A Clue for the Puzzle Lady

Parnell Hall, Author Bantam Books $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-553-80096-8
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.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999
Release date: 11/01/1999
Hardcover - 456 pages - 978-0-7862-2542-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-553-58140-9
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