Hall, Parnell.

ISBN 10: 0553801023 / ISBN 13: 9780553801026
Published by New York: Bantam, (2001.) dj, 2001
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About this Item

SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. Third mystery featuring Miss Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, and her niece Sherry Carter, set in a small town in Connecticut. INSCRIBED on the title page and dated at Left Coast Crime '07. 340 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 65262

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York: Bantam, (2001.) dj

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Parnell Hall’s Puzzle Lady mysteries have been praised as “fun from the first page” (The Dallas Morning News) and “heaven for crossword puzzle fans” (Kirkus Reviews). Now Hall’s unlikely pair of crime solvers, Miss Cora Felton and her niece Sherry Carter, return to piece together an unforgettable tale of jealousy, infidelity, and murder....

Puzzled to Death

Bakerhaven, Connecticut, seems like the ideal place to host a charity crossword-puzzle tournament. After all, the town is home to noted crossword creator Harvey Beerbaum, as well as to Cora Felton, the beloved syndicated puzzle columnist known everywhere as the Puzzle Lady.

Why shouldn’t the pair co-host the festivities and crown the winner? Truth be told, Cora has a long list of reasons, but her niece Sherry insists she must accept ... or Cora’s fans may discover who secretly pens the column.

As Cora grudgingly agrees to help, Harvey announces a slew of celebrity contestants — handsome heartbreaker Paul Thornhill, voluptuous Zelda Zisk, and supremely shy Craig Carmichael — and invites the locals to challenge the veteran puzzlers head-on. But before long the town’s attention is fixated on something far more controversial than crosswords...when the body of town tart Judy Vale is discovered lying dead on her kitchen floor.

After the victim’s no-good husband is arrested for murder, the case seems solved — until Sherry’s archrival, Becky Baldwin, is hired as the defense lawyer ... and has the nerve to ask for Cora’s help in proving her client’s innocence.

While Sherry doesn’t want to lift a finger to assist the blond defense attorney, Cora quickly sees that the juicy investigation is far more exciting than any crossword tournament could ever be. Before anyone can stop her, Cora is hot on the trail of the truth, interviewing nosy neighbors, digging up dirt on Judy’s many indiscretions, and drawing out a neighbor who just may hold the key to cracking the crime.

By the time the puzzle tournament begins, alibis begin to crumble, the list of suspects keeps getting longer, and another victim lies dead. The Puzzle Lady is closer than ever to unmasking the killer — but will she solve the case before the contest comes to a lethal end? Cora is about to discover that sleuthing spells M-U-R-D-E-R — up, across, and down!

From the Back Cover:

“[P]uzzles within puzzles in every sense of the word.”
Publishers Weekly

Raves for Parnell Hall’s Last Puzzle & Testament:

“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.... The fun comes ... from the style of the book itself, which is a sort of homage to the very entertaining, breezy mind-game mysteries of the 1930s and ‘40s. Enjoy the show!”
Los Angeles Times

“Fun from the first page ... This cozy mystery has a slightly different point of view and pair of detectives. Mr. Hall has created a witty, airy, and busy detective story ... filled with love triangles, false leads, and danger.”
The Dallas Morning News

“Takes a sweet-faced grandmother on the gumshoe spree of a lifetime.”
The Washington Post Book World

“Cora’s heart-of-gold personality gives Last Puzzle & Testament a special feel that turns this novel into a keeper that will be read many times over in the years to come.”
The Midwest Book Review

“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

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