Thursday, April 26, 2018

Book Review: The Purloined Puzzle by Parnell Hall (Puzzle Lady #19)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Light, fun, logical mystery
Cons: The usual, but they are minor for this fan
The Bottom Line:
Puzzle disappears
Murder weapon before corpse?
Light, fun as always

The Puzzle Vanishes

Whenever I pick up a Puzzle Lady book, I know I’m in for a wild, witty ride as Cora Felton finds herself involved in another puzzle related murder.  (I mean, really, why would people keep including puzzles when they commit a murder in her town?)  And that’s just what I got with The Purloined Puzzle.

The last thing on Cora’s mind that morning was a puzzle.  She just wanted her scone from the local bakery.  But Peggy has just found a puzzle at her house and won’t leave Cora alone until Cora agrees to go back to her house and solve it.

But that’s when things get weird.  Before anyone can solve it, the puzzle is gone.  Then Peggy’s brother finds a bloody knife in his bedroom.  The only problem is, there’s no body to go with the knife.  And here Cora thought the biggest problem in her life was that her least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, was back in town.

Fans of the series pretty much know what follows next.  Cora goes around causing havoc as she attempts to solve the mystery, eventually piecing together events to reach a logical solution.  And that’s what happens again here.  There are some good twists and surprises that kept me confused, but the climax was logical.

The characters are on the thin side in this series, and that holds true again here.  Over the course of the series, I’ve come to enjoy hanging around the many regulars, and so I was glad to stop by and check in with them again.  There is one younger character who is supposed to be six, but she seems closer to three here, but that was my only real complaint.

For me, the biggest joy of the series is the banter and word play between characters.  These books never fail to make me grin, chuckle, and laugh as I read, and this book was no exception.  At times, the banter can get a little frustrating, and I do have to wonder how these characters keep speaking to each other, but both of these are minor complaints.

Those who enjoy puzzles will be pleased to know we get two crossword and one Sudoku puzzles over the course of the story.  And, if like me, you don’t want the challenge of solving them, you can just keep reading and wait until they are solved for us.

Fans of this series will be pleased to read Cora’s latest adventure in The Purloined Puzzle.  This series is definitely on the light side of things, but if you are looking for that, it will fit the bill perfectly.

Need more Cora?  Here are the rest of the Puzzle Lady Mysteries.

1 comment:

  1. Why haven't I read this series?? It sounds absolutely perfect for me. I do love a puzzle type mystery and this sounds really fun.