Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles: A Puzzle Lady Mystery-Parnell Hall

10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Parnell Hall

Minotaur, Jan 31 2012, $24.99

ISBN 9780312602475

Lawyer Becky Baldwin persuades Cora “the Puzzle Lady” Felton to deliver $10,000 from an unnamed client to a blackmailer. Cora arrives at the abandoned gas station where she is to make the drop in the dumpster. She opens the lid to dump the money inside only the corpse of a man hit in the head stares back at her. Protruding from his pocket is a Sudoku puzzle. Adding to her concern, the money is stolen.

Brookhaven, Connecticut Police Chief Dale Harper leads the murder investigation. He is frustrated (as are readers) with Cora’s stonewalling his questions. Becky refuses to reveal the name of her client, but Cora and her friends believe her ex-husband Melvin did it again. Cora realizes that the killer is playing chess with her and her queens are her beloved niece Sherry and her beloved infant grandniece.

Readers of the series know what to expect in a Puzzle Lady whodunit (see The Puzzle Lady vs. the Sudoku Lady and The KenKen Killings) and Parnell Hall and Will Stoltz (the puzzles) deliver on the formula a fun thriller. Fast-paced except for some of arguing amongst Cora and her posse, fans of Sudoku will want to solve the puzzles and ergo the mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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