cover image Dead Man’s Puzzle: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Dead Man’s Puzzle: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Parnell Hall, . . Minotaur/Dunne, $24.95 (323pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37399-3

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.)