Puzzled to DeathBook - 2001
Parnell Hall's Puzzle Lady mysteries have been praised as "fun from the first page" (The Dallas Morning News) and "heaven for crossword puzzle fans" (Kirkus Reviews). Now Hall's unlikely pair of crime solvers, Miss Cora Felton and her niece Sherry Carter, return to piece together an unforgettable tale of jealousy, infidelity, and murder.... Puzzled to Death Bakerhaven, Connecticut, seems like the ideal place to host a charity crossword-puzzle tournament. After all, the town is home to noted crossword creator Harvey Beerbaum, as well as to Cora Felton, the beloved syndicated puzzle columnist known everywhere as the Puzzle Lady. Why shouldn't the pair co-host the festivities and crown the winner? Truth be told, Cora has a long list of reasons, but her niece Sherry insists she must accept ... or Cora's fans may discover who secretly pens the column. As Cora grudgingly agrees to help, Harvey announces a slew of celebrity contestants -- handsome heartbreaker Paul Thornhill, voluptuous Zelda Zisk, and supremely shy Craig Carmichael -- and invites the locals to challenge the veteran puzzlers head-on. But before long the town's attention is fixated on something far more controversial than crosswords...when the body of town tart Judy Vale is discovered lying dead on her kitchen floor. After the victim's no-good husband is arrested for murder, the case seems solved -- until Sherry's archrival, Becky Baldwin, is hired as the defense lawyer ... and has the nerve to ask for Cora's help in proving her client's innocence. While Sherry doesn't want to lift a finger to assist the blond defense attorney, Cora quickly sees that the juicy investigation is far more exciting than any crossword tournament could ever be. Before anyone can stop her, Cora is hot on the trail of the truth, interviewing nosy neighbors, digging up dirt on Judy's many indiscretions, and drawing out a neighbor who just may hold the key to cracking the crime. By the time the puzzle tournament begins, alibis begin to crumble, the list of suspects keeps getting longer, and another victim lies dead. The Puzzle Lady is closer than ever to unmasking the killer -- but will she solve the case before the contest comes to a lethal end? Cora is about to discover that sleuthing spells M-U-R-D-E-R -- up, across, and down!
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2001
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 24 cm