The new novel in the ever-popular mystery series finds the Puzzle Lady on the set of a movie about her own life—and when the first dead body shows up on set, it comes with a crossword puzzle.
It’s murder on the movie set!
It was no surprise when Cora Felton’s ex-husband’s sensational tell-all memoir, Confessions of a Trophy Husband: My Life with the Puzzle Lady, was optioned for the movies, but it certainly raised eyebrows when the Puzzle Lady herself signed on as an associate producer. Cora explained gamely that she hoped to have some control over the project. The truth was, she needed the money.
Some of the more salacious details of the steamy bestseller had not sat well with Granville Grains, the breakfast cereal company for whom the Puzzle Lady appeared in national TV ads for schoolchildren, and they suspended the campaign. Sales of her popular Sudoku books also sagged, leaving Cora and her niece, Sherry, who actually constructs the crosswords, to live on the modest income from the Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle column.
Now Cora is filming her life story on location in New York City, and things couldn’t be worse. She doesn’t like the script, she doesn’t like the director, and she absolutely hates the actress who is playing her in the movie. It’s almost a relief when the first dead body shows up on the set. If only it didn’t come with a crossword puzzle . . .
Parnell Hall is an Edgar, Shamus, and Lefty nominee, and is the author of the Stanley Hastings private eye novels, the Puzzle Lady crossword puzzle mystery series, and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas. An actor, screenwriter, and former private investigator, Hall lives in New York City.
"The storytelling is light and breezy. Cora earns her sleuthing cred when she takes one look at the boyfriend's desk and pronounces his 'suicide' a murder: 'A guy doesn't off himself with tickets to Hamilton.' Brilliant deduction. Case closed."
– Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"An enjoyable mystery. Hall’s sly swipes at the movie business enhance this lively tale that keeps readers guessing about the culprit to the end."
– Publishers Weekly
"It’s fun to follow along as Cora applies her ferociously logical mind—failure at crosswords notwithstanding—to the task of nabbing a ruthless killer. A wealth of cinematic detail that is sure to please not only movie buffs but anyone with more than a passing interest in the industry."
– Criminal Element
"A wild adventure."
"The one-liners and witty comebacks never stop in the latest ‘Puzzle Lady’ romp. Readers who appreciate fast-paced cozies with an outrageous amateur sleuth will relish puzzling out the follow-up to The Purloined Puzzle."