More by Parnell Hall
When young attorney Becky Baldwin hires Cora Felton to make a blackmail payment drop, it couldn't go worse: she stumbles over a corpse and a puzzle, and someone steals the money. Becky
won't tell her who the client is, but the most likely suspect is Cora's least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, who claims he's being framed by a psychopath with a grudge. Soon Cora finds herself in a no-win situation. Solving the murder will either put Melvin's neck in the noose, or incur the wrath of a cunning, cold-blooded killer who delights in playing deadly mind games and may be targeting her niece Sherry and Sherry's new baby girl.
$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles is another delightful entry in Parnell Hall's entertaining Puzzle Lady series, featuring new puzzles by Will Shortz that help readers solve the mystery!
Stanley Hastings finally felt like a real PI, staking out a New Jersey motel to get evidence on a woman’s cheating husband.It should have been a piece of cake. Only the husband wasn’t cheating, someone killed him, and the cops are trying to pin the murder on the man apprehended at the scene, who just happens to be Stanley.
To clear his name, Stanley will wind up jumping bail, impersonating a police officer, staking out a mob boss, and appropriating a murder weapon from a sassy Jersey Girl who keeps trying to distract him by ripping her clothes off.
And that’s just for starters . . .
Poor Stanley Hastings. After getting hired by a hitman and nearly getting shot, the put-upon PI needed some fun, so when a gorgeous damsel in distress walks through his office door, she seems just what the doctor ordered.Wrong again.
The fair maiden turns out to be a married mom who wants Stanley to find out why her teenage daughter is skipping school. Playing truant officer isn't exactly Stanley’s idea of fun, but at least it should be easy. Fat chance.
Stanley being Stanley, nothing goes right, nothing is as it seems, bodies start to pile up, and faster than you can say “fall guy,” guess who’s left holding the bag?
Now Richard's in court fighting for his life, and Stanley's out on the firing line trying to dig up some evidence in his favor. It won't be easy. The murdered woman was a law clerk for a prominent judge, and everyone Stanley needs to question is currently tied up in a high-profile Global Banking trial.
As Stanley races back and forth between two courtrooms, searching for the key to the mystery through investigative techniques that could easily get him charged as an accessory, every fact tends to point to Richard's guilt: DNA evidence proves he is the man who had sex with the victim just before she died, eyewitnesses put him at the scene of the crime, and his fingerprints are on the murder weapon.
In desperation, Richard resorts to a series of courtroom tactics so outrageous they would make Perry Mason blush. Before the case is over, everyone in the courtroom will be convinced that not only does Richard Rosenberg have a fool for a client, but the client has a fool for a lawyer.
From the Hardcover edition.
A shocking crime of passion has Bakerhaven buzzing!
The Puzzle Lady gets more than she bargained for when she’s hired to track down Paula Martindale’s straying husband. She finds him, all right—hacked to pieces on his living room rug, while his blood-drenched wife haunts the crime scene clutching a butcher knife.
It’s a tough spot for attractive young attorney Becky Baldwin. Paula is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but try to find one juror who’s going to think so.
It’s up to Cora to find the evidence to save the day. She has just two problems: She’s a witness for the prosecution, and every bit of evidence she finds in Paula’s favor, from crossword puzzles to Sudoku to alibi witnesses, tends to indicate that Cora herself is the killer!
When President Kate Lee calls Stone Barrington to Washington on an urgent matter, it’s soon clear that a potentially disastrous situation requires the kind of help more delicate than even he can provide...and he knows just the right man for the job.
Teddy Fay: ex-CIA, master of disguise, and a gentleman not known for abiding by legal niceties in the pursuit of his own brand of justice.
Cora has no problem tracking hubby to his love nest, but when Brittany refuses to believe he's cheating on her, Cora has to blackmail him to prove the affair. Before she can, a car bomb rocks the quiet streets of Bakerhaven, and the stakes escalate to murder.
To save Becky's clueless client from the clutches of the law, Cora will manipulate a TV reporter, cast suspicion on an innocent man, crack crossword and Sudoku clues, solve the liquor store robbery, and enlist the aid of both Sergeant Crowley and his girlfriend in Parnell Hall's Puzzled Indemnity, this outrageous new entry in the Puzzle Lady Mystery series featuring Sudoku by Will Shortz.
At the heart of the matter is the not-so-little white lie Cora has been living for years: assuming the grandmotherly public face of her publicity-shy niece Sherry, who designs crossword puzzles and publishes them under Cora’s name—aka the Puzzle Lady. It turns out that Sherry’s and Benny’s cruciverbalist paths had recently crossed, resulting in the current incriminating conundrum.
As if Sherry’s wedding engagement jitters and a nasty battle over missing antique chairs weren’t enough to deal with, now Cora has to solve the ultimate mystery: how to keep the secret of her identity without losing her life. Because not only does all evidence point to Cora, but someone seems to want her dead. It looks like a riddle with no answer. Luckily for Cora and Sherry, that’s their favorite kind!
From the Hardcover edition.
When a key witness in the alimony hearing gets murdered, a KenKen puzzle is left at the scene of the crime. Is someone trying to tell Cora something? Before she can find out, she runs into more murders, more puzzles (both KenKen and crossword) and a murder weapon that seems to point to Melvin as the killer! At least it might have, if Cora hadn't suppressed it.
Does the Puzzle Lady still have feelings for the scoundrel she once married? Don't ask. She might kill you!
The twelfth in the Puzzle Lady series, The KenKen Killings is sure to please fans, and make some new ones.
Bakerhaven, Connecticut, seems like the ideal place to host a charity crossword-puzzle tournament–after all, the town is home to Cora Felton, the beloved puzzle columnist known as the Puzzle Lady. A slew of celebrity contestants are on the way. And the locals have been invited to challenge the veteran puzzlers head-on. But soon the town’s attention is fixated on something far more controversial than crosswords...when the body of the town tart is discovered lying dead on her kitchen floor. Before anyone can stop her, Cora is hot on the trail of the truth, interviewing nosy neighbors, digging up dirt, and drawing out a lonely recluse who just may hold the key to cracking the crime. But will she solve the case before the contest comes to a deadly end? Cora once again proves that sleuthing spells S-U-S-P-E-N-S-E–up, across, and down!
From the Paperback edition.
It’s a dangerous safari. The leader is a reckless, gung-ho, great white hunter who delights in leaping from the jeep with a hearty “Come on, gang, let’s see where this lion is going!” And a series of bizarre accidents quickly dwindles the group’s numbers. Why was the guide’s young spotter foolish enough to walk under a sausage fruit tree . . . just as one of the huge sausage fruits fell? How did the leaves of a poisonous plant wind up in a tourist’s salad? Are these really accidents?
A stabbing tips the scale. It’s murder, and the only policeman in a hundred miles is a park ranger (whose only murder case was that of an ivory poacher shot dead in plain sight).
It’s up to Stanley to crack the case . . . if he can just avoid being eaten by a lion.
Another One Bites the Crust: A Bakeshop Mystery by Ellie Alexander
A Whisper of Bones: A Jane Lawless Mystery by Ellen Hart
Curses, Boiled Again! A Lobster Shack Mystery by Shari Randall
Death in the Stars: A Kate Shackleton Mystery by Frances Brody
The Purloined Puzzle: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall
Death of an Unsung Hero: A Lady Montfort Mystery by Tessa Arlen
Death by Dumpling: A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien
Date with Malice: A Samson & Delilah Mystery by Julia Chapman
Lost Books and Old Bones: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton
Antique Blues: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery by Jane K. Cleland
Parnell Hall delivers another entertaining, puzzle-packed adventure with his delightfully untraditional sleuth in The Sudoku Puzzle Murders, featuring for the first time sudoku puzzles by New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz.
Wealthy widow Emma Hurley died with only her servants at her side — but after she passes away, her greedy heirs crawl out of the woodwork to stake a claim in Emma’s fortune. To their surprise, Emma was not content to leave behind a simple will. Instead, her final testament includes a clever puzzle ... one to be given only to her living heirs.
The first one to solve the puzzle will inherit Emma’s entire estate; everyone else will be left with a pittance. The will also stipulates that Cora Felton — local celebrity and famed author of a popular syndicated crossword puzzle column — must referee the contest.
Unfortunately, it’s Cora’s niece, Sherry Carter, who is the brains behind Cora’s “Puzzle Lady” persona. And it’s up to Sherry to unravel the bizarre riddle Emma Hurley engineered before her death. For soon it’s plain that Emma’s game is one without a clear winner ... and that the players could lose far more than they ever imagined!
From the Paperback edition.
When the obnoxious sixteen-year-old Peggy Dawson asks Cora Felton to solve a puzzle for her, Cora is delighted to find that the puzzle has been stolen. She is less delighted, however, when a blood-stained knife is found in its place.
Soon a body is discovered in the middle of Main Street, and Cora has a murder investigation on her hands. It does not help matters when she hears that her least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, is in town pulling a real estate scam, particularly when she discovers that Melvin may have purchased the knife. Now it’s up to the Puzzle Lady to figure out what really happened.
Cora is eager to undo her Japanese counterpart---at least until the poor woman is arrested for murder and Cora realizes that she accidentally framed her for the crime. As if that weren't frustrating enough, the publicity of her arrest drives Minami's sales through the roof!
Now it's up to Cora to clear her rival's name, get her off the bestseller list, and trap the real killer, but she'd better do it fast, before the cops find out what Cora did, and she winds up facing more jail time than Minami.
Boasting an entertaining, fun-filled mystery, as well as several satisfying crossword and sudoku puzzles, the Puzzle Lady's latest adventure makes for a rollicking good read.
It looks like wedding bells again for the much-married Cora Felton when distinguished widower Raymond Harstein III moves into town and makes a play for the Puzzle Lady. That is, it does until the mail brings puzzling cryptograms, which, when deciphered, warn Cora off the match.
Or do they?
As the puzzles keep coming, a killer’s game must be played in earnest, and it’s up to the Puzzle Lady to solve the riddle—if anyone is going to live to make it to the altar!
From the Hardcover edition.
When an elderly boarder at a Bakerhaven bed-and-breakfast drops dead during afternoon tea, there's nothing particularly suspicious about it—except for the Sudoku in his jacket pocket. But when a second body turns up in the window seat and an autopsy shows both men were poisoned with elderberry wine, the Puzzle Lady suspects she's dealing with a cold-blooded killer who for some reason is copying the Cary Grant movie Arsenic and Old Lace, in which two old ladies who run a boarding house poison elderly widowers and bury them in the basement. More murders, more puzzles, and a grave dug in the cellar seem to cement the theory.
Ordinarily, Cora would eat a case like this for breakfast, but for once she can't figure it out. And she's not sure if the clues don't add up, or if the much-married Puzzle Lady is just distracted by being involved in her first romantic entanglement in years.
Arsenic and Old Puzzles is filled with laughs, mayhem, and fun new puzzles by Will Shortz. Mystery and puzzle fans will find much to enjoy in this latest treat from Parnell Hall.
“If sweet-looking, gray-haired Miss Marple cursed, smoked, and carried a gun in her purse, she’d be a ringer for Cora Felton.”—Booklist
The Puzzle Lady couldn’t be happier. Matt Greystone, the rookie sensation who just signed a huge contract with the Yankees after coming to the team as the player to be named later in a trade with the Diamondbacks, winning seventeen games as a starting pitcher, was coming to town to rehab from an arm injury. A diehard Yankee fan, Cora was delighted when Matt invited her to a weekend pool party.
On the plus side, she got to meet Derek Jeter.
On the minus side, she had to solve a puzzle (that was also named later), and a couple of the guests got killed.
Solving murders is right up the Puzzle Lady’s alley. Unfortunately, someone has broken into the house of a local psychiatrist and rifled her patient files, and Chief Harper wants Cora to solve that, too.
Cora already knows who broke into the house.
INCLUDES CROSSWORDS AND A SUDOKU BY WILL SHORTZ THAT HELP YOU SOLVE THE MYSTERY
A Puzzle In A Pear Tree
’Tis the season to be jolly, but Cora Felton, shanghaied into “The Twelve Days of Christmas” as a most reluctant maid-a-milking, has every right to feel like a grinch. When someone steals the partridge from the pear tree and replaces it with a cryptic puzzle she has no hope of solving, it’s almost more than the Puzzle Lady can bear. But then smug crossword creator Harvey Beerbaum solves the acrostic, and it turns out to be a poem promising the death of an actress. This is more like it! Could the threat be aimed at Cora and her thespian debut? Or at Sherry, one of the ladies-dancing? Or at Sherry’s nemesis, the pageant’s predatory lead, Becky Baldwin?
Cora and Sherry barely have time for a mystery, what with trimming Christmas trees and buying Christmas presents, but rehearsals go on, under police protection--until a killer strikes elsewhere in a most unexpected manner.Ordinarily Cora Felton would be delighted to have two murders to solve. But this time she finds herself vying with a visiting Scotland Yard inspector who appears to have an all-too-personal stake in solving the crimes. Cora does too when her own niece becomes a prime suspect and the murderer strikes again.
Is someone trying to shut down the Christmas pageant? Cora would be only too happy if that were the case, but she fears the secrets lie deeper. Now she is interviewing witnesses, breaking into motel rooms, finding evidence, planting evidence, and having a merry old time. In fact, she would be perfectly happy--if this wasn’t turning out to be a Christmas to die for!
From the Hardcover edition.
Violent crime is rare in tiny Bakerhaven. When the body of an unknown teenage girl turns up in the local cemetery, Police Chief Dale Harper finds himself investigating his first homicide. Nothing about this case is straightforward. Even a thorough search of the crime scene fails to reveal who she was, the murder weapon, or why the killer left her body in a graveyard minus her shoes. A cryptic message on a scrap of paper she carried seems to be a crossword puzzle clue. Could it have been left by the killer? If so, what does it mean?
Fortunately for Harper, Bakerhaven is the new home of Miss Cora Felton, the famed "Puzzle Lady" herself, whose popular crossword puzzle column graces newspapers nationwide. Yet bringing Cora Felton into this case could be his most costly mistake. For though she may look like someone's sweet old grandmother, behind those twinkling eyes and that slightly mysterious smile lies a woman with a whopping secret...and some hidden vices. What's worse, one whiff of mystery turns Miss Felton into a modern-day Miss Marple.
Now Cora is snooping through crime scenes, questioning witnesses, and gaining a lot of unwanted attention. It's just the sort of meddling, mischief-making behavior that drives Chief Harper to distraction and inspires many cross words from her long-suffering niece Sherry. But when another body turns up in a murder that hits much closer to home, Cora must find a killer--before she winds up in a black box three feet across...and six down.
A delicious brew of colorful characters, irresistible intrigue, and dazzling plot twists, Parnell Hall's A Clue for the Puzzle Lady is just what a mystery should be--a generous helping of fun and a puzzle that never fails to surprise and entertain.
From the Hardcover edition.
Under the tutelage of Stone Barrington, Herbie Fisher has transformed from a bumbling sad sack into the youngest partner at the white-shoe law firm Woodman & Weld, and a man whose company is in high demand both because of his professional acumen and his savoir faire. But even his newly won composure and finely honed skills can’t prepare him for the strange escapade he’s unwittingly pulled into, and which—unbeknownst to him—has put him at the center of a bull’s-eye. In the city that never sleeps there are always devious schemes afoot, and Herbie will have to be quick on his feet to stay one step ahead of his enemies...and they’re closing in.
Cora pokes into Overmeyer's death, hoping to prove he died of natural causes. She learns the cranky hermit was the sole surviving member of a forty-year-old stock pooling agreement, and before she can say "capital gain," the town is full of heirs. Complicating things is Sherry's ex-husband, Dennis, who is playing detective in the hopes of impressing his ex-wife. With Sherry out of town, her restraining order against him is moot, and he is taking full advantage of the fact.
With Dead Man's Puzzle, Parnell Hall delivers another stellar, puzzle-packed entry in his entertaining Puzzle Lady series.