Books by Parnell Hall

ARSENIC AND OLD PUZZLES by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 22, 2013

"Clever, manipulative Cora ($10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles, 2012, etc.) provides laughs and an ingenious mystery along with the obligatory puzzles for those who can't figure out whodunit."
Since every murderer in Bakerhaven, Conn., seems to leave a puzzle with the corpse, Police Chief Harper considers himself lucky that the Puzzle Lady is on hand to solve them. If only he knew. Read full book review >
$10,000 IN SMALL, UNMARKED PUZZLES by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"One of the Puzzle Lady's finest hours, faster paced than most, with the obligatory puzzles to help solve the case."
One of the Puzzle Lady's former husbands comes back to haunt her yet again. Read full book review >
THE KENKEN KILLINGS by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 18, 2011

"Feisty Cora (The Puzzle Lady vs. the Sudoku Lady, 2010, etc.) is at the top of her game in this latest entry, which includes puzzles for the reader."
KenKen, the latest rage in number puzzles, provides clues to a pair of murders. Read full book review >
THE PUZZLE LADY VS. THE SUDOKU LADY by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 19, 2010

"Acerbic Cora (Dead Man's Puzzle, 2009, etc.) is always good value, especially for puzzle fans who delight in the requisite crosswords and sudokus."
The puzzle lady must solve yet another crime in order to surpass a rival. Read full book review >
DEAD MAN’S PUZZLE by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 14, 2009

"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."
Though she's just trying to mind her own business, the Puzzle Lady stirs up more trouble. Read full book review >
THE SUDOKU PUZZLE MURDERS by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 15, 2008

"The included batch of crosswords and sudoku puzzles may give readers less of a headache than the meandering mystery."
The Puzzle Lady exhibits a new talent and uses her sleuthing expertise to solve some bewildering crimes. Read full book review >
HITMAN by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 12, 2007

"Unlike most of Stanley's cases, which start with a great idea and then gradually run out of steam, this one begins with an idiotic premise and then gradually works its way through an endless filigree of Q-and-A to a surprisingly logical solution."
Slip-and-fall specialist Stanley Hastings has had cases that take him out past his depth before (You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled, 2006, etc.), but never quite as fast as his first meeting with a client who identifies himself as a hit man. Read full book review >
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PUZZLED by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 7, 2006

"Miss Marple on steroids. Cora (Stalking the Puzzle Lady, 2005, etc.), one tough cookie, provides amusing fodder for crossword fans."
When the Puzzle Lady's framed for murder, she needs all her talents—which don't include constructing crossword puzzles—to keep herself out of jail. Read full book review >
STALKING THE PUZZLE LADY by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 25, 2005

"Hall juggles facile satire and suspense in an entertaining effort that never quite rises to the top."
"The Milli Vanilli of the crossword puzzle community" confronts the ugly consequences of masquerading as the Puzzle Lady, in her seventh installment. Read full book review >
MANSLAUGHTER by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 2003

"And Stanley just isn't as funny as he once was."
"Life usually dorks me," complains personal-injury sleuth Stanley Hastings with some justification. Read full book review >
A PUZZLE IN A PEAR TREE by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 3, 2002

"Cora's indifference to proper holiday spirit and everyday civility saves the day as she untangles tinsel and public charades: overall, less abrasive and more amusing than her previous outings (Puzzled to Death, 2001, etc.)."
Merry Christmas from the Puzzle Lady, Cora Felton, whose sweet face fronts the undercover crossword construction of her niece Sherry Carter and masks her own year-round Bah Humbug spirit. Read full book review >
PUZZLED TO DEATH by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 6, 2001

"Hall must have used a similar device to tie up his convoluted plot."
The "Puzzle Lady" team of Cora Felton and her niece Sherry Carter (Last Puzzle and Testament, 2000, etc.) is still working on its highly successful model: Sherry secretly creates the crosswords and keeps her aunt away from the booze; Cora provides the Puzzle Lady's public face and investigates murders. Read full book review >
COZY by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: July 1, 2001

"But the one-dimensional suspects and labored, inconsequential detection make Stanley's earlier adventures (Suspense, 1998, etc.) look downright substantial by comparison."
Fortified by his two-volume sojourn among the Puzzle Lady and her neighbors in Bakerhaven, Connecticut (Last Puzzle and Testament, 2000, etc.), Hall plucks personal-injury shamus Stanley Hastings from Gotham's mean streets, where his clients are forever slipping and falling, and packs him off on vacation in bucolic New Hampshire, where the leading activities are hiking, dining, swimming, and murder. Read full book review >
LAST PUZZLE & TESTAMENT by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 12, 2000

"Crossword fans should enjoy the wordplay, but others may find characters flat and the jovial treatment of alcoholism cavalier."
One Across: Fishy decoys. Read full book review >
A CLUE FOR THE PUZZLE LADY by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 9, 1999

"Heaven for crossword fans, who—ll rejoice over the solve-as-you-go puzzle that eventually reveals the killer for readers whose pens are mightier than their reading glasses."
Cora Felton does like her nip of gin after lunch, or even before lunch, but her neighbors in bucolic Bakerhaven, Conn., are all proud of her reputation as the Puzzle Lady, whose photo accompanies the crosswords syndicated throughout the land. Read full book review >
SUSPENSE by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 1998

 ``I don't deal in danger,'' Stanley Hastings aptly tells his latest client. Read full book review >
SCAM by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 2, 1997

"As usual, Hall (Trial, 1996, etc.), like Rumpelstiltskin, takes slender material that would serve another writer for a middling short story and spins a gossamer web of riddles by turns puzzling, suspenseful, and hilarious."
 Wendy and Janet, ambulance-chasing lawyer Richard Rosenberg's twimbo secretaries, are on vacation, and Richard's penny-ante p.i. Read full book review >
TRIAL by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 8, 1996

"Longtime fans of this rollicking series (Movie, 1994, etc.) will be glad to know that Stanley talks Richard into giving him a hefty raise, which he earns every penny of."
 At long last, attorney Richard Rosenberg stops chasing ambulances long enough to take a criminal case, and his investigator Stanley Hastings is catapulted into the high-stakes defense of Anson Carbinder, who swears he didn't kill his wife. Read full book review >
MOVIE by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1995

"As a bonus, you'll learn a lot about filmmaking, including why to run the other way if you think it's going to happen to you and your screenplay."
 When independent producer/director Sidney Garfellow buys his screenplay Trial by Fire, PI Stanley Hastings (Blackmail, 1994, etc.) thinks he's finally hit the big time. Read full book review >
BLACKMAIL by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 1, 1994

"Every page quivers with comic frustration, and the result is an absolute joy."
 It's a mystery how Stanley Hastings gets the chance to chase those ambulances: he's constantly spending his time talking himself out of murder raps. Read full book review >
ACTOR by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: May 1, 1993

"Middling for the series."
 Ambulance-chasing shamus and long-ago amateur thespian Stanley Hastings (Juror, Shot, etc.) runs up to Connecticut to help out his old college friend Herbert Drake by taking over the role of Bluntschli, in Arms and the Man, from the late Walter Penbridge. Read full book review >
SHOT by Parnell Hall
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 27, 1991

"Not as funny or as neatly plotted as Juror, Stanley's last outing, though Stanley gets to do a lot more detective work here—all of it endearingly incompetent."
 Nebbish/shamus Stanley Hastings, who usually chases ambulances for negligence lawyer Richard Rosenberg, finally has his own client: mousy Melissa Ford, who wants him to look into her boyfriend David Melrose's background. Read full book review >