cover image Puzzled Indemnity: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Puzzled Indemnity: A Puzzle Lady Mystery

Parnell Hall. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-02717-7

In Hall’s whimsical 16th Puzzle Lady mystery (after 2014’s NYPD Puzzle), amateur sleuth Cora agrees to help a local attorney in Bakerhaven, Conn., by tailing an insurance salesman and finding out if he’s cheating on his wife. Happily for married Cora, the assignment takes her to New York City, home of the NYPD’s Sergeant Crowley, her occasional lover. The investigation leads to the apartment of a mysterious woman. As events spiral out of control, questions arise about the shelf life of such a quirky character as Cora. Known for worrying about her weight, dodging people’s questions about puzzles (her niece Kelly is the real puzzle expert), and complaining about everything in her life, Cora starts using blackmail. What’s more, her careless conversation later costs a man his life. Some readers may lose patience with her before reaching the convoluted conclusion. Others will enjoy the parallels to James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity. [em](Jan.) [/em]