Private investigator Regan Riley is ready for some serious rest and relaxation. And that's exactly what she has planned during the upcoming weekend at the Jersey Shore. She and her husband, Jack, the head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, are all set to join her mother Nora, a famed novelist, and father to celebrate Nora's birthday. However, as usually happens in Regan's busy life, things get a little hectic.
Regan has just had to break the news to a former high school classmate, renowned event planner Hayley Patton, that her wayward boyfriend recently proposed to another woman while he was supposed to be spending the evening with his teenage son from a previous marriage. Now Hayley is out for blood, and Regan is trying to tactfully defuse the situation.
As if that weren't enough to deal with, Nora calls and implores Regan to arrive at the Shore early. Nora needs help with a situation concerning a former school friend of her own. Karen Frawley Fulton's mother, Edna, has unexpectedly sold her home and is now disposing of her remaining items lock, stock and barrel in preparation for a move to a trendy retirement community. Karen is in shock over her mother's unanticipated behavior as she flies home from San Diego and needs assistance from Nora to deal with the situation.
Edna's garage sale is no ordinary event. She has recently rented her home to rising starlet Cleo Paradise, who wanted somewhere to escape from the spotlight of her recent hit movie and the fame that accompanied her success. Now Cleo is missing, leaving part of her belongings behind, and Edna is going to cash in on the unexpected windfall. Nora and Regan arrive at Edna's to find a throng of Cleo Paradise fans, a group of overbearing garage sale gurus running the show, and a general air of mania and madness.
During the course of the day, Regan fields a call from Cleo's frantic parents, who are adamant about locating their daughter. Immediately Regan is on the case. Unfortunately, there seems to be an endless number of people jealous of Cleo's success. Which one of them is the likely suspect involved in Cleo's disappearance? Only time will tell.
MOBBED follows the tradition of the 13 previous Regan Reilly mysteries with a quirky cast of characters, a mystery that requires immediate attention, and a race to the finish in order to avert disaster. Jack is largely absent in this installment while Regan and Nora hold down the fort at Edna's mega-sale and try to determine Cleo's whereabouts.
Carol Higgins Clark has created a sympathetic situation that forces readers to care about what happens to her characters as they unwittingly land themselves in one dire situation after another. Audiences can be assured of a happy ending, as usual, but they'll probably be on the edge of their seats wondering exactly how it's going to come about.
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on April 18, 2011