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$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles is another delightful entry in Parnell Hall's entertaining Puzzle Lady series, featuring new puzzles by Will Shortz that help readers solve the mystery!
When nerdy cruciverbalist Harvey Beerbaum throws a birthday bash for Cora Felton at the Bakerhaven Library, it's no surprise that the centerpiece, a huge cake decorated like a crossword puzzle, is a complete bust--until a corpse thrown from the second floor stacks hits it dead center and fills in 14 down. Cora may hate birthdays almost as much as she hates crossword puzzles--but when it comes to solving crimes, no one can hold a candle to the Puzzle Lady.From the Hardcover edition.
The latest in the beloved Stanley Hastings series--the unlikeliest private eye in New York City, who doesn't even carry a gun Poor Stanley Hastings. After getting hired by a hitman and nearly getting shot, the put-upon PI needed some fun, so when a gorgeous damsel in distress walks through his office door she seems just what the doctor ordered. Wrong again. The fair maiden turns out to be a married mom who wants Stanley to find out why her teenage daughter is skipping school. Playing truant officer isn't exactly Stanley's idea of fun, but at least it should be easy. Fat chance. Stanley being Stanley, nothing goes right, nothing is as it seems, bodies start to pile up, and faster than you can say 'fall guy,' guess who's left holding the bag?
The latest in the beloved Stanley Hastings series - the unlikeliest private eye in New York City, who doesn't even carry a gun. Poor Stanley Hastings. After getting hired by a hitman and nearly getting shot, the put-upon PI needed some fun, so when a gorgeous damsel in distress walks through his office door, she seems just what the doctor ordered.Wrong again. The fair maiden turns out to be a married mom who wants Stanley to find out why her teenage daughter is skipping school. Playing truant officer isn't exactly Stanley's idea of fun, but at least it should be easy. Fat chance. Stanley being Stanley, nothing goes right, nothing is as it seems, bodies start to pile up, and faster than you can say "fall guy," guess who's left holding the bag?
Cruciverbalists, rejoice!!! Pick up a pencil and get ready to solve the puzzle--and a puzzling murder--in this lively debut of a unique amateur detective, Miss Cora Felton, the reigning queen of crosswords. Cora's an eccentric old lady with a nationally syndicated puzzle column, an irresistible urge to poke into unsettling events, and a niece who's determined to keep her out of trouble. In a slyly amusing and wickedly suspenseful mystery, this delightful heroine takes her first crack at playing sleuth. Only this isn't fun and games....It's murder.Violent crime is rare in tiny Bakerhaven. When the body of an unknown teenage girl turns up in the local cemetery, Police Chief Dale Harper finds himself investigating his first homicide. Nothing about this case is straightforward. Even a thorough search of the crime scene fails to reveal who she was, the murder weapon, or why the killer left her body in a graveyard minus her shoes. A cryptic message on a scrap of paper she carried seems to be a crossword puzzle clue. Could it have been left by the killer? If so, what does it mean?Fortunately for Harper, Bakerhaven is the new home of Miss Cora Felton, the famed "Puzzle Lady" herself, whose popular crossword puzzle column graces newspapers nationwide. Yet bringing Cora Felton into this case could be his most costly mistake. For though she may look like someone's sweet old grandmother, behind those twinkling eyes and that slightly mysterious smile lies a woman with a whopping secret...and some hidden vices. What's worse, one whiff of mystery turns Miss Felton into a modern-day Miss Marple.Now Cora is snooping through crime scenes, questioning witnesses, and gaining a lot of unwanted attention. It's just the sort of meddling, mischief-making behavior that drives Chief Harper to distraction and inspires many cross words from her long-suffering niece Sherry. But when another body turns up in a murder that hits much closer to home, Cora must find a killer--before she winds up in a black box three feet across...and six down.A delicious brew of colorful characters, irresistible intrigue, and dazzling plot twists, Parnell Hall's A Clue for the Puzzle Lady is just what a mystery should be--a generous helping of fun and a puzzle that never fails to surprise and entertain.From the Hardcover edition.
In this new Stanley Hastings mystery novel, the put-upon New York private investigator is vacationing at the Blue Frog Ponds Inn, a trendy New England bed-and-breakfast, with his wife, Alice. The cheerless room with its paper-thin walls, no TV, and a blue cartoon frog on the door does nothing for Stanley's spirits or his libido. Besides all that, someone has started bumping off the guests. Worse still, the first murder happened right under Stanley's nose, so he finds himself a key witness if not a prime suspect. Back home in New York City Stanley could call upon his friends on the police force to help him solve the crime, but not at Blue Frog Ponds. Here he has only his wits, his wife, and a cat -- all of which he'll need if he's to catch a killer before the culprit strikes very close to home.
When Sergeant MacAullif of the NYPD asks Stanley Hastings a favor to investigate his son-in-law, Harold Dunleavy in Atlantic City, Stanley reluctantly takes on the case. While investigating, he gets himself into trouble, being indicted for grand larceny and being the prime suspect of two murders.
A young woman found naked and stabbed to death in her apartment. It's the type of case that should be perfect for Stanley Hastings. Instead, it's his nightmare. A sensational murder trial! A young woman found naked and stabbed to death in her apartment! The woman was the girlfriend of his boss, Richard Rosenberg, and the hotshot lawyer is charged with killing her. Now Richard's in court fighting for his life, and Stanley's out on the firing line trying to dig up some evidence in his favor. It won't be easy. The murdered woman was a law clerk for a prominent judge, and everyone Stanley needs to question is currently tied up in a high-profile Global Banking trial. As Stanley races back and forth between two courtrooms, searching for the key to the mystery through investigative techniques that could easily get him charged as an accessory, every fact tends to point to Richard's guilt: DNA evidence proves he is the man who had sex with the victim just before she died, eyewitnesses put him at the scene of the crime, and his fingerprints are on the murder weapon. In desperation, Richard resorts to a series of courtroom tactics so outrageous they would make Perry Mason blush. Before the case is over, everyone in the courtroom will be convinced that not only does Richard Rosenberg have a fool for a client, but the client has a fool for a lawyer.
When Robert B. Parker passed in early 2010, the world lost two great men: Parker himself, iconic American crime writer whose books have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide, and his best-known creation, Spenser. Parker's Spenser series not only influenced the work of countless of today's writers, but is also credited with reviving and forever changing the genre.In Pursuit of Spenser offers a look at Parker and to Spenser through the eyes of the writers he influenced. Editor Otto Penzler-- proprietor of one of the oldest and largest mystery specialist bookstores in the country, New York's The Mysterious Bookshop, and renowned mystery fiction editor whose credits include series editor for the Best American Crime Writing and Best American Mystery Stories, among many others (and about whom Parker himself once wrote, "Otto Penzler knows more about crime fiction than most people know about anything")-- collects some of today's bestselling mystery authors to discuss Parker, his characters, the series, and their impact on the world.From Hawk to Susan Silverman to Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall, from the series' Boston milieu to Parker's own take on his character, In Pursuit of Spenser pays tribute to Spenser, and Parker, with affection, humor, and a deep appreciation for what both have left behind.
Private Detective Stanley Hastings, despite his attempts to get out of jury duty, has been selected to serve on a civil case. He befriends one of the jurors who ends up being murdered. As the first person to discover her naked body, Stanley becomes the prime suspect by the police sergeant in charge of the murder investigation. In order to clear his name, Hastings investigates.
It's no mystery why readers love the Puzzle Lady, Miss Cora Felton, the eccentric amateur detective who keeps everyone guessing as she keeps herself in the thick of trouble. Find out why critics agree that "Cora is emerging as a lovable and unique sleuth" (Chicago Sun-Times) in "a fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists" (USA Today).Wealthy widow Emma Hurley died with only her servants at her side -- but after she passes away, her greedy heirs crawl out of the woodwork to stake a claim in Emma's fortune. To their surprise, Emma was not content to leave behind a simple will. Instead, her final testament includes a clever puzzle ... one to be given only to her living heirs.The first one to solve the puzzle will inherit Emma's entire estate; everyone else will be left with a pittance. The will also stipulates that Cora Felton -- local celebrity and famed author of a popular syndicated crossword puzzle column -- must referee the contest. Unfortunately, it's Cora's niece, Sherry Carter, who is the brains behind Cora's "Puzzle Lady" persona. And it's up to Sherry to unravel the bizarre riddle Emma Hurley engineered before her death. For soon it's plain that Emma's game is one without a clear winner ... and that the players could lose far more than they ever imagined!From the Paperback edition.
The Chicago Sun-Timescrowns Parnell Hall's Puzzle Lady mysteries "a joy for lovers of both crosswords and frothy crime detection. . . Cora Felton is a lovable and unique sleuth. " Now the crime-solving powers of the inimitable Cora and her clever niece, Sherry Carter, are put to the ultimate test as they square off against a yuletide killer who hides within the white-and-black shadows of an acrostic. . . . A Puzzle In A Pear Tree 'Tis the season to be jolly, but Cora Felton, shanghaied into "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as a most reluctant maid-a-milking, has every right to feel like a grinch. When someone steals the partridge from the pear tree and replaces it with a cryptic puzzle she has no hope of solving, it's almost more than the Puzzle Lady can bear. But then smug crossword creator Harvey Beerbaum solves the acrostic, and it turns out to be a poem promising the death of an actress. This is more like it! Could the threat be aimed at Cora and her thespian debut? Or at Sherry, one of the ladies-dancing? Or at Sherry's nemesis, the pageant's predatory lead, Becky Baldwin? Cora and Sherry barely have time for a mystery, what with trimming Christmas trees and buying Christmas presents, but rehearsals go on, under police protection--until a killer strikes elsewhere in a most unexpected manner. Ordinarily Cora Felton would be delighted to have two murders to solve. But this time she finds herself vying with a visiting Scotland Yard inspector who appears to have an all-too-personal stake in solving the crimes. Cora does too when her own niece becomes a prime suspect and the murderer strikes again. Is someone trying to shut down the Christmas pageant? Cora would be only too happy if that were the case, but she fears the secrets lie deeper. Now she is interviewing witnesses, breaking into motel rooms, finding evidence, planting evidence, and having a merry old time. In fact, she would be perfectly happy--if this wasn't turning out to be a Christmas to die for! From the Hardcover edition.
Miss Cora Felton, the eccentric amateur detective better known as the Puzzle Lady, likes nothing better than to solve a good mystery-and this time she's got a killer on her hands. What isn't puzzling is why critics agree that "Cora is emerging as a lovable and unique sleuth" (Chicago Sun-Times) in "a fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists" (USA Today).Bakerhaven, Connecticut, seems like the ideal place to host a charity crossword-puzzle tournament-after all, the town is home to Cora Felton, the beloved puzzle columnist known as the Puzzle Lady. A slew of celebrity contestants are on the way. And the locals have been invited to challenge the veteran puzzlers head-on. But soon the town's attention is fixated on something far more controversial than crosswords...when the body of the town tart is discovered lying dead on her kitchen floor. Before anyone can stop her, Cora is hot on the trail of the truth, interviewing nosy neighbors, digging up dirt, and drawing out a lonely recluse who just may hold the key to cracking the crime. But will she solve the case before the contest comes to a deadly end? Cora once again proves that sleuthing spells S-U-S-P-E-N-S-E-up, across, and down!From the Paperback edition.
The new Stanley Hastings mystery caper, which takes the ever-loquacious private detective on safari in Zambia . . . What could possibly go wrong? Stanley Hastings on safari? I don't think so. Neither did Stanley, until Alice's small inheritance--coupled with scrimping on a few luxuries like food and rent--allowed them to book a group trip to Zambia. Now the New York PI is hiking with lions, canoeing with hippos, and having close encounters with elephants and giraffes. It's a dangerous safari. The leader is a reckless, gung-ho, great white hunter who delights in leaping from the jeep with a hearty "Come on, gang, let's see where this lion is going!" And a series of bizarre accidents quickly dwindles the group's numbers. Why was the guide's young spotter foolish enough to walk under a sausage fruit tree . . . just as one of the huge sausage fruits fell? How did the leaves of a poisonous plant wind up in a tourist's salad? Are these really accidents? A stabbing tips the scale. It's murder, and the only policeman in a hundred miles is a park ranger (whose only murder case was that of an ivory poacher shot dead in plain sight). It's up to Stanley to crack the case . . . if he can just avoid being eaten by a lion.
The new crime thriller in the ever-funny and charming Stanley Hastings mystery series, featuring the only detective in New York City who doesn't carry a gunStanley Hastings finally felt like a real PI, staking out a New Jersey motel to get evidence on a woman's cheating husband.It should have been a piece of cake. Only the husband wasn't cheating, someone killed him, and the cops are trying to pin the murder on the man apprehended at the scene, who just happens to be Stanley.To clear his name, Stanley will wind up jumping bail, impersonating a police officer, staking out a mob boss, and appropriating a murder weapon from a sassy Jersey Girl who keeps trying to distract him by ripping her clothes off.And that's just for starters . . .
Crime, cryptograms, and killer conundrums abound for the Puzzle Lady in the fourth installment of the seriesUSA Todayraves is "a fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists!" It looks like wedding bells again for the much-married Cora Felton when distinguished widower Raymond Harstein III moves into town and makes a play for the Puzzle Lady. That is, it does until the mail brings puzzling cryptograms, which, when deciphered, warn Cora off the match. Or do they? As the puzzles keep coming, a killer's game must be played in earnest, and it's up to the Puzzle Lady to solve the riddle--if anyone is going to live to make it to the altar! From the Hardcover edition.
When Benny Southstreet, a small-time hustler with a big-time gift for constructing crosswords, accuses Cora of stealing one of his creations, it's clearly a case of mistaken identity...until Cora's own attorney files a plagiarism suit against her. To add to the enigma, when Benny is found dead, the police charge Cora with his murder! At the heart of the matter is the not-so-little white lie Cora has been living for years: assuming the grandmotherly public face of her publicity-shy niece Sherry, who designs crossword puzzles and publishes them under Cora's name--aka the Puzzle Lady. It turns out that Sherry's and Benny's cruciverbalist paths had recently crossed, resulting in the current incriminating conundrum. As if Sherry's wedding engagement jitters and a nasty battle over missing antique chairs weren't enough to deal with, now Cora has to solve the ultimate mystery: how to keep the secret of her identity without losing her life. Because not only does all evidence point to Cora, but someone seems to want her dead. It looks like a riddle with no answer. Luckily for Cora and Sherry, that's their favorite kind! From the Hardcover edition.
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