Let's face it, Cordelia Frances Biddle and Steve Zettler, the "serious crossword buffs" who write under the pseudonym Nero Blanc are no Lawrence Block nor Thomas Harris. Their 'mysteries', or perhaps I should say this mystery, The Crossword Connection, has about the same amount of tension and suspense one gets working a crossword puzzle. Which, come to think of it, is the point. There are six actual crossword puzzles loosely woven into the plot and printed on two facing pages (for easy copying) throughout. (The solutions to all six puzzles are printed at the back of the book.) The puzzles won't actually help one 'solve the mystery' of the crime or crimes detailed in the novel, but the authors do a fairly good job of coordinating enough of the puzzle clues with events and circumstances of the plot so it's a bonus. The mystery is a fairly good enough read in and of itself, I'd say...and I'd give it three stars on it's own merit. But if one enjoys crosswords the added dimension they provide is enough icing to raise it to the four-star level.