A Cora Felton, Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall
Review: Attorney Becky Baldwin has a new client, a young woman who claims her husband is planning on creating an accident in which she will die in order to cash in on a new life insurance policy he had taken out on her with a double indemnity clause. So Becky turns to her friend, Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, to do a little leg work for her, in Puzzled Indemnity, the 16th mystery in this series by Parnell Hall.
Brittany Wells's husband, Hank, works in the city and Cora has no trouble locating his office and following him after work to the apartment of a woman. "Jackpot!", she thinks, "Hubby did have a sweetie on the side." Motive established, all she has to do is wait for Hank to act. But that might endanger Brittany, so Cora decides to blackmail Hank, letting him know that she's on to him. But before that plan can be fully executed, Hank is blown up in Brittany's car. Case closed … or not, as Becky now learns that Brittany had the wrong information about the insurance policy. It was a double indemnity policy on Hank, listing her as the beneficiary, and now Brittany is a suspect for Hank's murder.
The murder mystery in Puzzled Indemnity is cleverly devised, with plenty of unexpected twists introduced along the way. And the actual puzzles included in the book, three crosswords and a sudoku, relate to the plot in a creative way, but seem more a nod to the series theme than an integral part of Cora's investigation. It is Cora herself that wears thin by the end of the story. She is definitely a unique character, one that probably requires getting used to, but even then, there comes a point "Enough, already!". That point is reached well before she solves the case here. A solid entry in this series, but one that requires putting up with Cora for a bit longer than usual.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Puzzled Indemnity for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), January 2014
ISBN-13: 9781250027153; ISBN-10: 1250027152
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), January 2016
ISBN-13: 9781250061237; ISBN-10: 1250061237
Location(s) referenced in Puzzled Indemnity: New York City
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Puzzled Indemnity by Parnell Hall — A Cora Felton, Puzzle Lady Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: January 2015
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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