The Kenken Killings (Puzzle Lady Series #12) [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Puzzle Lady just can’t stay out of trouble. When the late Chester T. Markowitz, a man she never met, leaves $10,000 to his beloved wife, Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady can’t help cashing the check. Quicker than you can say legal proceedings, Cora’s least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, shows up in Bakerhaven with an attorney and a young bimbo, demanding that her alimony be terminated on the grounds she remarried.

When a key witness in the alimony hearing gets murdered, a KenKen ...

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The Kenken Killings (Puzzle Lady Series #12)

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Overview

The Puzzle Lady just can’t stay out of trouble. When the late Chester T. Markowitz, a man she never met, leaves $10,000 to his beloved wife, Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady can’t help cashing the check. Quicker than you can say legal proceedings, Cora’s least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, shows up in Bakerhaven with an attorney and a young bimbo, demanding that her alimony be terminated on the grounds she remarried.

When a key witness in the alimony hearing gets murdered, a KenKen puzzle is left at the scene of the crime. Is someone trying to tell Cora something? Before she can find out, she runs into more murders, more puzzles (both KenKen and crossword) and a murder weapon that seems to point to Melvin as the killer! At least it might have, if Cora hadn’t suppressed it.

Does the Puzzle Lady still have feelings for the scoundrel she once married? Don’t ask. She might kill you!

This twelfth in the Puzzle Lady series is sure to please fans, and make some new ones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of Hall's tantalizing 12th mystery featuring puzzle lady Cora Felton (after 2010's The Puzzle Lady vs. the Suduko Lady), Cora can't resist cashing a check for ,000, a supposed legacy from the late Chester T. Markowitz, who may have been someone she was briefly married to years before. "Since I quit drinking, there are parts of my life I can't remember. The eighties, for instance," she tells Sherry Carter, her cruciverbalist niece, who smells something fishy. Cora later helps Bakerhaven, Conn., police chief Dale Harper investigate the home robbery of banker Roger Randolph. While nothing was stolen, a KenKen puzzle was left behind. Meanwhile, one of Cora's many bona fide ex-husbands, Melvin Crabtree, sues her so he can stop paying her alimony. Melvin's greedy young girlfriend, Bambi, and Evelyn, his current wife, cause more problems. Hall's crisp wit makes this another far-fetched funfest for puzzle mystery fans. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Feisty Cora...is at the top of her game in this latest entry, which includes puzzles for the reader."—Kirkus Reviews

"This 12th entry in Hall's lighthearted series provides plenty of his trademark humor. Hidden under the laughs and behind the included crossword and KenKen puzzles is a nifty, twisting story that features tight plotting and rapid-fire dialogue. The secondary characters, while broadly drawn, have plenty of substance to them, but it is The Puzzle Lady who is the main attraction."—RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

"As always, The Puzzle Lady mysteries are good, laugh aloud fun."—The Mystery Reader 

Kirkus Reviews

KenKen, the latest rage in number puzzles, provides clues to a pair of murders.

Cora Felton, aka the Puzzle Lady, can't resist signing the check for $10,000 from the estate of one of her former husbands. She doesn't realize that the check is part of a plot by another ex-husband, Melvin Crabtree, who wants to get out of sending Cora alimony every month. Soon enough, Melvin arrives in town with a blond bimbo and a shifty lawyer, but Cora has hired ace local attorney Becky Baldwin to fight his claim. In the meantime, Chief Harper calls on Cora to solve a seemingly meaningless KenKen puzzle left at a local banker's house, where someone broke in without stealing a thing. The banker and a teller are witnesses at Cora's court hearing. When they're murdered, KenKens and crossword puzzles offer clues that point toward Melvin. Cora, who still has tender feelings for Melvin, does not point the evidence out to the police, and in fact leads Chief Harper astray while she starts her own investigation. At length, she discovers that the blond bimbo is not Melvin's latest wife, but a jealous redhead with every reason to pin a murder on him. It's up to Cora to solve all the puzzles and unmask the killer.

Feisty Cora (The Puzzle Lady vs. the Sudoku Lady, 2010, etc.) is at the top of her game in this latest entry, which includes puzzles for the reader.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429991827
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Series: Puzzle Lady Series , #12
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 220,282
  • File size: 749 KB

Meet the Author



PARNELL HALL lives in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter
1

 
Cora Felton jumped in the air and clicked her heels together, a perilous undertaking since she was wearing high heels and had put on a little weight.
“Good Lord! What is it?” Sherry Carter said.
“Chester T. Markowitz is dead.”
“Who?”
“My husband.”
“Your husband?”
“Yes.”
“You have a husband named Chester T. Markowitz?”
“Not anymore.”
“But you did?”
“Apparently.”
Sherry sighed. Her aunt’s loopy behavior could be frustrating at times, and this was one of them. “I give up. I assume you’ll tell me about it when you’re good and ready.”
“I’ll tell you about it when I know myself,” Cora said. “But I’m as much at sea as you are.”
“Oh, for goodness’ sakes. Do you or do you not have a dead husband?”
“I have several.” Cora shrugged. “As to this one, I really couldn’t say.”
Sherry grabbed the letter out of Cora’s hand, looked it over. Her eyes widened. “According to this, you not only have a dead husband, he seems to have left you a bit of money.”
Cora beamed. “Yes. Isn’t that nice?”
“Not if it’s a mistake. Not if the money is supposed to go to someone else.”
“Who?” Cora said. “If some scheming hussy got her claws on poor Chester—”
Sherry cut her off. “Can we go outside? You’re making a scene.”
Sherry and Cora were in the Bakerhaven Post Office. Like most town residents, they got their mail delivered. This morning there was a notice in the box saying that Cora had a registered letter. That did not bode well. Usually registered letters meant lawsuits, unpaid bills, late tax returns, and the like.
Cora Felton had all the business acumen of a hyperactive Labradoodle puppy, and Sherry was used to rescuing her from one financial crisis after another.
Sherry wrestled her aunt outside, looked around to see that no one was within earshot. “Okay. Now you can talk without fear of making the National Enquirer. Who the hell is Chester T. Markowitz?”
Cora smiled, the trademark Puzzle Lady smile that graced the crossword puzzle column that Sherry wrote for her. Cora couldn’t construct a crossword puzzle with a gun to her head. Her niece was the real cruciverbalist. When Sherry created the column, she used her aunt’s image to hide from her abusive ex-husband. It hadn’t occurred to her that the Puzzle Lady would become nationally famous, do breakfast cereal commercials, and be stuck with the pretense forever.
“It’s simple,” Cora said. “Since I quit drinking, there are parts of my life I can’t remember. The eighties, for instance. It’s entirely possible I married this gentleman, though I can’t recall him at all.”
“But…”
“But what?”
“You had other husbands. You were married and divorced. Several times.”
“What’s your point?”
“If Mr. Markowitz was living, those marriages weren’t legal.”
“So?”
“You collected alimony. You inherited from some of them.”
“Oh, I doubt if they’d mind. Particularly the dead ones. Anyway, what’s the big deal? Some lawyer says I’ve got some money coming. You think I’m not going to take it?”
“I’m sure you are. It’s just something we should do without a brass band. From a public relations angle.”
“Oh, who could possibly care?”
“The kids who eat breakfast cereal. More to the point, the parents of the kids who eat breakfast cereal. If Granville Grains finds out they hired a bigamous spokesperson, they’re not going to be happy.”
“Oh, you’re just an old worrywart. I came into an inheritance. Let’s stop by the candy store, pick up some chocolates.”
“You sound just like a kid.”
“I feel like a kid,” Cora said. “Yesterday I was a spinster aunt.” She smiled. “Today I’m a widow!”

 
Copyright © 2010 by Parnell Hall

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    This may be the worst book I have ever read. Inconsistent, unple

    This may be the worst book I have ever read. Inconsistent, unpleasant characters; weak writing; gimmicky puzzles that are not well linked to the action or characters. How this series got to #12 is beyond me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    As always the over the top mystery is super fun as readers will appreciate the KenKen puzzles that make for an enjoyable read

    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

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

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    Posted May 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

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