I did stick with this one until the end, but I felt the clues were very obvious. Don't know if I'll read any others in this series. Cora's drinking problem started to get really annoying.
A fun, fast & fluffy read, but probably not a series I'll continue with. The writing was pretty good, although the dialog often reminded me of an Abbott and Costello routine, short, snappy, often clever, but it wore thin after a few conversations. Still, the story held my interest, and the crossword connection was a good hook.
Crossword puzzle fans will love this story of Cora Felton, "The Puzzle Lady" who gives the world her impersonation of a sweet old lady while her niece makes up the puzzles for The Puzzle Lady newspaper column. Both get involve when the body of a young girl is found in the local cemetary and the only clue is----a crossword clue! Those of us who don't do crosswords can just have fun with the irrisitable Parnell Hall (also author of the Stanley Hastings series).
Easy read, twisty plot, love interest.
Different and interesting characters. I'll read more by this author.
From Publishers Weekly
Hall, best known for his Edgar-nominated Stanley Hastings series, begins a new series with a heroine who provides an interesting variation on the older woman sleuth. Imagine Miss Marple as a promiscuous lush, and you have Cora Felton, known to crossword puzzle buffs around the country as "The Puzzle Lady." Cora and her niece, Sherry Carter, have moved to the small town of Bakerhaven, Conn., hoping to protect Sherry from an abusive ex-husband. The body of a young girl is discovered in the Bakerhaven Cemetery, and Police Chief Dale Harper investigates, though he wishes the body had been found in someone else's jurisdiction. An enigmatic clue in the victim's pockets takes Chief Harper in search of assistance, and he gets more than he needs from Cora, who's determined to help solve the puzzle. A second murder complicates the case, and overly zealous cub reporter Aaron Grant spills the news to the public about the cryptic clues. In addition to his trademark zippy, witty dialogue, Hall provides a dandy puzzle, congenial secondary characters, plenty of laughs and a true original in Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Cute story and tie in with a real puzzle to complete!
The first in the Puzzle Lady series. I liked it a lot, then again, I'm a fan of crossword puzzles. If you are, too, you should check out this series. Even if you're not, this series is worth reading.
One of a series of mysteries that also involve crossword and other types of puzzles. Interesting premise, especially if you like word puzzles. This one involves a puzzle that isn't a puzzle - but you have to read it to find out what that means! Fun read.
One of the hilarious Puzzle Lady books- in this one, the body of an unknown teenage girl is found in the cemetery.
I'm hooked on this series! This is the first of the Puzzle Lady stories and has plenty of twists to keep you guessing who-done-it and why.
This a delightful fun book to read. Trying to guess what is coming next was a pleasant way to spend and evening.
1st in the series. I liked it so much, I'm going to start in on the next one!
Quirky main character who enjoys drinking and playing cards. Lovable with all her faults. This book is a fast read and fun !!!
I got a kick out of the incorrigible Aunt Cora who only *looks* like a sweet little old lady, and her niece Sherry, the brains behind the Puzzle Lady business. A well written, humorous cozy mystery. I can't wait to see what they'll be up to in their next adventure!
A delightful series, a bit more intelligent than some! Clever plot twists and charming characters.
A pretty good first in a series. Hopefully the characters develop more in the subsequent books.
I really enjoyed this series and I read them in order. I like that I can never guess who has done it, and even if I read the end I still want to read the whole book to understand all the twists and turns. In this one, the characters and town are introduced, and the plot is workable, and the killer was a surprize for me. I loved it and it made me want to read the whole series.
This has an interesting plot and a good character line.
Very good book_ if you like crossword puzzles.
1st in series. American Miss Marple?
Was pleasantly surprised with the characters in this book (first in a series). An easy and enjoyable read.
Looking forward to reading the next in the series. It dragged on a bit in the middle, but I expect now tht charactor development has happened, the pace will speed up
This was a clever little book and a quick read. The characters grew on me as they developed...although I must say, they were a bit odd and quirky. But I liked the puzzle theme..made it more interesting.
First Line: The first clue came with a corpse.
Police Chief Dale Harper finds himself investigating his very first homicide when the body of an unknown girl turns up in the cemetery of the small town of Bakerhaven, Connecticut. A strange clue leads him to consult Bakerhaven's celebrity, Cora Felton-- otherwise known as the Puzzle Lady for her syndicated column of crossword puzzles.
That was Harper's first mistake because Cora's meddling drives him crazy and makes her niece, Sherry, want to rip out her hair. When another body turns up that hits close to home, Cora's got to put her puzzle-solving skills in high gear before she becomes the next victim.
Beware requesting books like this secondhand. If you're not lucky (like I wasn't), you'll get a copy of the book in which a previous owner has already worked the crossword puzzle... in ink. With that precautionary tale out of the way, let's get to the book.
While I didn't find myself solving the mystery and had to wait for the author to do it for me (a definite plus), there were things that bothered me about this first book in the series.
The fact that Police Chief Dale Harper kept returning to Cora and her niece for help was one of them. I could see it if they were giving him substantive help, but they weren't. This gave me the impression that Harper was, indeed, out of his depth.
The character of Cora Felton herself pushed one of my hot buttons. (I don't have many, so it can be dire if one of them is activated.) Her meddling was amusing, and it was fun to see her tie her niece, Sherry, in knots. I also liked Cora the cardsharp always trying to get a game of cards going, but... the woman is a person who drinks to excess then gets behind the wheel of a car and drives (weaves) her way home. That is my hot button, which has something to do with my having had an alcoholic in the family. That whole drunk thing just isn't funny to me. At. All.
Her niece, Sherry, is trying to take care of her aunt while she's avoiding an abusive ex-husband. Local journalist Aaron Grant takes a shine to the young woman, and their witty banter at first is fun, but it goes on way too long.
A Clue for the Puzzle Lady has a good mystery and very good pacing, but I had a few too many problems with the characters, and not all of those problems were personal. Of course, there is another way of looking at this-- if the characterizations weren't good, then these fictional people wouldn't get under my skin the way they did!
I liked this mystery even though I was able to figure out "whodunit", because I like puzzles. What I did not like was the Puzzle Lady's drinking. I hope in future books she gets sober. Maybe there will be something developing for her niece with Aaron. I may read the next in the series (hope Cora decides to go to AA), but only after I read many other books from my TBR pile...
The first of a great mystery series!
This is the first book in the puzzle lady series. I ordered it and liked it so much, I read it in 2 days. It's a good little cozy with a "not so typical" female slueth. Cora Felton is the Puzzle Lady. She makes up the crossword puzzles for nationally syndicated newspapers. She loves booze, smoking, and solving murders. A clue left at the murder scene gets Cora and her neice, Sherry Carter, whom she lives with, involved in the case. I enjoyed this so much, I have ordered the other books in the series. I hope they're all just as good!
There is a crossword puzzle in the front of the book that had been partially filled in and then erased.
I have not read this book. I picked it up at the library from the perpetual sale rack for trade.