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Burned: A Regan Reilly Mystery    by Carol Higgins Clark order for
by Carol Higgins Clark
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

When a snow storm on the East coast grounds Regan Reilly's plans to visit her fiancÚ Jack (no relation) Reilly, she accepts an invitation for a long weekend in Hawaii with her friend Kit Callan.

Regan's arrival at the Waikiki Waters Playground and Resort is greeted with news of an employee found drowned in nearby waters. The victim, Dorinda Dawes, was wearing a valuable antique, a shell lei that once belonged to a Hawaiian princess. The lei had been missing from the Seashell Museum for thirty years. Resort manager Will Brown doesn't believe the drowning is an accident. Learning that Regan is a private detective, he hires her to investigate, confiding that other minor accidents are having negative effects on the Resort's business.

Kit is eager to be with her newest love interest, Steve, leaving Regan plenty of time to get acquainted with the other visitors at Waikiki Waters. The Mixed Bag Tour Group from Hudville (somewhere in the Pacific Northwest) is led by twins Gert and Ev. Artie is a masseur. A newly engaged couple, Carla and Jason, are interested only in their upcoming wedding. Two authors are busy writing about relationships although their own marriage is less than exciting. There is Ned, the hotel's tour guide/trainer. And Jasmine (Jazzy) hangs around the resort claiming to be multimillionaire Claude's housekeeper.

Regan asks herself, would any of them kill for an antique lei? Or was Dorinda Dawes murdered for another reason? If so, where did she get the valuable lei she was wearing? And what about Kit's friend Steve, is he all he claims to be? With clues under every shell, Regan quickly solves the murder, clears up the mystery of the resort accidents, restores the lei to its rightful owner, thwarts more killings, and contributes to Kit's love life. She accomplishes all of this in one long weekend without getting her pretty feet wet.

There is never a dull moment in Burned, a page turner whose storybook ending will leave you satisfied that all's well that ends well.

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