cover image The Sudoku Puzzle Murders: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

The Sudoku Puzzle Murders: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Parnell Hall, . . St. Martin?s Minotaur/Dunne, $23.95 (308pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37090-9

When a man with half his head sliced off is found behind the abandoned Tastee Freez in Bakerhaven, Conn., near the start of Hall’s fast-paced ninth puzzle lady mystery (after 2006’s You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled ), the chief clue is in the victim’s pocket—a clipping from a New York City newspaper containing a sudoku and a crossword puzzle. Coincidentally, the puzzles are the work of “Puzzle Lady” Cora Felton, though Cora’s niece, Sherry, secretly composes the puzzles. The two suspects in the murder (committed with a samurai sword) are Japanese publishers, each vying for a book contract for a collection of Cora’s sudokus. Quirky characters and humorous dialogue help lighten the somewhat tedious details of the convoluted plot. New York Times puzzle expert Will Shortz supplies four sudokus for readers to solve. (Apr.)