Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The KenKen Killings-Parnell Hall

The KenKen Killings
Parnell Hall
Minotaur, Jan 18 2011, $24.99
ISBN 9780312612191

Cora Felton explains to her niece Sherry Carter that she is not sure who Chester T. Markowitz is though he may have a husband during her past drinking era in which much of her memory especially of the Reagan years is stewed. However, she has inherited $10,000 from the late Chester T. Markowitz so will toast him without alcohol and cash the check.

Sherry is suspicious of the windfall from an apparent stranger. Meanwhile Cora assists Bakerhaven, Connecticut Police Chief Dale Harper investigate the break-in of banker Roger Randolph’s house. Nothing was stolen; in fact to the contrary the thief left behind a KenKen puzzle. One of Cora's horde of ex-husbands that she recognizes as a former spouse Melvin Crabtree, encouraged by his present wife Evelyn and girlfriend Bambi, sues to end alimony payment.

As always the over the top mystery is super fun as readers will appreciate the KenKen puzzles that make for an enjoyable read. The early description as to how a KenKen puzzle works is terrific as Cora explains to Harper and Sherry (and fans) the mechanics. The cleverly devised whodunit with its Riddler-like clue takes a back seat to the puzzles as Parnell Hall provides an entertaining Puzzle Lady mystery (see The Puzzle Lady vs. the Sudoku Lady).

Harriet Klausner

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