As the guests are leaving, Zelda asks Regan to stay for a cup of tea. They’ve barely sat down to chat when Zelda falls ill. A worried Regan doesn’t want to leave Zelda alone and decides to spend the night at the isolated, aging estate. It’s not long before Zelda asks Regan to investigate people in her life, starting with her father’s new wife, Bobby Jo. The couple said “I do” in the back of a cab at a drive-through chapel in Las Vegas after only three months of togetherness.

Has Zelda’s windfall put her in danger? Regan is determined to find out, not knowing that she’s a target herself!


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of fourteen previous Regan Reilly mysteries and coauthor of five bestselling holiday suspense novels with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. Also an actress, Carol recently had a part in the TNT movie Deck the Halls, based on the first holiday mystery she and Mary co-wrote. Carol studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse and is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

In a claustrophobic dressing room littered with straight pins, Regan Reilly was checking her reflection in the mirror. If there was anything she hated, it was shopping for jeans. With all the boot-cut, slim, straight, bell, stonewashed, low-rise, high-rise styles, and ever changing lengths, finding a pair that fit properly was a challenge. Harsh lighting didn’t exactly add to the joy of the occasion.

A deliberate pounding on the door was followed by a cheery, “It’s Turquoise. Any luck yet?”

Regan glanced at the pile of jeans she’d already rejected. “I think so,” she answered, trying to sound upbeat.

“What’s that? You need to speak up.”

Of course I do, Regan realized. “Yes, finally,” she called over the thumping music that filled the air.

“Awesome! Can I take a peek?”

Oy, Regan realized. This is the part of shopping I hate the most. She didn’t have to be psychic to predict the salesgirl’s reaction. Regan pulled open the door.

Turquoise, not her legal name, she’d informed Regan, although Regan might have guessed, had streaks of turquoise running through her wildly layered black hair. One small section looked as if she’d been to the barber for a close shave. Another section was cascading down to her waist. The black leather halter and low-rise jeans Turquoise was sporting brought to mind the expression, “And never the twain shall meet.” She quickly sized up Regan’s jeans. “They’re fab! Oh, I wish I were tall like you.”

“5'7" isn’t that tall,” Regan said with a smile.

“It is to me! If I didn’t wear these platform shoes,” Turquoise said, pointing to her indescribable footwear, “I’d disappear into the crowd.”

“Not a chance,” Regan answered.

Turquoise laughed and swayed back and forth to the thumping music. “I have one more pair that you have to try on.”

“That’s okay,” Regan began. “I think I’m done for the day.”

“No, wait! I’m so psyched. I thought we were out of this style but I found one last pair in the back and it’s your size! You’re going to love them.” Turquoise reverently unfolded the jeans in her hand and held them out. “Aren’t these cool?”

Regan stared. The jeans had holes in the knees the size of bread plates. Holes surrounded by fray. “I don’t think that’s what I’m looking for.”

Regan felt decidedly unhip. She was thirty-one years old but suddenly being around Turquoise made her feel at least a hundred.

“You never know until you try,” Turquoise said with a twinkle in her heavily made-up eyes.

“That’s true of a lot of things in life,” Regan said, “but I’ll take a pass.”

“No prob. Would you like to put your purchase on your Trendsetters credit card?”

“No, thanks,” Regan said quickly.

“Do you have a Trendsetters credit card?”

“No.”

“Would you like to apply for one today? You’ll get ten percent off.”

“No, really. But thanks. I’ll get changed and be right out.”

“Okay. I’ll meet you out front.”

Regan pulled off the jeans, started to lose her balance, and stepped on one of the straight pins that she had been carefully avoiding. “Ow,” she grumbled as she pressed her hand against the wall to steady herself. I’ve got to get out of here, she thought. She checked her foot to see if there was any blood before she slipped on the white pants that had felt chic before she set foot in the store. At the register, as Turquoise rang up the purchase, she asked for Regan’s e-mail address and phone number. “You’ll get advance word on Trendsetters sales!”

“I’d rather not.”

“Are you sure? You might miss out on some really super deals.”

It’s a risk, Regan thought, but a risk I’m willing to take. “I’m sure,” she replied as she signed the credit card receipt.

Turquoise folded the jeans and placed them in a plastic bag. The words “Come back soon,” had barely escaped her lips before she hurried off to greet an attractive, conservatively dressed woman in her fifties who had just come through the door.

Good luck, lady, Regan thought, as she escaped into the California sunshine and donned her sunglasses.

Regan walked along the upscale outdoor mall that was a welcome addition to the Los Angeles shopping scene. A large, modern timepiece towering over the fountain that was the centerpiece of the mall read October 4th, 4:05 P.M. The warm air and the softening of the afternoon light calmed her. And just being out of that dressing room was a relief! But Regan was ready to head back to the hotel.

Private investigator Regan Reilly had lived in Los Angeles when she met Jack Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad. The occasion? The kidnapping of Regan’s father, Luke, along with his driver. Regan and Jack had worked, along with his team, on getting them back safely. The two had been together ever since. People often laughed about how convenient it was they both had the same last name, then invariably added that they looked like they were made for each other.

Regan’s dark hair, blue eyes, and light skin were termed “Black Irish.” 6'2" Jack was sandy-haired, hazel-eyed, and what Regan termed “incredibly handsome.” They had an apartment in Tribeca—the triangle below Canal Street—in New York City. Her parents, Nora Regan Reilly, a well-known mystery writer, and Luke, owner of three funeral homes, lived in Summit, New Jersey, where Regan had grown up. Luke loved to take the credit for introducing them. “If I hadn’t been kidnapped, . . . ” he’d joke, his face beaming with pride. “Anything for my daughter.”

So much about my life has changed since I left L.A., Regan thought as she headed for the multistoried parking structure. It’s hard to believe I was living here not so long ago. It’s good to be back for a visit, especially since I’m with Jack.

They’d arrived late the night before on a last-minute trip. For the next few days Jack would be meeting with the LAPD, then they would take off in their rental car. Perhaps head north to wine country for the weekend. Perhaps south to Baja. See which way the wind blew, that was their plan.

Regan decided to stop for a moment and sit on a bench near the fountain and check her phone. The fountain that not only gushed water, but played music. Miracles will never cease, she thought as she reached in her purse. Jack had texted her. No surprise that I never heard my phone in that store. She read his message:

Looks like today’s meeting will run well into the evening. Giving you a heads-up so you can make dinner plans with one of your old pals. I love you. Jack.

Regan felt a stab of disappointment. I shouldn’t, she thought. His work is the reason we’re here. She put her cell phone back in her purse, stood up, and once again started toward the parking lot. A slender woman wearing a long skirt and peasant blouse was a few steps ahead of Regan, moving quickly, carrying several shopping bags in each hand. A small brown bag at the top of one of them fell to the ground. Regan scooped it up, caught up to the woman, and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” Regan said. “You just dropped this.”

The woman slowed down and turned to Regan. She was wearing large sunglasses. “Huh?”

“This just fell out of one of your bags.”

“Oh, thank you! That is so nice of you,” she said, putting her bags on the ground. “I’m rushing too much.” She took the bag from Regan, then tried to fit it in with her other purchases but there wasn’t enough room. “Oh, my,” she mumbled.

“If you’re going to your car, I’ll help you,” Regan offered.

The woman shook her head vehemently as she continued to try and rearrange her bags. “Oh, no, that’s okay. I can handle it.”

She must be afraid I’m some kind of con artist, Regan thought with amusement. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“You’re not going to let your old game show friend help you out?” Regan teased.

“What?” The woman quickly glanced up at Regan.

“As I recall, we had a lot of laughs the few days we spent together at the television studio in Burbank waiting our chance to wow the world on Puzzling Words.”

The woman straightened up and screamed. “Regan?”

“Zelda!”

They hugged, then both took off their sunglasses. “I’m so sorry I didn’t recognize you,” Zelda stammered as she pushed back her mane of brown curls. Beads of sweat had formed on her forehead. “I’m in such a hurry.”

“That’s okay. It must be about seven or eight years. You look great.”

“Thanks, you too! Neither of us won the big money but we both came so close!” Zelda cried. “And remember that horrible clue your celebrity gave you when you were playing for twenty grand?”

Regan laughed. “I’ll never forget it.”

“You were in detective school. We exchanged numbers but never got in touch.”

“I called you once,” Regan teased. “But I never heard back.”

“You’re right. My life was in such confusion. First I was so upset about not winning the m...

Product Details

  • File Size: 532 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GG0MV0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,036 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Appropriate Title April 7, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Carol Higgins Clark's newest effort (though little effort seems to have gone into it) is both a disappointment and an insult to the reader. First, it's so short that plot development suffers; sometimes it seems like more of an extended outline than a completely developed story. And it must have been thrown together very fast, otherwise how to explain the sloppy treatment of the characters' thoughts? I believe an 8th grader could have done as well on the internal monologues, many of which are not even introduced. (Is it too much trouble to insert a "she thought," or "she mused," rather than just plunging into the charcter's head?) Clearly the book suffered from no editing whatsoever; a cursory scan would reveal this kind of flaw. Also, there is an excess of short, declarative sentences. Again, think of that 8th grader.

The plot and characters are typical of the author; it's the development and treatment that are lacking. It shows little respect for her readers, most of whom undoubtedly have read the entire series and buy the newest book believing it will be of similar quality to the others. Plus, she piggybacks on her mother's publishing date, which probably guarantees still more readers.

The title of the book, "Gypped," is an accurate description of how this reader felt.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gypped May 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover
The title of this book describes how I feel about having spent money on it. This is the worst Regan Reilly book ever...I have enjoyed all of the others but this one leaves much to be desired.Example page 60 and entire paragraph about basements. This book appears to have been written by a 12 year old. A case of another author cheating their fans
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So. Predictable. May 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished this book and immediately came online to see if anyone else thought it was as bad as I thought it was.

This was the first Carol Higgins Clark book I've read and I probably won't read another. I'm used to reading actual mysteries with actual plot twists, ex. James Patterson, Harlan Coben, even the other 2 Higgins Clark women.

The only reason I finished it was to see how the vitamins plot fit into the story (spoiler: it didn't really, so she forced something).

The "mystery" man following Regan? Not for a minute did I think it was anyone else but the guy from the garage. I'll admit I was surprised at who it was, but otherwise the characters in this one are so dumb.

Zelda... you're dumb.
Regan... you're probably dumber.
Norman was kind of interesting, but it would have been more interesting if he wasn't such a "good guy"
Maggie/old lady story line was dumb.

Also the ending happened so fast and perfectly- was there something wrong with the tea or not? How did Zelda get sick in the first place?

Anyway, I'm glad other people disliked this book as much as I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Gypped is right. I want my money back! May 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like CHG's Regan Reilly books ... no, they are never going to be compared (in a good way) to classic novels or even her own mother's books, but generally they will provide the reader with an entertaining few hours.

Gypped was incredibly lame. First of all Regan has been 31 for at least a decade. Jack is always loving arm candy and has been conveniently disposed of "in a conference" in at least four novels. I suppose its harder to have disagreements (or sex) if you are never in the same city. Not that I expect these to turn in to Fifty Shades of Regan Reilly, but Jack-and-Regan-the-couple are just BORING.

This book had zero plot twists and the even the predictable coincidences were so transparent, I assume they were put in as filler to make the book appear more than twelve pages. The bad guys are identified so quickly I wouldn't have been suprised to see yellow highlighter over their names. I read the Kindle version and kept waiting for the story to evolve - with the Kindle, you can't really tell how far you are into a book. However, it was painfully simple to recognize the end was near (all the characters converge) and I kept thinking, "no ...there is going to be another character, or an alien invasion or SOMETHING."

Alas, no such luck. The good guys all wipe a tiny bead of persperation off their brows and thank Regan for saving the world and Regan and Jack ride off into the sunset to not have sex. Or argue, or drive into the San Andreas Fault where they might have to have an interesting conversation while trying to figure out how they are going to get out.

The Kindle version is $13 plus change...buy chocolate instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Title Indicates the Value June 9, 2012
Format:Hardcover
You only need to look at the selling price of this dribble on Amazon. After only a month since release, the book is selling for less than a dollar by those who unwittingly purchased it at the retail price. This tripe is all dialogue, blank pages, and abbreviated chapters. Ms. Higgins needs to take a hiatus from writing in order to recoup some semblance of plot and character development. Her style has become so elemental that one must surmise she is using a middle-schooler as a shadow co-author. Regan Reilly has become the Dora the Explorer of investigation; she has become as shallow as the family backyard wading pool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Gypped: A Regan Reilly Mystery May 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this book. I have read every one of her Regan Reilly stories but this one was not nearly as good as all the others. I don't think I will order her next book if she continues her series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another one down!
Just finished Gypped, great read as usual. Have never read a book by this author that I did not like. Love all her books.
Published 8 days ago by South mountain quilter
5.0 out of 5 stars I have read the other books in the series and have enjoyed them all
Once again Ms. Higgins - Clark delivered. I have read the other books in the series and have enjoyed them all.
Published 9 days ago by Cynthia Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I Loved the suspense and the
Characters. Would recommend to
Anyone who likes mysteries and good clean books to read.
Published 24 days ago by Pam
4.0 out of 5 stars Gypped is an easy enjoyable read.
I love Mary Higgins Clark books so I thought I would try one of her Daughters book. Like her Mother she does does not disappoint! Read more
Published 24 days ago by Barbara Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy beach read!
She never fails to move right thru with lots of twists and turns. I love her characters. You can imagine each one on an individual level. Surprises throughout.
Published 28 days ago by Elizabeth A. Jenison
5.0 out of 5 stars gyyped: a regan reilly mystery
I always love carol Higgins clark books. I especially like her books involving regan reilly. They are interesting, full of suspense and keep you guessing to the end.
Published 1 month ago by dixie waite
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed her other books that I read. It was good, though.
Published 1 month ago by MJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic!
I absolutely love Carol Higgins Clark books! I've read every one and get such a kick out of her quirky characters who manage to extricate themselves out of seemingly impossible... Read more
Published 1 month ago by ED
3.0 out of 5 stars Gypped
"ok"....not one of Clark's best. What's with the vitamins? A decent book to read on the plane but there are many more much better.
Published 1 month ago by Reader in Colorado
2.0 out of 5 stars Title says it all
The Regan Reilly series is always an easy read, but this one was the most disappointed of them all. I think I'm done with this series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dragonlady
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More About the Author

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of nine 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.

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