Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall

Parnell Hall has quite a range when it comes to writing mysteries: from PI Stanley Hastings to crossword puzzle writer Cora Hastings to Steve Winslow courtroom dramas.

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Last Puzzle & Testament by Parnell Hall


  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.05 x 6.88 x 4.19
  • Publisher: Bantam ; (August 28, 2001)
  • ISBN: 0553581430
    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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Book Description
    It’s no mystery why readers love the Puzzle Lady, Miss Cora Felton, the eccentric amateur detective who keeps everyone guessing as she keeps herself in the thick of trouble. Find out why critics agree that “Cora is emerging as a lovable and unique sleuth” (Chicago Sun-Times) in “a fun series for mystery fans and cruciverbalists” (USA Today).

    Wealthy widow Emma Hurley died with only her servants at her side — but after she passes away, her greedy heirs crawl out of the woodwork to stake a claim in Emma’s fortune. To their surprise, Emma was not content to leave behind a simple will. Instead, her final testament includes 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. The will also stipulates that Cora Felton — local celebrity and famed author of a popular syndicated crossword puzzle column — must referee the contest.

    Unfortunately, it’s Cora’s niece, Sherry Carter, who is 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 imagined!

    Reader Reviews
    Cracklin!, September 16, 2003 Reviewer: A reader from USA This book was cracklin! Really great. It's been a long... LONG time since I've read a book that didn't sag at any point, was fun the whole the way through, and was an all around great read. Cora is really fun, the puzzles are fun. Fast, excellent fun. If you read the first one, stick with it, because it gets better and better.

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