A Puzzle in a Pear Tree (Puzzle Lady, #4)
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A Puzzle in a Pear Tree (Puzzle Lady #4)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  370 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The Chicago Sun-Times crowns Parnell Hall’s Puzzle Lady mysteries “a joy for lovers of both crosswords and frothy crime detection...Cora Felton is a lovable and unique sleuth.” Now the crime-solving powers of the inimitable Cora and her clever niece, Sherry Carter, are put to the ultimate test as they square off against a yuletide killer who hides within the white-and-blac...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Bantam (first published November 4th 2002)
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Diane Heath
The fun thing about the library is finding new authors as you browse the shelves. This is book 4 in a series of mysteries by "The Puzzle Lady". Apparently Cora Felton is known as the Puzzle Lady. She has a column in a paper which is ghost written by her niece. This time she is one of 8 maids a milking for a Christmas pageant. Puzzles show up during rehearsals which appear to be threats against the recipient of the 12 Days of Christmas gifts. Then suddenly a high school girl is murdered. Is it a...more
This is the fourth in the Hall’s series of novels about the Puzzle Lady, Ms. Cora Felton, a many-times-married indomitable woman of uncertain middle age who lives on her alimony money while living with her niece, Sherry Carter, a substitute preschool teacher, who is the real creator of the crossword puzzles in the daily newspaper that Cora gets credit for. Since it is a small town, both Sherry and Cora have been roped into participating in the Christmas pageant at the high school where a newly h...more
Feb 01, 2010 Ginger rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Crystal checked this out from the library for me because it has three things that I'm normally interested in: Christmas, crossword puzzles, and mysteries. This is mystery detective fiction set during Christmas in which the murderer communicates through Crossword Puzzles (which appear blank in the book for you to solve!) Well, I think we can all guess this was not going to be an award winner. I'll add that the main female detective character hosts a puzzle tv show, but actually hates crossword pu...more
Mark Baker
The annual Christmas pageant in town is going to be quite the production. Then the threatening puzzles start appearing and one of the Marys in the living nativity is killed. Another fun mystery fans will love.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Great story but the final explanation was just waaaaaaay too complicated. With 2 final explanations, to boot! After being hooked all day, I kept falling asleep over the last 5 pages.
I enjoy these Puzzle Lady mysteries even though they are a stretch in believability. This has the killer sending messages in the form of anacrostic puzzles, which are my favorite type of word puzzles. The setting is at Christmas time in a small town in New England where Cora, known as the Puzzle Lady, lives with her niece, Sherry, who is the real Puzzle Lady. I like the character of elderly, unconventional, witty Cora, but Sherry comes across as uptight, whiny and somewhat cold. There were lots...more
Story was drawn out and a bit stretched. Story had four actual acrostic word puzzles to solve (the answers were provided in case you don't want to solve them) and those were fun (quite easy). Author had an annoying preference for foreign vehicles. And the author is confused about the Immaculate Conception. He believes, as many do, that it refers to the conception of Jesus Christ but it is really about the conception of Mary. She was born without original sin which is why her conception was Immac...more
Feb 14, 2014 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-new
I read one of this series a year. One has to suspend all belief to continue with the puzzle books, however, once I get past that and the fact the police chief actually uses Cora as an ally, I enjoy the books. Could never read two in a row. I saved this one for Dec, along with a few others, because of the Christmas theme. I usually figure out the mystery, but he writes well, although it feels like fantasy land.
John Price
An easy to read book that kept me interested and moving along through it.

You should park your 'believeability meter' at the Table of Contents as you start your read. The police chief is lame as to be unbelieveable, for instance.

None the less, it is well written and is good, lighthearted reading material.
I didn't like the plot. None of the characters made me care about them. The humor wasn't there. I had the feeling I'd come across a book in the midst of a series with little information to make me want to go back and find out what I'd missed.
Not quite as funny as the previous two. Masses of red herrings and characters made it hard to follow, and the whole conceit of Cora needing to hide her inability to solve crosswords is getting stale.
I enjoyed this book more than the other. You still have the aunt who cannot solve puzzles and all the things she will do to avoid solving them (right down to breaking an old pair of glasses).
Okay, I must confess I LOVE it when there are endings within other 'possible' endings. Sorry, but you gotta read the book to understand the above statement. No spoilers here.
Kind of fun, thought I had read it before. Puzzles are found with dead bodies and we have to figure out the puzzles and the murderer.
May 10, 2012 Patti rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: cozy mystery lovers
I am reading all the books in this series in order. I love the series, and will review this one soon.
Just didn't like this one. I think it was the Christmas play theme and the stupid love story.
Quite an enjoyable tale, even if I didn't do the puzzles (there are 4 of them).
Boring boring boring. Flat characters
Nice bedtime reading
Jan 30, 2010 Pbwritr marked it as couldn-t-finish
Shelves: mystery
Seemed entirely too silly.
Eli marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Susan Becker
Susan Becker marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
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