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Last Puzzle & Testament


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About the Author

Parnell Hall is the author of the critically acclaimed Stanley Hastings mystery novels and the Steve Winslow courtroom dramas, and has been nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus, and the Lefty Awards. His first Puzzle Lady mystery was A Clue for the Puzzle Lady, and he is currently at work devising his third, Puzzled to Death. He lives in New York City.


The second puzzle for Cora Felton (following A Clue for the Puzzle Lady) is even better than her clever debut. Although nationally syndicated columnist Cora is known as the "Puzzle Lady" to her Bakerhaven, Conn., neighbors, it's actually her brainy niece, Sherry Carter, who creates the famous crossword puzzles attributed to Cora. With a grandmotherly appearance that belies the oft married, cigarette-smoking, hard-drinking reality beneath, Cora fancies that her forte is solving mysteries. And Sherry's reticence and desire to shun the spotlight hides a puzzle constructor of the first rank. Their respective skills get a real test when wealthy, eccentric Emma Hurley dies and leaves a will that requires her potential heirs to compete in a puzzle-solving contest. She has furthermore appointed Cora final judge and arbiter. The assembled heirs-in-waiting are a motley lotÄfrom obnoxious battling twins, Phyllis and Philip, to hermit-like Chester and disaffected young nephew Daniel. Reporter Aaron Grant returns as a romantic foil for Sherry, though things keep getting in the way of their budding amour. Edgar nominee Hall, a master of wordplay himself, has great fun as bloodletting and other forms of skullduggery complicate the search for clues and answers to a 40-year-old puzzle. The bantering affection between irrepressible Cora and shy Sherry, the antics of Emma's kin and a bit of murder and mayhem allow Hall to mask the puzzle's solution to the very end. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"[An] homage to the very entertaining, breezy mind-game mysteries of the 1930s and '40s. Enjoy the show!"
-- Los Angeles Times

"A witty, airy, and busy detective story ... filled with love triangles, false leads, and danger ... Fun from the first page."
-- The Dallas Morning News

"This series is a joy for lovers of both crosswords and frothy crime detection."
-- Chicago Sun-Times Don't miss the first Puzzle Lady Mystery: A Clue for the Puzzle Lady

and Puzzled to Death

Coming soon in hardcover from Bantam Books

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