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Twanged (Regan Reilly Mysteries, No. 4)
ISBN 0446517631 / 9780446517638 / 0-446-51763-1
Publisher Grand Central Publishing
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Frivolous and formulaic, Twanged features a cursed Irish fiddle, eccentrics summering at the Hamptons, and an egg-eating wacko stalking a redheaded country-music singer. In her fourth adventure in the series, detective Regan Reilly (armed with a pistol in her fanny pack) must sort out all of these mildly amusing if rarely suspenseful details in her role as protectress of fiddle owner, musician, and stalking victim Brigid O'Neill. A number of subplots and last-minute rescues keep the action moving quickly. As in her other books, whimsical detail is Clark's forte rather than high drama or careful consideration of the issues and themes she raises. In this case Irish traditions, feng shui, and the World Wide Web all provide the backdrop and serve as catalysts for the next dastardly deed or safe deliverance.
Clark aficionados will find familiar names and faces: Regan's urbane and sophisticated parents (not surprisingly noted as being on the A list for exclusive invitations by one of the many social-climbing eccentrics) as well as her best friend, Kit, make their requisite reappearances and play minor roles in keeping the fiddle secure and Brigid safe. Clark novices can sleep soundly, as loyal fans already do, knowing the unpleasant evildoers will be safely caught, although not everyone receives his just reward. Securely in the category of mystery lite, Twanged is an easy and festive read--suitable fodder for a few hours' lolling at the beach or with tray table up and seat-belt sign on. [via]