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A Clue for the Puzzle Lady
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About the Author

Parnell Hall is the author of the critically acclaimed Stanley Hastings mystery novels and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas, and has been nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus and the Lefty Awards. This is his first Puzzle Lady mystery. Bantam will publish his second, Last Puzzle & Testament, in Fall 2000. From the Hardcover edition.

Reviews

Dale Harper's first homicide investigation as police chief of Bakerhaven involves the body of a teenaged girl found in the cemetery. When he consults Cora, the eccentric puzzle expert, she, too, winds up sleuthing. A promising series debut, complete with crossword puzzle. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/99.] Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"Heaven for crossword puzzle fans!"--Kirkus Reviews Some puzzles are real killers...."devious and delightful!"--Chicago Sun-Times "Complex and satisfying...A fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists!"--USA Today "In addition to his trademark zippy, witty dialogue, Hall provides a dandy puzzle, congenial secondary characters, plenty of laughs, and a true original in Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady."--Publishers Weekly "A Clue for the Puzzle Lady is fresh, funny, and ingeniously devised. It kept me guessing right down to the end-just like a good crossword!"--Will Shortz, crossword editor, The New York Times

Hall, best known for his Edgar-nominated Stanley Hastings series, begins a new series with a heroine who provides an interesting variation on the older woman sleuth. Imagine Miss Marple as a promiscuous lush, and you have Cora Felton, known to crossword puzzle buffs around the country as "The Puzzle Lady." Cora and her niece, Sherry Carter, have moved to the small town of Bakerhaven, Conn., hoping to protect Sherry from an abusive ex-husband. The body of a young girl is discovered in the Bakerhaven Cemetery, and Police Chief Dale Harper investigates, though he wishes the body had been found in someone else's jurisdiction. An enigmatic clue in the victim's pockets takes Chief Harper in search of assistance, and he gets more than he needs from Cora, who's determined to help solve the puzzle. A second murder complicates the case, and overly zealous cub reporter Aaron Grant spills the news to the public about the cryptic clues. In addition to his trademark zippy, witty dialogue, Hall provides a dandy puzzle, congenial secondary characters, plenty of laughs and a true original in Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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