The Puzzle Lady exhibits a new talent and uses her sleuthing expertise to solve some bewildering crimes.
Though Cora Felton (You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled, 2006, etc.) is the public face of the Puzzle Lady, her niece Sherry is the real cruciverbalist. Now, however, Cora’s unexpected talent as a constructor of sudoku puzzles lands her a Japanese publishing contract. When Hideki Takiyama asks Cora to write a sudoku book for his firm, she refers him to Sherry, saying that Sherry is her agent, and then heads off to see her friend Chief Harper to have her client vetted. She arrives in time to join Harper at the scene of the bloody murder of a Gotham-based private eye. The discovery of one of her crosswords and one of her sudoku puzzles on the scene is just the first of her problems. Sherry mistakenly signs a contract with Aoki Yoshiaki, Takiyama’s rival, and runs into trouble with her jealous ex. The two Japanese are in love with the same woman, who’s already married to one of them. When a second p.i. is found stabbed with a samurai sword adorned with yet another set of puzzles, Cora has a hard time unlocking the clues. But it’s all made clear in a courtroom denouement.
The included batch of crosswords and sudoku puzzles may give readers less of a headache than the meandering mystery.