Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Laughs and familiar characters
Cons: Mystery takes a back seat to the antics.
The Bottom Line:
Wrapped in comedic trappings
Overall, it’s fun
Play Ball with Murder
Summer means hot days, relaxing, swimming, and watching baseball. So I waited to read A Puzzle to be Named Later until summer so I could read it in the proper season. Okay, not really. It just so happened that the first chance I had to read it was in July, the month when the book is set. I wish I could say I planned it that way. But I have no problem saying I enjoyed it.
As any fans of this series knows, famed Puzzle Lady Cora Felton is a huge Yankees fan, so when Matt Greyston moves to the area, she is absolutely thrilled. Matt is the Yankees latest star closing pitcher who, unfortunately, broke his arm in a car crash. He’s decided to rent a home in town to rehab.
His big introduction to the town at their 4th of July picnic is overshadowed by a break in, however. A therapist has had her home burgled and a flash drive stolen. That’s when a puzzle shows up that makes Cora wonder just what this therapist’s files contain. Then a dead body turns up with another puzzle, and Cora knows she has her work cut out for her.
This series is hit or miss with the mysteries, and this book was a weaker mystery. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty happening, but that was just it. It seemed like it was stuff happening and some random clues that didn’t really lead much of anywhere. Cora is able to piece things together at the end, but it is rather convoluted.
But I don’t read these books for the mysteries, I read them for the humor and word play. And here I was rewarded. The banter between the characters was as sharp as ever. Cora’s grand-niece Jennifer is growing, and she provided some laughs of her own this time around. In fact, she has my favorite line in the entire book.
The usual gang is all here and it’s always fun to spend time with them. I really enjoyed the new characters that were introduced in this book as well, which made it hard knowing one of them had to be the killer.
As you’ve probably guessed with all the talk of puzzles, this book includes two crossword puzzles and a Sudoku that you can solve. Or, if like me you don’t enjoy the puzzles, you can keep reading until they get solved for you and the clue they hide revealed.
So if you are looking for a light, funny summer read, A Puzzle to be Named Later will fit the bill perfectly.
You’ll find more laughs with the rest of the Puzzle Lady Mysteries.