When the body of a teenaged girl is found in the local cemetery, Bakerhaven police chief Daley Harper has his first homicide to investigate. The unknown girl is clutching a piece of paper that looks like a crossword puzzle clue. Harper is stumped but he knows who to ask for helpCora Felton, syndicated puzzle columnist. Cora, a sweet grandmotherly-looking lady, proves that looks can be deceiving. A heavy drinker and a card-playing gambler, Cora also has another secret, but nonetheless gives her input to Dale. While grateful, he sincerely hopes hes seen the last of her.

Unfortunately, this is not to bewhen more crossword clues arrive in the mail and another killing occurs, Dale is happy for all the help he can get.

A CLUE FOR THE PUZZLE LADY is going to please puzzle fans and mystery lovers alike. Some of the clues are set up crossword style, and there is a crossword puzzle included that, when solved, provides the solution to the story. ( Nov., 304 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg