Puzzle Lady

A Puzzle to be Named Later


Book 18: A PUZZLE TO BE NAMED LATER

When Matt Greystone, the Yankees rookie sensation, chooses the quiet town of Bakerhaven to rehab from and arm injury, can puzzles and murders be far behind?

“The Puzzle Lady, who seems to improve with each new adventure, spreads red herrings with reckless abandon.”
Kirkus Review

“Hall performs a sort of magic.”
Publisher’s Weekly

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Presumed Puzzled


Book 17: PRESUMED PUZZLED

A shocking crime has Bakerhaven buzzing. Paula Martindale, found drenched in blood and clutching a butcher knife over the body of her murdered husband, is on trial for murder, and it’s up to Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, to get her off. But all the evidence she finds in Paula’s favor seems to prove that Cora herself is the killer!

“Will the Puzzle Lady solve her latest case or go directly to jail? One of the Puzzle Lady’s best outings.”
Kirkus Review

“Jessica Fletcher meets Groucho Marx!”
RT BookReviews

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Puzzled Indemnity


Book 16: PUZZLED INDEMNITY

When young insurance salesman Hank Wells takes out a million dollar double indemnity insurance policy, his wife Brittany is sure it can mean only one thing. The Puzzle Lady has no trouble tracking hubby to his New York love nest, but when police arrest Brittany for killing him, Cora has to enlist the aid of her on-again-off-again lover, NYPD Sergeant Crowley, and his girlfriend!

“The pleasure is in the wordplay, at which Hall is a master. Across and down, the word is C-U-T-E.”
the New York Times Book Review

“In this delightful comic mystery, the merging of the puzzle of the crime with the allusions to the movie Double Indemnity and Cora’s convoluted conversations engages to the end.”
Booklist

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Book 15: NYPD PUZZLE

NYPD PUZZLE

It was a simple assignment for the Puzzle Lady. Accompany attractive young attorney Becky Baldwin to a meeting with her new client in his New York penthouse. Only when they get there the man is dead, he has a crossword puzzle on his chest, and the police catch the her standing over the body with a smoking gun. Cora falls hard for the NYPD sergeant in charge of the case. If only he didn’t suspect her of murder!

“This newest entry in the lovable Puzzle Lady series does not disappoint. Like those before it, NYPD Puzzle is easy to read thanks to Hall’s writing style, intriguing characters, and, once again, integrated word and number puzzles that add to the fun. ..this one builds up more suspense and readers are kept guessing who is responsible for the murder and mayhem until the final pages.”
RT Book Reviews

“Delightful… Between Hall’s snappy dialogue and Will Shortz’s puzzles, comic mystery buffs have plenty to enjoy.”
Publishers Weekly

“Hall, as always, fills this intricate and witty mystery with a dandy plot, snappy dialogue and, of course, the antics of the lovably annoying Cora.”
The Richmond-Times Dispatch

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Book 14: ARSENIC AND OLD PUZZLES

ARSENIC AND OLD PUZZLES

Was a killer with a bizarre sense of humor copying the old Cary Grant movie, Arsenic and Old Lace? When a roomer at the B & B is poisoned with elderberry wine, it certainly seems so. Could a grave in the basement and a body in the window-seat be far behind? Cora Felton would love to find out. If only she didn’t have crossword puzzle clues to deal with. Cary Grant never had to deal with that!

“Delightful… Feisty Cora Felton is at her cantankerous, obfuscating, trouble-stirring best.” – Publishers Weekly

“Clever, manipulative Cora provides laughs and an ingenious mystery along with the obligatory puzzles for those who can’t figure out whodunit.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Cora’s zaniness rubs off on everyone, to the delight of fans old and new.” – Booklist

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Book 13: $10,000 IN SMALL, UNMARKED PUZZLES

$10000 IN SMALL UNMARKED PUZZLES

Never make a blackmail payment drop. When the Puzzle Lady handles one for young attorney Becky Baldwin, things couldn’t go worse. Someone steals the money, Cora gets caught with a corpse, the clues are crossword puzzles she can’t solve, her ex-husband Melvin is the chief suspect, a sadistic serial killer is stalking her niece Sherry and the newborn baby, and Becky won’t even tell her who the client is!

“One of the Puzzle Lady’s finest hours… with the obligatory puzzles to help solve the case.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Fun, two words, 11 letters: P-A-R-N-E-L-L H-A-L-L…a master of the comic mystery… Hall’s wit and razor-sharp dialogue… 10,000 in Small Unmarked Puzzles is another winner in an amusing series.” – Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Great fun for series fans.” — Booklist

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Book 12: THE KENKEN KILLINGS

THE KENKEN KILLINGS

Bad news for the Puzzle Lady! Her least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, is suing her for annulment, the creep has a twenty year old bimbo in tow, he’s making a play for Cora’s attractive young lawyer, Becky Baldwin, and the only thing keeping him from winning the alimony hearing is someone is bumping off his witnesses and leaving KenKen® puzzles on the bodies. Someone is framing Melvin for murder, and the Puzzle Lady is the only one who can save him. But does she want to?

KenKen® puzzles and crosswords included!

“…offbeat heroine, entertaining banter, well-constructed mystery. Each Puzzle Lady novel can be read as a stand-alone, too, and so can be recommended to puzzle-minded readers who’ve never heard of Cora Felton. ” – Booklist

“Feisty Cora is at the top of her game in this latest entry, which includes puzzles for the reader.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Hall’s crisp wit makes this another far-fetched funfest for puzzle mystery fans.” – Publishers Weekly

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Book 11: THE PUZZLE LADY VS. THE SUDOKU LADY

THE PUZZLE LADY VS SUDOKU LADY

The Puzzle Lady takes on her Japanese counterpart, who is equally adept at solving crime., and who comes to Bakerhaven with her teenage niece just as a killer strikes. Cora would do anything to beat Minami at cracking the case. But she didn’t mean to frame her for murder!

“Fast paced… [with] quirky characters and humorous dialogue.” – Publishers Weekly

“Engaging characters and plenty of sudoku puzzle to solve are the draw here.” – Booklist

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Book 10: DEAD MAN’S PUZZLE

DEAD MAN'S PUZZLE

While her niece Sherry is off on her honeymoon with young reporter Aaron Grant, the Puzzle Lady,is forced to fend for herself. Bad luck for Cora! When cranky old hermit Overmeyer is found dead in his cabin, a crossword is the only clue. Cora, who couldn’t solve a crossword with a gun to her head, is forced to tap-dance furiously as she tries to solve the crime!

“If the amusing antics of ebullient Cora aren’t enough for you, there are always the requisite crossword puzzles along with a sudoku puzzle to enjoy.” – Kirkus Reviews

“A delightful series… a charming heroine… so gosh darned good!” – Booklist

“Snappy dialogue and a clever resolution!”- Publishers Weekly

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Book 9: THE SUDOKU PUZZLE MURDERS

THE SUDOKU PUZZLE MURDERS

Cora Felton couldn’t solve a crossword with a gun to her head, but she’s a whiz at Sudoku, and it’s flattering when two Japanese publishes show up in Bakerhaven to vie the right to publish her book. At least until it leads to murder. If only the killer had just left Sudoku clues. But, wouldn’t you know it, he had to throw in some crosswords as well!

“Fast paced… [with] quirky characters and humorous dialogue.” – Publishers Weekly

“By far the best [in the series]. It is an edgy, absorbing plot.” – I Love a Mystery

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Book 8: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PUZZLED

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN PUZZLED

It was a simple assignment. Help Chief Harper handle the case of some stolen chairs. So how did it wind up with the Puzzle Lady arrested for murder!

“Jessica Fletcher meets Groucho Marx!” – Romantic Times (Top Pick)

“In addition to the ingenious puzzle of the murder, there are crossword puzzles to die for in the book.” – Deadly Pleasures

“The writing is smooth, the wordplay wonderful.” – Mystery News

“Great fun. Cora has gone on the wagon, and gotten funnier, delivering one-liners like a female Groucho Marx.” – Mystery Scene

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Book 7: STALKING THE PUZZLE LADY

STALKING THE PUZZLE LADY

Cora Felton was on a whirlwind publicity tour for Granville Grains cereal, filming commercials and making personal appearances at shopping malls. The only thing keeping her from being bored silly was the killer stalking her and leaving crossword puzzle clues!

“The pleasure is in the wordplay, at which Hall is a master. Across and down, the word is C-U-T-E.” – the New York Times Book Review

“If sweet–looking, gray-haired Miss Marple cursed, smoked, and carried a gun in her purse, she’d be a ringer for Cora Felton.” – Booklist

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Book 6: AND A PUZZLE TO DIE ON

AND A PUZZLE TO DIE ON

Poking into a 20-year-old case of a convicted killer serving a life sentence seemed a hopeless task. But Cora must be doing something right, or another killer wouldn’t be trying so hard to stop her!

“Definitely a fun read. Readers can only smile as Cora bulldozes her way toward solving the mystery… Cora’s a hoot!” – Mystery News

“This installment raises the bar for the series, and is a wonderful, involving read.” – Romantic Times

“Fast paced and suspenseful.” – Mystery Scene

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Book 5: WITH THIS PUZZLE I THEE KILL

WITH THIS PUZZLE I THEE KILL

The much-married Cora Felton was getting wed again, but the double-wedding ceremony with her niece’s ex-husband wasn’t her idea. Neither was murder!

“Hall’s trademark wordplay and gift for creating eccentric characters remain as sharp as ever.” – Publishers Weekly

“Great clues, great cryptograms, great fun.” – Toronto Globe and Mail

“Cora is a wonderful—and funny—curmudgeon. The writing is smooth and the plot moves along nicely… The puzzles are a small fraction of the fun in these books.” – Mystery News

“Hall’s gift for dialogue is never better… A treat.” – Drood Review

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Book 4: A PUZZLE IN A PEAR TREE

A PUZZLE IN A PEAR TREE

Cora Felton stars in a staged version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and her niece Sherry plays the Virgin Mary in the town square’s live Nativity. Murder mars both productions.

“If you want a well-plotted mystery… try Parnell Hall’s A Puzzle in a Pear Tree. This delightful series is a throwback to the frothy detective puzzlers of the 1930s and 1040s [which] helped make reading mysteries fun.” – Otto Penzler, New York Sun

“Wonderfully funny. Parnell Hall has such a flair for making a mystery funny that reading his books is always a pleasure.” – Romantic Times (Top Pick)

“Ideal for the puzzle fan as well as the mystery fan, this frothy, funny, and ingenious fourth Puzzle Lady novel has enough plot twists for the most avid mystery reader.” – Dallas Morning News

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Book 3: PUZZLED TO DEATH

PUZZLED TO DEATH

A crossword puzzle tournament in Bakerhaven? What could possibly go wrong? Murder, for one thing!

“A thoroughly entertaining tale.” – Chicago Sun-Times

“A fun meringue of a novel… the kind of mystery not often seen these days.” – San Jose Mercury News

“Quirky… Cora is funny, irreverent…light reading with a twist.” – Mystery News

“The third in a series we suspect will just keep getting bigger… Almost as much fun as doing the Sunday Times puzzle.” – American Way

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Book 2: LAST PUZZLE & TESTAMENT

LAST PUZZLE & TESTAMENT

When an eccentric old woman’s will sends a pack of greedy heirs on a bizarre crossword puzzle/ scavenger hunt to see who will inherit her enormous fortune, the Puzzle Lady must solve the resultant murders!

“Cora is emerging as a lovable and unique sleuth… This series is a joy for lovers of both crosswords and frothy crime detection.” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Fun from the first page.” – Dallas Morning News

“Takes a sweet-faced grandmother on the gumshoe spree of a lifetime.” – Washington Post Book World

“This novel’s puzzles within puzzles will charm, and so will its attractive cast.” – Booklist

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Book 1: A CLUE FOR THE PUZZLE LADY

A CLUE FOR THE PUZZLE LADY

When the body of a young girl is found in the Bakerhaven cemetery with an enigmatic clue in her pocket, the chief of police enlists the aid of Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, not realizing she is a charming fraud who couldn’t solve a crossword puzzle with a gun to her head, but has an uncanny knack for solving crime.

“Complex and satisfying…A fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists.” – USA Today

“A Clue for the Puzzle Lady is fresh, funny, and ingeniously devised. It kept me guessing right down to the end—just like a good crossword!” – Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, New York Times

“Heaven for crossword fans, who’ll rejoice over the solve-as-you-go puzzle that eventually reveals the killer for readers whose pens are mightier than their reading glasses.” – Kirkus Reviews

“In addition to his zippy, witty dialogue, Hall provides a dandy puzzle, congenial secondary characters, plenty of laughs, and a true original in Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady.” – Publishers Weekly

“Cora Felton is a delightfully different sort of sleuth—hardly the decorous, tea-sipping village spinster. In truth, she’s a hoot. I hope her niece can keep her out of too much trouble so we can all savor future adventures of the Puzzle Lady.” – Joan Hess, author of the Claire Malloy and Maggody mystery series

“Parnell Hall’s superb new series dazzles like the 4th of July, crackling with fun wordplay, more twists than a maze, and a clever, vulnerable, wild woman sleuth—Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady. Sheer delight!” – Carolyn Hart, author of the Death on Demand and Henrie O mystery series

“A twisting plot, an intriguing puzzle, and a surprisingly satisfying romance. This one is hard to beat!” – Janet Evanovich

“(An) homage to the very entertaining, breezy, mind-game mysteries of the 1930s and 40s. Enjoy the show!” – Los Angeles Times

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