THE PURLOINED PUZZLE by Parnell Hall
The Nineteenth Puzzle Lady Mystery
Cora Felton has a problem. Actually she has more than one. First of all, Melvin, the worst of her ex-husband, is in town. Secondly, an annoying teenage girl keeps pestering her to solve puzzles...puzzles which tend to disappear and reappear. Then there's the murder. With murder weapons appearing before crimes are committed, suspects arrested and released, nothing much makes sense. But the worst bit, Melvin has a contract for a tell-all book. Will he spill the beans about the Puzzle Lady? Will Cora have to kiss her career goodbye?
Whip like banter fuels this lightning fast paced novel. The plot is a bit audacious with everybody, including the reader, wondering what's going on. It's reminiscent of a who's on first routine except that nobody actually knows who's on first or who's even playing! The Puzzle Lady Mysteries employ a darker shade of humor with characters who aren't the nicest people, yet I'm still left smiling and snickering.
Confusion and misdirection abound, yet readers are led to a satisfying conclusion. Filled with witty repartee THE PURLOINED PUZZLE is a fun addition to this long running series.