Decked (Regan Reilly Mystery #1) by Carol Higgins Clark
Thoughts Before Reading:
So the first book I read in this series, Laced, I had picked up for free and thought I would try it out. I loved the characters and the buildup, but was a bit disappointed with the ending wrap up. It was just too neat for me.
As I enjoyed Laced, I picked up another free book from the series, Iced. As I read this I felt the same way. The character and build up were good, but the end was just too neatly tied up. And the end conclusion…wait I’ll stop there. After all I am saving it for my countdown to Christmas.
So when I checked out the book Decked from the library, I have to admit I was blown away.
First I loved the cover with it’s Art Deco style, just beautiful; loved the characters, the build up, conclusion…I could go on, but let’s get back on track.
Regan Reilly is the only daughter of Luke Reilly, wealthy mortician, and Nora Reilly, famous mystery novelist. Regan decided to embark on a career path unlike her parents, private investigating, and choosing to live on the west coast in California, rather than her home state of New Jersey.
As Carol Higgins Clark’s mother, Mary Higgins Clark, is also a writer, I have always wondered how much of the characteristics of the characters are autobiographical and how much is fiction?
Anyways, Regan is returning to Oxford for the 10th reunion of her Junior year abroad. As she goes back to the campus it reminds her of her old roommate Athena, from Greece. Before the year ended, she came into her trust fund and ran off without saying good-bye or even writing them a note.
At the reunion Regan asks after her, but it is not just Regan who has lost contact; apparently Athena had run away from home and never contacted anyone else again.
Other shocking news is that Professor Phillip Whitcomb is to be married.
Often sought after by the female students; Professor Whitcomb always seemed more interested in his flora and fauna, rather than females. However, to celebrate, Lady Veronica Exner, Phillip’s wealthy aunt, has invited the whole reunion over to her home, like she used to, to celebrate.
Regan and her best friend Kit agree, as the two have always liked the eccentric woman. Now she is even more so, as she has ditched her bun for permed locks, and neutral colors for bright ones; and taking all kinds of trips. It appears she had a heart attack not long ago and has a whole new lease on life.
While the party is in full swing, they are interrupted with the news that a body was found. Athena’s.
As Regan and Kit head to bed they discover a note by Phillip Whitcomb for Regan. It urgently requests her to call.
When she does she discovers that Lady Veronica’s traveling companion has had food poisoning. They tried to dissuade Lady Veronica from going on her cruise to New York from England, but she won’t listen saying she will be perfectly safe. Phillip’s fiancé came up with a solution of asking Regan to join her and take care of her.
At first Regan is not willing, but then Phillip offers to pay her double. Double pay and five nights on a luxury cruise ship?
Unfortunately, it just so happens that this cruise ship is the same one that her parents are taking a trip on. And they are trying their hardest to avoid Lady Veronica as she insists Nora is the perfect person to write her autobiography.
As the two set off on their journey they sail right in the middle of a murder plot. The person who killed Athena wants Lady Veronica dead as well, and doesn’t care if Regan gets caught in the wake.
As Regan is busy with Lady Veronica and all her activities she wants to try out, she always keeps a fraction of her mind on Athena’s case. Who killed her and why? Regan won’t stop until she discovers the truth.
Thoughts After Reading:
As always, the Clark books are filled to the brim with a multitude of characters, changing narration throughout. While with some books this can be messy or too extravagant; I enjoyed every single one in this novel.
I thought the book was very well written, and the mystery, while not a brain numbing mind bender, had quite a few well done twists.
I enjoyed the character of Regan a lot and eagerly await to read the next book in the series.
In fact, this is one book I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection.
For more mysteries with a female private investigator, go to A is for Alibi
For more mysteries with private investigators, go to Grave Peril
For more mysteries involving a person who has gone missing, go to Where Are You Now?
For more reviews, go to The Book of Madness and Cures