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A Crossworder's Holiday
by Nero Blanc

Category: Fiction / Mystery
193 pages; ISBN: 0425187330

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


“A Crossworder’s Holiday”. On vacation with her husband private investigator Roscoe Polycrates in Nantucket are crossword editor Belle Graham are interrupted by antiquarian Sir Brandon Drake who needs her help to solve a puzzle he found in a recent purchase. If he fails, his life may go down.

“Proof of the Pudding”. At the Misty Valley Inn, Vermont, Belle and Roscoe enjoy time away together until a guest dies. The answers may be in a hastily developed crossword puzzle that comes across as a recipe for death.

“A Partridge in a Pear Tree”. In Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, Roscoe assists a college buddy with solving puzzles from the estate of Steve’s deceased aunt in order to interpret the will.

“”Mum’s the Word”. In Philadelphia, mobster Freddie Five sent tips to the Inquirer through professionally developed crossword puzzles that led to many busts. Freddie's dead and the FBI has his last puzzle. They ask Belle and Roscoe to solve the underlying meaning to the answers that inform the police that there will be trouble at the Mummers’ Parade.

“Ghost of Christmas Past”. In Cotswolds, England, Belle and Roscoe visit friends Angus and Judith who tell them about a haunted house. Belle finds a piece of a crossword puzzle that has clues to the haunted house’s past. Now to find the other two segments and solve the house’s mystery.

Ignoring the logic of the gimmick, the mixing of puzzles with mystery while the heroes are away from their home takes readers on a cleverly designed holiday anthology that crossword puzzle fans and mystery buffs will enjoy.

Harriet Klausner


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