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$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles by…
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$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles (2012)

by Parnell Hall

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Pfffffffffft!

Cora is asked by her on-off again attorney, Becky Baldwin, to deliver a $10,000 blackmail payment. When Cora gets to the dumpster, there is a dead body with a cross-word-puzzle and sudoku. Instead of making the drop, Cora hides the money...but when she & Becky go back for the hidden money, it is gone.

Becky is hiding something, part of which turns out to be on of Cora's most obnoxious ex-husbands, Melvin..... However, he's not the one being blackmailed, Melvin is being threatened by a highly jealous psychotic small-time crook.

In the middle of all this Cora's niece, Sherry, is in the hospital having just prematurely given birth to her first child.

The end was a nice twist.... fast & easy to read, HOWEVER (you knew this was coming) the continual smart-ass repetitive banter between Cora & the rest of the characters wore me out. So much so, that I skimmed a good portion of the dialog.

Hall needs to give us more action and less sassy-assed lip service. After the first dialog it is so No Longer Funny Nor Entertaining! ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
In Hall’s mystery novel, Cora Felton is an amateur sleuth who loves to help her local police department solve crimes involving crossword puzzles. While “The Puzzle Lady” waits for her new baby grand-niece, her lawyer, Becky, asks her to drop off a blackmail payment unaware that the request would lead Cora straight to a corpse—plus two puzzles that lead directly to her ex-husband. Cora doubts Melvin is capable of murder but with each clue, the finger is pointed in his direction. Forced to choose, Cora must find the truth before someone else falls victim to a clever killer.

A clever and creative addition to the A Puzzle Lady Mystery series. ( )
  debbieaheaton | Mar 21, 2014 |
Pretentious dialogue, unsympathetic characters that are ill-defined and only lightly described. Considering this is book 13, I would have settled for a 2 page "here are the main characters" intro or some quick exposition. Skip to the next book in your stack and give this a miss. ( )
  hobreads | Jun 7, 2012 |
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For Bill, thanks for the memory
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Just keep calm, Cora said as she piloted the Toyota around the curve.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Stumbling over a murder scene while making a blackmail payment for a young attorney, Cora Felton's efforts to solve the crime put her in the path of a killer who may be targeting her niece and her niece's new baby.

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