Amusing quick cozy mystery read! The Purloined Puzzle is the 19th book in the Puzzle Lady series but still feels fresh.
Cora Felton has a problem. Her least favorite ex-husband Melvin is in town doing another shady real estate deal. Also, there is a pesky teenager first losing, then finding, a crossword that she wants Cora to solve. Unfortunately, Cora is the face, but not the brains, behind the wildly popular Puzzle Lady syndicated column. The brains being her niece Sherry.
Accused of murder, Melvin has his own problems. Cora and her friend/sometimes boss, attorney Betsy take Melvin’s case.
This is a pleasantly different cozy read. Cora is in late middle age but still has a sex drive. She is no Miss Marple. Cora is perfectly willing to bend and even break the law. The text is 90% dialogue, which makes for a very fast read.
You had me at corpse. Where’s the body? [said Cora]
Middle of Main Street. [stated the Police Chief]
Are you kidding me?
I wish I were.
Never mind, I’ll see for myself.
The Purloined Puzzle is recommended for cozy fans. However, I have just one complaint. This series started in 1999, when I was substantially younger than Cora. Now it appears that we are the same age. How do I sign up for this fictional fountain of youth, hopefully before I’m Miss Marple’s peer? I took off one star because the murderer was too easy to guess. That leaves this book at 3 stars.
Thanks to the publisher, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy.