From a random review:

Get new posts by email:

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Navigate the site:
Click here for a complete list of books reviewed or select below:
Search the site:
The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Hall, Parnell: Puzzled to Death

  Amazon  

3.5 stars

The third book in Parnell Hall's series of crossword mysteries finds Cora Felton, the public face of the syndicated Puzzle Lady newspaper column, roped into co-hosting a crossword puzzle tournament in her adopted home town of Bakerhaven, Connecticut. The brains behind the charity tournament, and Cora's co-host, is the smug and pedantic crossword constructor Harvey Beerbaum, also a Bakerhaven resident. (How many professional cruciverbalists, one wonders, can one small town realistically boast of?) Throughout the book Harvey seems ever more interested in having Cora make a display of her puzzle-solving prowess, which leaves her suspicious: does Harvey know that Cora is only acting as the front for the Puzzle Lady operation, and that her niece Sherry is the talent of the outfit?

Added to the personal dramas among the series' regulars is, of course, a rash of murders, all seemingly connected to the crossword tournament--just the thing to rouse Cora from her usual state of insobriety and set her sleuthing. Puzzled to Death is a decent addition to the Puzzle Lady books, offering a complex mystery as well as several puzzles for the reader to solve along with the book's principals. But it remains a shame that Cora, an otherwise intelligent and likeable character, is so unapologetically attached to her self-destructive habits. Clever and engaging on the page, she would in the real world have about her the stench of a habitual smoker, and the smoker's rasping cough and abbreviated life expectancy, and she would--if she were not currently involved in a murder investigation (and how often can a layman count on that unlikely distraction?)--very likely be plastered. Miss Felton should lose the liquor and tobacco so she can be around to amuse fans with her amateur detecting for many years to come.

Comments

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In