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Authors: Parnell Hall

And a Puzzle to Die On

BOOK: And a Puzzle to Die On
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Raves for Parnell Hall’s
Puzzle Lady Mysteries


“This is a wonderful addition to the Puzzle Lady series—and surprisingly, it’s not light.… This installment raises the bar for this series and is a wonderful, involving read.”
—Romantic Times
, four stars

“This is an entertaining entry in the series.”
—Mystery Lovers Bookshop News


“Amusing, adventurous murder mystery hides clues in cryptograms.… Hall skillfully delivers a delightfully different host of suspects. All in all, it’s an amusing romp through a murder mystery of the lighter style.”
—Charleston Post & Courier

“Mystery fans who are also crossword puzzle experts will welcome Parnell Hall’s
With This Puzzle, I Thee Kill
—San Diego Union-Tribune

“The funniest, smartest Puzzle Lady book so far … 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

“An enjoyable, easy read, and for a puzzle-lover, ideal.”
—Old Book Barn Gazette

“Hall’s gift for dialogue is never better than in the exchanges between Sherry and Cora.… The pace is brisk, slowed only by the deciphering of the cryptograms.… A treat.”
—Drood Review of Mystery


“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

“Crossworders will relish
A Puzzle in a Pear Tree
—Denver Post

“All will enjoy Hall’s nimble wordplay.”
—Booked & Printed

“The fun for fans of this series consists of the nexus between the plot and the puzzle.… Hall’s books involve the reader in the action the way few others do.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“An ingenious series of lighthearted, humorous mysteries.”
—Winston-Salem Journal

“Wonderfully funny. Parnell Hall has such a flair for making a mystery funny that reading his books is always a pleasure.”
—Romantic Times Book Club
, Top Pick

“The brash and loveable Cora Felton is back with another mystery.… If you haven’t read one of the author’s whodunits this might be a good time to start.”
—Abilene Reporter-News

“Hall is a pure entertainer.… As one of the few active practitioners of the elaborate Golden Age—style detective novel, Hall should be cherished.”
—Weekly Standard


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

—Chicago Tribune

“Funny, obnoxious, and deadly.”

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

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

“The third in a series that we suspect will just keep getting bigger. Not only is the device a natural … but Cora Felton is an appealing character … quick as a cobra with her wit.… Almost as much fun as doing the Sunday
—American Way


“Cora is emerging as a lovable and unique sleuth. [She’s] no sweet-natured Jessica Fletcher or wise-as-an-owl Miss Marple.… This series is a joy for lovers of both crosswords and frothy crime detection.”
—Chicago Sun-Times

[Last Puzzle & Testament]
has its merry way with the cozy concept of the small-town spinster-sleuth.”
—Los Angeles 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

“The author proves himself very adept at constructing the puzzles that are at the core of his mystery. The reader gets a chance to solve the puzzles before the protagonists do, which adds to the fun.”
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A decidedy different pair of detectives.”
—Creative Logic

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

“Laced with witty dialogue and enough twists to satisfy the most demanding of mystery fans.”
—Greenburg (PA) Tribune-Review


“Some puzzles are real killers … devious and delightful.”
—Chicago Sun-Times

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

“Deft … clever … fun.”

“The real lure here is the mystery, whose ingenuity takes quite unexpected forms en route to the final unmasking. Heaven for crossword fans, who’ll rejoice over the solve-as-you-go puzzle!”
—Kirkus Reviews

“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 that we can all savor future adventures of the Puzzle Lady.”
—Joan Hess

“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.”
—Publishers Weekly

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

“Parnell Hall’s superb new series dazzles like the Fourth of July, cracking with fun, wordplay, more twists than a maze, and a clever, vulnerable, wild woman sleuth—Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, sheer delight!”
—Carolyn Hart

“A fresh series with an engaging sleuthing duo … a lighthearted romp.”
—Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

“A fun and entertaining story to challenge all mystery readers … A great premise … lively characters, an intriguing plot and a well-written story.”

“[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.”
—Dallas Morning News

A Bantam Book

Bantam hardcover edition published November 2004
Bantam mass market edition / September 2005

Published by
Bantam Dell
A Division of Random House, Inc.
New York, New York

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved
Copyright © 2004 by Parnell Hall

Puzzles edited by Ellen Ripstein

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2004045094

Bantam Books and the rooster colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

eISBN: 978-0-553-90188-7

Published simultaneously in Canada



want to thank Nancy Salomon, Manny Nosowsky, Cathy Millhauser, and Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon for constructing the puzzles that appear in this book. The ease with which these experts provided what was needed was amazing. I could not have done this book without them

I want to thank
New York Times
crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz for mustering the troops. Excellent suggestions all, Will!

Last, but not least, I want to thank my puzzle editor, Ellen Ripstein, who has saved me time and again from the folly of my own feeble constructions. I am delighted for once to be able to assign her the easier task of editing the puzzles of people who actually know what they are doing. what they are doing

BOOK: And a Puzzle to Die On
3.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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