JINXED: A Reagan Reilly Mystery
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 fiancé, 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.