A loyal Yankees fan does everything in her power to save the wife of a promising pitcher from a murder charge.
Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, is delighted to learn that Yankees pitcher Matt Greystone has bought a house in her little Connecticut town to recover after his arm was badly broken in a car crash. The police chief, who dislikes public speaking, is happy to be deflected from introducing him to a crowd waiting at the local fairgrounds by a call from Amanda Hoyt, the local witch, reporting a break-in. Instead, Cora steps in to do the honors, and Matt’s wife, Jackie, who like most people doesn’t know that Cora’s niece Sherry is the crossword maven, hands Cora an untitled puzzle sent to Matt in the mail, hoping she can help her with it. The puzzle, once Sherry solves it, reveals, “YOU’LL FIND A SURPRISE IN THE FILE OF THIS GUY,” a clue that might shed light on the Hoyt case. The witch, who’s also a psychiatrist, refuses to reveal what’s on the memory card that’s been stolen. Curious Cora, who’s almost caught when she breaks into Amanda’s house—and file cabinet—looking for clues, is invited to a party at Matt’s house; the guests range from Derek Jeter to lesser lights like Don Upton, Matt’s former roommate in the minors and Jackie’s former boyfriend. The party comes to a sudden halt when Jackie finds the body of snoopy gossip columnist Leon Bratz dead in the sauna. Cora gets local superlawyer Becky Baldwin to represent Jackie, who’s the prime suspect. But as she uncovers more clues in her search of file cabinets belonging to the major players, she realizes that Matt himself may be in jeopardy. Cora will need all her talent for obfuscation to keep things confused until she can find the real killer.
The Puzzle Lady, who seems to improve with each new adventure (Presumed Puzzled, 2016, etc.), spreads red herrings with reckless abandon this time out.