LAST PUZZLE & TESTAMENT.

Hall, Parnell.

ISBN 10: 055380099X / ISBN 13: 9780553800999
Published by New York: Bantam, (2000.) dj, 2000
Hardcover
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Second mystery featuring Miss Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, and her long-suffering niece Sherry Carter, set in a small town in Connecticut. INSCRIBED on the title page and dated at Left Coast Crime '07. 339 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 65263

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Bibliographic Details

Title: LAST PUZZLE & TESTAMENT.

Publisher: New York: Bantam, (2000.) dj

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Parnell Hall's first Puzzle Lady mystery, A Clue for the Puzzle Lady, was hailed as "devious and delightful" (Chicago Sun-Times) and "heaven for crossword puzzle fans" (Kirkus Reviews). Now, Hall brings back his two unforgettable sleuths, Miss Cora Felton and her long-suffering niece, Sherry Carter, in another irresistible tale of greed, murder, and mystery most puzzling.

Last Puzzle & Testament

Emma Hurley died the way she lived--surrounded by an air of mystery, with only her servants at her side. That is, until she finally passes away...and her greedy heirs crawl out of the woodwork to stake a claim to Emma's fortune. But unlike most people, Emma was not content to leave behind a simple will. Instead, her final testament includes, of all things, 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.  Complicating matters further, the will stipulates that Cora Felton--local celebrity and famed author of a popular syndicated crossword puzzle column--must referee the contest. Unfortunately, Cora knows far more about the fine art of mixing a martini than creating--let alone solving--crossword puzzles. It's Cora's niece Sherry who's 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 imagine.
Before long, would-be heirs are scouring every nook and cranny of the town as they scramble to solve a forty-year-old puzzle, while the Puzzle Lady herself adds to the chaos with her less-than-sobering antics. Meanwhile, Sherry has some
pressing problems of her own: Her romantic interest in a mild-mannered local reporter is turning into an unpleasant love triangle--one that involves a glamorous young lawyer. And when one of the participants in Emma's contest is knifed to death, the last thing Sherry needs is amorous advances--especially when they're coming from the number one suspect in the crime.... Last Puzzle & Testament is a devilish concoction of gamesmanship, malice, and mystery for anyone who loves a puzzle--across, down, or any way around!

Review:

Cora Felton is the kind of dame your father might have called "a firecracker": a not-so-upstanding lady of a certain age who drinks her martinis by the shaker and delights in scandalizing not only the staid denizens of her cozy Connecticut village but also her niece Sherry, who's the private "ghost" behind Cora's public image as the Puzzle Lady. Even People Magazine, which has lined up an interview with Cora, believes the brazen old broad is the brains behind her phenomenally successful syndicated crossword puzzle column. Only Sherry and the ambitious young newspaper reporter who loves her know that Cora hasn't got a clue. Certainly, Emma Hurley didn't, which may explain why she left Cora in charge of sorting out her will, a puzzle wrapped in a 40-year-old enigma whose solution will earn one of Emma's heirs a vast fortune. The relatives are a motley lot, greedy and unappealing, but would any of them stoop to murder? When the bodies start piling up, it certainly looks that way, especially to Cora, who's better at judging human nature than word contests. While the answers to the crossword lead everyone else to the wrong conclusions, they point Cora and Sherry to the right ones and target a murderer in the process. The pace rollicks along nicely, the crossword's deceptively transparent, and this is a slight but charming little treat for the puzzle mavens on your Christmas list, especially those who've encountered Cora and Sherry in their first adventure, (A Clue for the Puzzle Lady). --Jane Adams

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