Gypped by Carol Higgins Clark

gyppedGenre: Mystery
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: April 2012

Private Investigator Regan Reilly is back in Los Angeles. She’s accompanying her husband, Jack, who’s attending a conference. After that, they intend on taking a few days vacation. To pass the time while Jack is in his meetings, Regan heads to the mall. There she runs into Zelda, a former acquaintance she met years earlier on a game show. Since then the woman has inherited millions, part of which she likes to give back to worthy causes. At one fundraiser, she had bid on a week-long stay at an old Hollywood mansion and won. She invites Regan to the party she’ll be hosting there that night for a small group of friends.

At the gathering, the private investigator meets an eclectic group of people. When everyone leaves, Zelda suddenly falls ill. Concerned, Regan doesn’t want to leave her friend alone in the big house. These worries are further heightened when Zelda asks Regan to look into the background of her father’s new wife. It isn’t long before the PI suspects that not everyone who surrounds the new millionaire has her best interests in mind. However, she becomes so caught up in the investigation that Regan fails to notice that she’s caught in someone’s crosshairs.

I’ve read several of the novels Carol Higgins Clark has co-authored with her mother, but Gypped is the first one I’ve picked up in which she’s the sole writer. I found it to be a nice and enjoyable read. While it’s not the first book in the Regan Reilly Series — there are 14 previous installments, to be exact — I had no problem following the plot. The reader will jump right in starting from the first chapter.

There are some basic grammar and punctuation errors, which surprised me and made me wonder if they were rushing to get the novel out. However, if the reader ignores those, the story still offers a pleasant read.

The author delivers a wide cast, most of them following seemingly separate paths, but converging as the mystery unravels. Several of the characters are a bit over the top, making them feel a bit like cartoons. This provided the book with a slightly comical tone.  Gypped is a good choice for readers looking for a mystery, but not wanting a heavy or intense thriller that keeps them awake at night.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict.

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