Regan Reilly

Created by Carol Higgins Clark

REGAN REILLY, daughter of famous, triple-named mystery writer Nora Regan Reilly (guess who?) is no stranger to high society, having grown up with private schools and European jaunts. She’s also one Los Angeles-based private eye who gets around, her cases taking her to Oxford, Miami Beach, Ireland and Aspen. But she seems to be able to handle herself in all types of situations, in all sorts of places, without too much difficulty, due to her “natural-born pluck”.

As Lou Grant would say, “I hate pluck!”

But hey, lots of people seem to like this long-running series, so who am I to cast the first sneer?

Regan’s continued to roam the world, cracking cases with aplomb and the afore-mentioned pluck, while being courted–off and on–by handsome, hunky Jack Reilly (no relation) of the NYPD Major Case Squad. Regan and Jack eventually tie the knot in the appropriately titled Hitched (2006).


If the author’s name sounds vaguely familiar, here’s a clue for all you tough guys out there: her mom is the triple-named Mary Higgins Clark, master of the domestic crime novel, and the namesake of the fondly remembered Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine. Mother and daughter even collaborated on a series of holiday-themed mysteries that featured various characters from mom’s world wandering into Regan’s.

Born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Carol was the only one of her mother’s children to pursue a career in writing, beginning her writing career by re-typing her mother’s transcripts while in college. She obtained her B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College, and later studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She was the lead in the film, A Cry in the Night (1992), based on the novel by her mother, which was shown at the Cannes TV Festival and the Montreal Film Festival.


  • “Definitely belongs more to the cozy amateur-detective whodunits than the mean streets.”
    — Jon L. Breen (July 1998, EQMM)
  • “Actress/writer Clark does her mother, Mary Higgins Clark, proud in this skillful cat-and-mouse debut… a suspenseful climax in this lively series launch.”
    — Publishers Weekly


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And a special thanks to Cathleen Keyser for the heads-up.

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