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$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles (Puzzle Lady, #13)
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$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles (Puzzle Lady #13)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  267 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
"Groucho Marx meets Jessica Fletcher!"--RT Book Reviews

When young attorney Becky Baldwin hires Cora Felton to make a blackmail payment drop, it couldn't go worse: she stumbles over a corpse and a puzzle, and someone steals the money. Becky
won't tell her who the client is, but the most likely suspect is Cora's least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, who claims he's being framed
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 03, 2014 Mo rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Not Recommended
1 1/2 stars

I picked up this book “blind” after unexpectedly popping into the library while out with my sister. It sounded good from the book blurb, and I somehow thought it would be similar to a Murder Mystery Dinner game. I thought if I solved the puzzles, I could reason out the mystery. I was wrong on so many levels.

As soon as I started to read this novel, it felt like a series book to me. There were constant references to prior occurrences, and it seemed the assumption had been made that I k
Oct 14, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
May 24, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-cozy, parnell
That cantankerous puzzle lady, Cora!, May 24, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: $10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles: A Puzzle Lady Mystery (Puzzle Lady Mysteries) (Hardcover)
I was waiting for my chance to get this latest installment of the Puzzle Lady series. I've read all of them and will continue to because of the fun and the zinger endings. This was no exception.

Cora is off to a riotous start as she drives pell mell to the hospital and why? ...Sherry, Cora's niece,
Kimberly Ann
Feb 10, 2016 Kimberly Ann rated it it was ok

Cora is asked by her on-off again attorney, Becky Baldwin, to deliver a $10,000 blackmail payment. When Cora gets to the dumpster, there is a dead body with a cross-word-puzzle and sudoku. Instead of making the drop, Cora hides the money...but when she & Becky go back for the hidden money, it is gone.

Becky is hiding something, part of which turns out to be on of Cora's most obnoxious ex-husbands, Melvin..... However, he's not the one being blackmailed, Melvin is being threatened
Oct 05, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, is in a tizzy. As the book opens, Cora is driving her niece, Sherry, to the local hospital where she will have her first child, a girl. Before Sherry can have the baby, the town’s attorney, Becky Baldwin, hires Cora to make a blackmail payment drop, but she will not tell Cora anything about the blackmail. In making the blackmail drop, she stumbles over a corpse and a puzzle, and someone steals the money. When she attempts to make a second blackmail drop at a local c ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it
Maybe I am getting tired of this series, but this one didn't seem as good as the others. A bit frazzled... would be my description.

"Groucho Marx meets Jessica Fletcher!"--RT Book Reviews When young attorney Becky Baldwin hires Cora Felton to make a blackmail payment drop, it couldn’t go worse: she stumbles over a corpse and a puzzle, and someone steals the money. Becky
won’t tell her who the client is, but the most likely suspect is Cora’s least favorite ex-husband, Melvin, who claims he’s being
Aug 11, 2013 Cat rated it really liked it
Cora Felton is the Puzzle Lady, even though she has no clue how to create (or solve, for that matter) crossword puzzles. She's a whiz, though, at sudoku. Both types figure prominently in this crazy outing. At least three dead bodies, a new bsby (born a month premature), niece Sherry in the hospital, nephew Aaron on somebody's hit list, as is ex-husband Melvin Crabtree, who's trying desperatly diligently to get a date with his lawyer, Cora's friend Becky Baldwin, who is also Cora's lawyer and par ...more
Vicki Gooding
Sep 06, 2016 Vicki Gooding rated it really liked it
In some ways, the book is not really very realistic at all, but enjoyable. This may be #13, but is the first I've read. The Puzzle lady is an amateur sleuth who enjoys sudoku, but is normally called on for help when crossword puzzles are involved as well. A friend of hers who is an attorney asks her to drop off a blackmail payment. Thus begins an incredible story involving dead corpses wherever she shows up, a mysterious client, an ex-husband discovered talking with her trusted friend, and some ...more
Debbie Heaton
Mar 21, 2014 Debbie Heaton rated it really liked it
In Hall’s mystery novel, Cora Felton is an amateur sleuth who loves to help her local police department solve crimes involving crossword puzzles. While “The Puzzle Lady” waits for her new baby grand-niece, her lawyer, Becky, asks her to drop off a blackmail payment unaware that the request would lead Cora straight to a corpse—plus two puzzles that lead directly to her ex-husband. Cora doubts Melvin is capable of murder but with each clue, the finger is pointed in his direction. Forced to choose, ...more
Cynthia K
Jul 14, 2012 Cynthia K rated it really liked it
I like when I can jump into a series without feeling lost. Sure, I think it would be best to start at the beginning of the Puzzle Lady series. Cora is certainly a feisty character. I can't wait to go back to book one and meet her there.
Hall obviously loves words and wordplay, and he includes crossword puzzles and sudoku into the plot of this book. I'm guessing he does the same in the earlier books. Since I borrowed my copy from the library, I couldn't try to solve the puzzles, so I'm glad the s
Jun 30, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
Sherry is finally having her baby, but it is premature, and Cora Felton, the famous Puzzle Lady (and Sherry's aunt), is distracted because local lawyer, Becky Baldwin, needs her to deliver a packet of ransom money. Of course there's a dead body. Of course there are puzzles attached. And the case is only complicated by the appearance of one of Cora's many exes. As Abbot and Costello would say, "Who's on first?" And if you enjoy that kind of double talk dialog, you don't want to miss this one. Cor ...more
Nov 06, 2012 Meredith rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much. The witty dialogue was a wonderful surprise. the only thing is I need to read this series from the beg. so that I can understand the relationships between the characters. He has a way of surprsing you with his writing style-- so I had to keep re-reading just to make sure I didn't miss anything. Will be reading the series in time!

Puzzles and suduko were hard-- I couldn't actually solve them.
Feb 12, 2012 Harvey rated it liked it
2.5 stars

Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady, can be clever, witty, and exasperating. Hall has proven to be a master of wordplay humor throughout his career. (I especially am a fan of his Stanley Hastings series).

In this one the plot lines are muddy, the puzzles are not well connected to the story, and not much is accomplished. Maybe I'm just getting tired of this formula (or maybe author Hall is).
Mar 11, 2012 Susan rated it liked it
Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady who can't really solve puzzles, is waiting for the birth of her new grandniece when local lawyer Becky Baldwin demands her help. Becky wants Cora to deliver a blackmail payment for an unnamed client, but Cora finds more than a deserted gas station when she gets to the drop-off point. Cora can't tell the local police anything, because she doesn't know anything, but everything goes really wrong when Cora's most disliked ex-husband shows up in town.
Mar 01, 2012 Earl rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Unlucky 13? I've been reading Parnell Hall's Puzzle Lady series for years now. They're always fun and quick. I love crosswords and tolerate Sudoku. And the books are full of witty dialogue. "$10,000 in Small, Unmarked Puzzles" for some reason didn't appeal to me. The characters were unlikable. The plot, predictable. I'm hesitant to say the series is getting stale but it needs more interesting and original premises.
Mark Baker
Mar 01, 2014 Mark Baker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, mystery
Cora is asked to make the drop for a blackmail payment. But instead of an empty dumpster, she finds a dead body seconds before the police show up. As always the story is very funny, but it also had the usual too quick wrap up.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
The Cora Felton series continues. There weren't many new characters in this book so you knew the "who-done-it" would be easy to figure out. Don't start the series with this book or else you would have no idea what is going on in the first 50 pages. On a side note, the puzzles themselves seemed much harder in this book than recent Puzzle Lady stories.
Diane Heath
Apr 22, 2014 Diane Heath rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Sherry is in hospital having her baby. Cora is hired by Becky to deliver a blackmail payment. Cora finds a dead body in a dumpster. Someone steals the blackmail payment and when Cora goes to deliver the payment a second time, she finds a second body. Just another day in the life of the Puzzle Lady. Who is being blackmailed? Who is killing people?
Apr 14, 2012 Jan rated it liked it
This is one of the better Puzzle Lady books. Enjoyed it much more than the last several before it. Still somewhat predictable but the "Who's on First" type of dialogue between Cora and and others is amusing and the puzzles are fun.
Aug 03, 2012 Leslie rated it it was ok
Picked this up because I loved puzzles, but it didn't do it for me. Maybe it would have helped if I knew the characters. But I didn't. And they seemed to think that their dialogue was very witty. And it wasn't. Don't think I'll follow up on this series.
Brenda Sharp
Jul 08, 2016 Brenda Sharp rated it it was amazing
Loved that Cora's ex, Melvin was in trouble. He is such a terrible person and I love how Cora just does a complete freak out and is not herself whenever he is near. I thought that portrayal of how ex's behave was hilarious.
Kathy Duffy
Lighted hearted, a fun read. I adore Cora the main character and her eccentricities, look forward to another in the series, it's like visiting with friends.
Mar 18, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
A fun romp with the ever frazzling Puzzle Lady. DOn't be fooled by her speedy double talk-if you mess with her family you are screwed!
Mar 23, 2012 Alice rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Either I am tired of Parnell Hall's puzzle lady books or this was just one boring book. Honestly, I skimmed most of it because it just did not hold my attention.
Jun 04, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: fluff, mystery
I love the Puzzle Lady series. It's funny, it's enjoyable and you never, ever know what Cora is going to say or do......
Mark Levine
Sep 03, 2012 Mark Levine rated it liked it
This series is light-hearted fun.The author The puns and escapist concept disappears.changes the character of the protagonist into a nasty piece of work.Now its just another story line.
Lynn Lerch
Jan 27, 2014 Lynn Lerch rated it it was amazing
Cora Felton is asked by Becky Baldwin to do a mysterious money drop.Cora ends up finding a dead body instead. The fun starts there. A rousing taie.
Feb 15, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-mysteries
A quick read, but any "murder-solving character who lives in a small town" premise stretches credulity by the 13th book.
Jun 30, 2012 Charish rated it liked it
Decent book and a quick read. Had me guessing the whole way. May need to read others in this series soon.
Aug 24, 2013 Miriam rated it it was ok
I am usually a fan of the Puzzle Lady series, but this one was kind of blah. The dialogue set my teeth on edge, and the entire premise was just....convoluted as hell. :(
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