Near the start of Hall's fast-paced 10th Puzzle Lady mystery (after 2008's The Sudoku Puzzle Murders), Dale Harper, the Bakerhaven, Conn., police chief, asks crossword columnist Cora Felton to solve a crossword puzzle found at the death bed of a 92-year-old cancer patient, Herbert Overmeyer. Since Cora's crosswording cohort and niece, Sherry Carter, and Sherry's husband, Aaron Grant, are honeymooning, Cora turns for help to portly puzzle maker Harvey Beerbaum. When it turns out Overmeyer died of arsenic poisoning, the authorities have a homicide case on their hands. Meanwhile, Cora and Chief Harper uncover the victim's connection to a 50-year-old convenience store robbery in Alabama. The suspense rises with the murders of two unlucky souls silenced to protect the killer's identity. Snappy dialogue and a clever resolution-plus an assortment of crosswords and sudokus-will satisfy series fans. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Though she's just trying to mind her own business, the Puzzle Lady stirs up more trouble. Cora Felton is on her own while her niece Sherry, the real cruciverbalist, enjoys an African safari honeymoon. Cora's hope that she won't need to solve any crosswords in the interim ends when Chief Harper brings her a puzzle found with the body of 92-year-old Mr. Overmeyer. Once Cora gets a friend to solve it, the answers seem meaningless. But Cora pushes the coroner to do a tox screen that turns up arsenic. Unable to resist a mystery that doesn't require crossword skill, Cora accompanies the Chief to the decrepit cabin where Overmeyer lived and finds a gun later identified as the weapon in a robbery-murder long ago. Meantime, Sherry's ex, Dennis, is hanging around town trying to impress Sherry by solving the crime; a stranger shows up claiming to be part of a stock deal the dead man was involved with; and a bunch of self-proclaimed heirs arrive looking for pickings. Then Overmeyer's next-door neighbor is murdered, perhaps because Dennis told a TV interviewer that said neighbor saw someone at the crime scene. Next to go is the mysterious stranger involved in the stock scheme. More murders only make Cora more eager to solve the puzzle. If the amusing antics of ebullient Cora (The Sudoku Puzzle Murders, 2008, etc.) aren't enough for you, there are always the requisite crossword puzzles along with a sudoku puzzle to enjoy.