Burned

Burned

A Regan Reilly Mystery

  • reading group guide
Regan Reilly and her best friend, Kit, are on vacation in Honolulu, intent on having a Hawaiian adventure. They won't be disappointed!
When we last saw L.A.-based private detective Regan Reilly, she'd recently become engaged. On the opening pages of Burned, Regan gets a call from Kit, urging her to come to Hawaii for one last girls' weekend before she ties the knot. The snowstorm of the century is blanketing the East Coast. Regan can't get to New York to visit her fiancé, Jack "no relation" Reilly, and Kit can't get back home to Connecticut. So Regan packs a bag and is on her way.
At the Waikiki Waters Playground and Resort, where Kit has been staying, the body of Dorinda Dawes, who wrote the hotel newsletter, washes ashore. Around her neck is an exquisite and historically valuable shell lei that once belonged to a Hawaiian princess, a lei that had been stolen from the Seashell Museum in Honolulu thirty years before.
Will Brown, the manager of the resort, doesn't believe that it's an accidental drowning. In the three months Dorinda had worked in Hawaii, she had become a controversial character who had a reputation for pointing out the very worst in people. Will is afraid that she was murdered and that the murderer might still be in their midst, perhaps a guest at the resort.
Besides Dorinda's death, strange things have been happening at Waikiki Waters. Luggage has gone missing, food has been tainted, and tubes of suntan lotion are being dropped into the toilets. Could someone be trying to bring down the whole establishment?
Lucky for Will, he happens to meet Regan Reilly in the hotel lobby and convinces her to get on the case. Since Kit is infatuated with a new love interest -- Steve, a fabulously wealthy thirty-five-year-old retiree living on Oahu who is eager to spend time with her -- Regan is free to take the job. But once she starts digging, she comes across all sorts of suspicious characters. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she's in.
Can Regan find out what really happened to Dorinda before it's too late for someone else? Before it's too late for her?
Is the culprit someone from the tour group visiting from Hudville, a town where it rains 89 percent of the time? Is it one of the employees at the hotel? Could it be Jazzy, a social climber who has a job house-sitting on the Big Island? Just who had it in for Dorinda? Regan's investigation takes the reader on a fast-paced ride from Waikiki to the Big Island of Hawaii and back again.
Carol Higgins Clark's trademark light touch, humor, and quirky characters make Burned yet another wonderfully unpredictable mystery, complete with a thoroughly satisfying denouement.
  • Scribner | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743263023 | 
  • March 2005
List Price $8.99

Video

Novelist Carol Higgins Clark Reveals Her Inspiration

Carol Higgins Clark talks about the historical figure with whom she most identifies.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

"This is going to be the snowstorm of the century," the action reporter, Brad Dayton, cried with a certain hysterical glee. Clad in bright yellow foul weather gear, he was standing on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike. Cars were inching by, sliding and spinning, as a gusty wind blew wet snow in every direction. The flakes seemed to target the reporter's face and the lens of the television camera. The sky was thick with gray clouds, and the whole Northeast was hunkering down for an unexpected blizzard.

"Don't go anywhere," he cried as he blinked to avoid the pelting precipitation. "Stay home. And forget the airports.... see more

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Reading Group Guide

BURNED: A Regan Reilly Mystery
Carol Higgins Clark

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. When her best friend Kit calls, begging her to come to Hawaii instead for one last “girls’ weekend” before her wedding, Regan hesitates. But when she learns a dead body has washed up on the shore, she decides to go. What does this reveal about Regan? What is your impression of Kit? What do we learn about the relationship between Regan and Kit in the first few pages?

2. In chapter two, we learn that Regan’s mother is a well-known mystery writer. How much do you think the author, Carol Higgins Clark, draws on her relationship with her own famous mother, Mary Higgins Clark? What are some specific examples of their interactions that could have been drawn from “real” life? Why do you think the author included this character in the story—what role does she play?

3. Jack “was a worrier when it came to Regan. And now he had a particularly good reason. Whenever she was with Kit, something odd always happened.” (14) What does this tell you about Regan and Kit’s past? What does it make you think is going to happen next? Why doesn’t Regan tell Jack about Dorinda Dawes, the woman whose body washed up on the beach of the hotel where Regan will be staying?

4. The Waikiki Waters Resort has had numerous “mishaps” occur recently, with Dorinda Daw see more

About the Author

Carol Higgins Clark
Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold

Carol Higgins Clark

Carol Higgins Clark is the author of the 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 novels. She received AudioFile’s Earphones Award of Excellence for her reading of Jinxed. She lives in New York City. Her website is CarolHigginsClark.com.

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