Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE PUZZLE LADY VS. THE SUDOKU LADY by Parnell Hall

THE PUZZLE LADY VS. THE SUDOKU LADY

By Parnell Hall

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-61218-4
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

The puzzle lady must solve yet another crime in order to surpass a rival.

Although Cora Felton is only the public face of the real cruciverbalist (her niece Sherry), she’s a whiz at sudoku, and her books are selling like hotcakes. Imagine her surprise when a rival, Japanese sudoku expert Minami, shows up in Bakerhaven to confront her. Before the two rivals have even met, Chief Harper calls Cora to a death scene. The expired lady’s husband has a perfect alibi, and her demise at first looks like an accident. But when Minami and her teenage niece Michiko butt in, things rapidly go downhill. Minami wants to prove that she’s better at solving crimes than Cora, but a sudoku left at the murder scene casts her in another role, and she’s arrested. No sooner is she sprung from jail than the crime scene’s nosy next-door neighbor becomes the next victim. Cora’s friend, lawyer Becky Baldwin, represents both Minami and Sherry’s pesky ex Dennis, who’s also poking his nose into the crime. Cora will have to pull off a tricky denouement in front of a judge in order to vindicate Minami and reveal the actual killer.

Acerbic Cora (Dead Man’s Puzzle, 2009, etc.) is always good value, especially for puzzle fans who delight in the requisite crosswords and sudokus.