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?
Parnell Hall is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling Teddy Fay thrillers. He is the author of the Puzzle Lady mysteries, the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, and the Steve Winslow courtroom thrillers. He is a Shamus Award winner, and has been nominated for the Edgar and the Lefty. He lives in New York City.
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.
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.
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.