Sherry is off on her honeymoon when Chief Harper comes to Cora Felton, asking her to solve a crossword puzzle found on the body of Old Man Overmeyer. Small problem. Cora is the Milli Vanilli of cruciverbalists. Her niece, Sherry, writes the crossword puzzle column for her.
Cora pokes into Overmeyer's death, hoping to prove he died of natural causes. She learns the cranky hermit was the sole surviving member of a forty-year-old stock pooling agreement, and before she can say "capital gain," the town is full of heirs. Complicating things is Sherry's ex-husband, Dennis, who is playing detective in the hopes of impressing his ex-wife. With Sherry out of town, her restraining order against him is moot, and he is taking full advantage of the fact.
Parnell Hall delivers another stellar, puzzle-packed entry in this entertaining series.
Near the start of Hall's fast-paced 10th Puzzle Lady mystery (after 2008's The Sudoku Puzzle Murders), Dale Harper, the Bakerhaven, Conn., police chief, asks crossword columnist Cora Felton to solve a crossword puzzle found at the death bed of a 92-year-old cancer patient, Herbert Overmeyer. Since Cora's crosswording cohort and niece, Sherry Carter, and Sherry's husband, Aaron Grant, are honeymooning, Cora turns for help to portly puzzle maker Harvey Beerbaum. When it turns out Overmeyer died of arsenic poisoning, the authorities have a homicide case on their hands. Meanwhile, Cora and Chief Harper uncover the victim's connection to a 50-year-old convenience store robbery in Alabama. The suspense rises with the murders of two unlucky souls silenced to protect the killer's identity. Snappy dialogue and a clever resolution--plus an assortment of crosswords and sudokus--will satisfy series fans. (Apr.)
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April 13, 2009
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