PRESUMED PUZZLED by Parnell Hall

PRESUMED PUZZLED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Will the Puzzle Lady solve her latest case or go directly to jail?

Roger Martindale’s disappearance puts Cora Felton in a position to help two of her friends. Police Chief Harper asks Cora to review the report on Roger, who hasn’t been missing long enough for the police to investigate. Although Cora doesn’t care for Roger’s wife, Paula, a regular at her bridge game, who’s received a crossword puzzle that hints at blackmail, she agrees to look for her missing husband. After 24 hours, the police get involved, and the chief and Cora arrive at Paula’s house to find her clutching a bloody knife as her husband lies dead on the floor. The murder gives Cora a chance to help out another friend, Becky Baldwin, a lawyer who needs a case. Apparently the missing Roger drove home to his death, but Paula claims she’s innocent and eventually presents an alibi that’s clearly going to be hard to prove. Although Paula insists her husband would never have cheated on her, the police discover that he’s been spending a few hours in a hotel while he was supposed to be at work. More puzzles hint at Cora’s involvement, even though Cora, who’s acted for years as a front for her niece's syndicated crossword puzzle empire (Puzzled Indemnity, 2015, etc.), can neither make nor solve puzzles. Happily, she’s very clever at solving murders—a skill that comes in especially handy when the evidence points to her.

One of the Puzzle Lady’s best outings. The often dislikable heroine is portrayed at her scheming best in a mystery full of tricks and treats.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-06123-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2015




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