THE PUZZLE LADY VS. THE SUDOKU LADY
Hall writes cozies in which the mystery is really not the point. Either you like the characters, their light personal histories and mildly clever and humorous dialogue, or the stories probably won't interest you. Characters are eccentric, the source of their charm. The mysteries are confusing, but you soon give up
on any attempts at logic. Included are three sudoku puzzles from Will Shortz. This is a fast, entertaining read for
Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, is a supposed crossword puzzle author. Really, her niece is the expert, and now she's authored a book of sudoku puzzles. These Cora can actually solve! But her glee is short-lived when Minami, the Sudoku Lady, arrives from Japan for a showdown. Edged off the bestseller list by Cora's book, Minami is out to show her who's best.
Almost immediately both ladies are involved in a murder, and both are determined to solve it. But before Cora knows what's happened, Minami is jailed for murder and her book rises up the charts. Cora feels responsible, so she tries to clear Minami. Besides, she can't stand not having her book at the top of the list. (MINOTAUR, Jan., 320 pp., $24.99)