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A clue for the puzzle lady
Parnell Hall
Adult Fiction HALL

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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A crossword puzzle left at the site of a gruesome crime is the only clue available to Bakerhaven's police chief, so he turns to the famed Puzzle Lady for help. Trouble is, she's got some secrets of her own. A new series from an author who's frequently nominated for the big mystery awards. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Cora Felton, aka "Puzzle Lady"
Age: Senior citizen
Crossword columnist

Sherry Carter
Cora's niece; hiding from an abusive ex-husband; moves in with her aunt; creates crossowrd puzzles under her aunt's name.
Crossword columnist

Dale Harper
Police chief

Aaron Grant
In love with Sherry.
Newspaper reporter

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