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Another Word for Murder
by Nero Blanc

Category: Fiction / Mystery
320 pages; ISBN: 0425202704

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Another Word for Murder
Nero Blanc
Berkley, Jul 2005, $14.00, 320 pp.
ISBN: 0425202704

The two families met in a Newcastle, Massachusetts park that allowed dogs to frolic. Crossword puzzle guru Belle Graham and her spouse former cop turned private eye Roscoe Polycrates walk Kit while oral surgeon Dr. Dan Tacete, his wife Karen and their four and half years old daughter Lily brought Bear. They quickly become friends.

However, Karen is distraught because Dan is missing not too long after he warned her to watch herself. Soon afterward, his corpse is found. Homicide Detective Al Lever investigates though no evidence indicates foul play occurred and the authorities believe it is most likely a tragic accident or a suicide took place. When someone threatens Lily and Belle receives related nursery rhyme crossword puzzles, Roscoe begins to make inquiries as no one threatens his spouse or a little girl. He soon finds the good doctor used blackmail and even his charity cases have a dark side to them; worse apparently Karen has a questionable perhaps darker history.

ANOTHER WORD FOR MURDER, the tenth Graham-Polycrates crossword puzzle mystery, contains the same gimmick as the previous tales; the Nero Blanc team refreshes the story with a more personal who-done-it, mindful of the earlier novels. The story line combines the cerebral (six puzzles toed to nursery rhymes) with a fine investigation that takes several twists as Roscoe begins to uncover the dark side of the neighbors, but unsure why Lily and Belle apparently are targets. No puzzler, this is an entertaining robust entry in a unique series.

Harriet Klausner


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