It's the battle of the century when Minami, the Sudoku Lady, shows up in Bakerhaven to meet Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, whose sudoku books have just edged Minami off of the Japanese bestseller list. Before the rivals have a chance to square off, a killer strikes, and a sudoku puzzle is found at the scene of the murder. Now it's a fight to the finish to see who can unmask the killer. The Puzzle Lady is eager to undo her Japanese counterpart. At least until the poor woman is arrested for murder and Cora realizes she's accidentally framed her for the crime. As if that weren't frustrating enough, the publicity of her arrest drives Minami's sales through the roof! Now it's up to Cora to clear her rival's name, get her off the bestseller list, and trap the real killer. Only, she better do it fast, before the cops find out what Cora did, and she winds up facing more jail time than Minami.
A foreign rival challenges Cora Felton in Hall's amusing 11th mystery to feature the Puzzle Lady of Bakerhaven, Conn. (after 2009's Dead Man's Puzzle). Minami, the Sudoku Lady, arrives from Japan dressed in traditional garb, along with her resentful 16-year-old niece, determined to prove to Cora, whose book has displaced Minami's as the #1 bestselling sudoku title in Japan, that she can construct superior sudoku puzzles-and solve crimes, just like Cora. Conveniently, Minami meets Cora at the home of Ida Fielding, who the night before fell and hit her head on an andiron with fatal results. Minami is sure Ida's husband, Jason, killed her, even though Jason was in jail at the time, under arrest for being drunk and disorderly. That none of this is remotely plausible scarcely matters. New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz supplies four sudokus and two crosswords. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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July 07, 2010
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