$10,000 IN SMALL, UNMARKED PUZZLES by Parnell Hall
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One of the Puzzle Lady's former husbands comes back to haunt her yet again.

While Cora Felton waits for her niece Sherry, who actually constructs the crossword puzzles attributed to Cora, to give birth, she’s reluctant to take on a job offered her by the stunning young attorney Becky Baldwin. But when she does agree to deliver a blackmail payment, she finds herself in the soup. Inside the dumpster at a deserted service station she finds a dead body and a sudoku, just the type of puzzle she happens to excel at solving. She hides the money in an old gas pump just before the arrival of Police Chief Harper, with whom Cora’s meddling in earlier cases (The KenKen Killings, 2011, etc.) has led to quite the love/hate relationship. Anxious to get to the hospital where Sherry’s about to deliver her premature baby, Cora must call her lawyer to get away from the police. Becky refuses to reveal her client, but it appears to be Cora’s least-liked ex-husband Melvin, who claims that he’s being framed by an enemy with a grudge. Since the first $10,000 in blackmail money has disappeared, Cora agrees to make another drop, this time at a cemetery where she discovers a second corpse. It puts no damper on Cora’s curiosity when the police arrest Melvin. Instead, she continues to look for the killer, putting herself and family in danger.

One of the Puzzle Lady’s finest hours, faster paced than most, with the obligatory puzzles to help solve the case.


Pub Date: Jan. 31st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-312-60247-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2011


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