Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Puzzling Ink (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery)” as Want to Read:
Puzzling Ink (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Puzzling Ink

(Crossword Puzzle Mystery #1)

by
3.77  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  61 reviews
1 DOWN: DEATH BY HOMICIDE

Quinn Carr wishes her life could be more like a crossword puzzle: neat, orderly, and perfectly arranged. At least her passion for puzzles, flair for words—and mild case of OCD—have landed her a gig creating crosswords for the local paper. But if she ever hopes to move out of her parents’ house, she can’t give up her day job as a waitress. She need
...more
Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published November 3rd 2020 by Kensington Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Puzzling Ink, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Puzzling Ink

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  61 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Puzzling Ink (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery)
Mark Baker
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2020
Quinn Carr has had to return home and take a job at the local diner. If only her passion, creating the crossword puzzles for her local paper, paid her more. One night as Quinn is closing down the diner, she finds the last patron slumped over dead in the corner booth. When the police determine he was murdered, they arrest Jake, the diner’s owner. Now Quinn has to keep the restaurant running while also figuring out a way to clear her boss. Can she do it?

This book sets the stage for a fun new myste
...more
Sue Em
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
While I would give this three and a half stars, I am rounding down as my cons outweigh the pros.

• Quinn, the protagonist has a diagnosed mild case of OCD. Although we learn some about it and how it affects her, but it seems to be an opportunity missed for her character. She just comes off as frenetic. It's not necessary to like every character, but I need to understand them better.
• Crossword puzzles are what originally interested me in this book. Hoped they would be more central to the story or
...more
Kim
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark is the first in the new cozy series, Crossword Puzzle Mysteries, and the series is off to a great start. Clark does a fantastic job giving us a look into the life of someone with OCD, since the protagonist, Quinn has it. It was fascinating to me to see how some people try to cope with it, and I think it’s necessary to talk about mental health.

Clark also did a wonderful job with the character development. One of the main reasons I keep returning to read a cozy mystery
...more
linda hole
I reallywanted to like this book. And the concept was good. And the Main characters were good. But for me it became too confusing. It felt like it did not fit the category cozy mystery. It felt like the mystery got forgotten . Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion
Kristina
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark is the debut of A Crossword Puzzle Mystery series. Quinn Carr is a woman in her late 20s who has returned to her hometown of Chestnut, Colorado where she has moved back in with her parents. She has been diagnosed with a mild case of OCD (I think the doctor got this one wrong) plus depression. Quinn loves crossword puzzles and creates them for the local paper which is something she does not want her best friend, Nico Lopez to know about. I could not warm up to Quinn. H ...more
Mary Brown
Nov 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Synopsis:

1 DOWN: DEATH BY HOMICIDE

Quinn Carr wishes her life could be more like a crossword puzzle: neat, orderly, and perfectly arranged. At least her passion for puzzles, flair for words—and mild case of OCD—have landed her a gig creating crosswords for the local paper. But if she ever hopes to move out of her parents’ house, she can’t give up her day job as a waitress. She needs the tips. But when a customer ends up dead at her table—face down in bisquits and gravy—Quinn needs to get a clue t
...more
JoAn
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery, arc
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark was a little different from other cozy mysteries that I have read. The heroine and amateur sleuth, Quinn Carr, has been diagnosed with OCD and depression. I confess that I had a hard time connecting with Quinn throughout the story because of her internal dialogue.

The plot is smoothly paced with a few twists and turns for Quinn, several quirky secondary characters that added to the plot and the community of Chestnut Station and a limited suspect pool made the murder m
...more
Ms. Sethi
This book combines two things i love: crossword puzzles and mysteries! There was also a lot of reference to the narrator's OCD and her frustration in how people close to her responded to her. I especially liked the narrator's parents as characters as they were sweet and quirky. It was an enjoyable read, but the mystery part of it felt a little all over the place and random, and the conclusion (I won't go into detail to avoid spoilers) to the mystery was disappointing and felt like it just happen ...more
Christine
First in a new series by Becky Clark. I'm not sure how I feel about Quinn Carr. She claims to have a mild case of OCD, but I beg to differ. I was getting twitchy 15 pages in. A saving grace is her love for crossword puzzles. When she is left to run the diner where she works singlehandedly when her boss is arrested for the murder of a customer, things spin way out of control. Her delightful parents try to assist her, but to me their cooking skills are way over the top. I'd be hard pressed to eat ...more
Toni
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

This is the first book in the Crossword Puzzle mystery by Becky Clark.

This was a fun and witty mystery that really kept my attention and pushed my pulse higher with each chapter. Great characterization and whodunit.

I have to admit I felt this was more a culinary/diner mystery than a crossword mystery. Yes, the crossword did play a part in forwarding the storyline but I didn’t see it as a significant factor. I thought it was a hoot to have Quinn’s mom and dad take over the diner when she
...more
Amanda
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, cozy
This is a fun first-in-series by an author I've read and enjoyed before, Becky Clark. Protagonist Quinn has moved back to her hometown after some unexpected and unwelcome changes in her life, doing her best to hang on to her diner waitressing job. When a customer is found dead in the diner, and Quinn's boss - and only other weekday employee - is nowhere to be found, she struggles to single-handedly keep the diner open and uncover who was responsible for the mysterious diner death. I found myself ...more
Bridget
Becky Clark kicks off her new Crossword Puzzle Mystery series with Puzzling Ink. I really enjoyed this 1st instalment and I am interested enough to pick up book 2 when it becomes available.

After bombing out of the police academy in Denver Quinn Carr has arrived back home in Chestnut, Colorado and is currently living with her folks. As well as devising crossword puzzles for her local rag, she is employed as a waitress in a diner. When a customer is found dead in the diner and her employer
...more
Noreen Trotsky
Sep 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, fiction, mystery, cozy
A different sort of mystery with the heroine being the creator of crossword puzzles, starting a new job as a waitress, and has OCD. The mystery in this book seemed to be all over the place, with much of the focus being on her having OCD. It took me awhile to get into the pace of the book, but I'd probably recommend this book to readers of cozies and those looking for something a little different.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an egalley of this book. All opinions are
...more
Patty
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark is the 1st book in the Crossword Puzzle Mystery, and it is off to a good start. Quinn Carr puts together crossword puzzles for the local newspaper, is OCD, a waitress, and lives with her parents. When Quinn's customer dies, she is determined to find out who killed him. I found this book to be clever, I especially liked how Quinn put clues into the Crossword Puzzle, to direct the Chief of Police. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly rec ...more
Aisling
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clever and funny

This is such a smart, funny cozy! I thoroughly enjoyed this book from page 1. Lots of clever word play puns, humor, and red herrings. I enjoyed learning how crossword puzzles are written. Quinn the main character is interesting and real and the secondary characters are quirky and fun. Well written, well plotted....bring me more!
Allison
Here we find a murder mystery solved by an amateur sleuth and crossword puzzle creator/waitress. The book makes a strong effort to show how protagonist Quinn's recent OCD diagnosis is affecting her. There is discussion around why people shouldn't use the term colloquially and depiction of her everyday experiences that were valuable.

Sadly, here ends my praises for the book. I will now be directing my attention towards criticisms from most to least important. That way, you can drift off as soon as
...more
Marissa
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Kindle Copy for Review from NetGalley and Kensington Books.

I received a free, advance copy of this book and this is my unbiased and voluntary review.

This is a new cozy series which features a waitress who lives at home who has OCD symptoms and loves crossword puzzles. She wishes her life was simple as a crossword puzzle as she gains a side job to create crossword puzzles for the local newspaper.

When a customer dies at her table, she finds herself investigating the murder despite the sheriff not
...more
MaryBeth
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
I received a free digital advance review copy of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I was intrigued by the unique premise of Puzzling Ink, which centers on a mystery solving crossword puzzle creator. The main character Quinn has obsessive compulsive disorder and depression and is navigating life after experiencing some sort of breakdown which is alluded to but never described in detail. She has returned to her small hometown to live with her supportiv
...more
Rebecca
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quinn Carr has been diagnosed with OCD, and has come back to her home town after having a hard time in Denver. She's waitressing at a diner, composing crossword puzzles for the local paper, and hanging out with an old friend and her lovable, kooky parents.

She can focus on coping with her OCD and figuring out what to do with her life, since it doesn't look as though she'll be able to succeed as a police officer -- her first career choice.

Then all of a sudden she finds a murder victim in the din
...more
Tammy
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story is not a copy cat of her other cozy mystery series.
She has a whole new setting, all new characters with all new quirks, and the humor is a little more subdued than the other series. Does that mean it’s not as good? Heck no! It’s different, and shows that Ms. Clark isn’t a one trick pony as far as writing a mystery.
The setting is a little town outside of Denver, Colorado, but close enough that if the story calls for it, city action is nearby. I liked the town and it felt real. I am fro
...more
Cheryl
My Summary of Puzzling Ink
Quinn Carr works part-time creating crossword puzzles for the Chestnut Station Chronicle. She also works part-time as a waitress at the Chestnut Diner, owned by Jake Szabo. She returned home to the small village of Chestnut, Colorado, after a diagnosis of OCD. It is a diagnosis she’s kept from most people. Her parents, Georgianne and Dan, and her best friend Officer Rico Lopez know of Quinn’s OCD struggles. Quinn is slowly getting back to a more normal life, until Emmet
...more
Barbara Sousa
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Puzzling Ink, the first book in Becky Clark’s Crossword Puzzle Mystery series, is a fresh and intriguing take on the cozy mystery genre. The concept of using crossword puzzle clues to nudge the reluctant police in the right investigative direction grabbed my attention from the start.

Following her ouster from the Denver police academy, Quinn Carr has returned to her parents’ home in Chestnut Station, Colorado, taking a job as a waitress at the local diner to make ends meet. Unbeknownst to anyone
...more
Stanley McShane
Nov 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

Full Review on blog here.

Protagonist Quinn Carr has returned home to Chestnut Station after she failed to progress in a police academy in Denver. She recently began waitressing at a diner and on the side creates crossword puzzles for the local paper.

Unfortunately, one of the remaining two in the diner one night (the boss man off on a fundraising catering job), is discovered dead. Jake, owner of the diner, ends up in jail for his murder. She’s crazy over the top to support him and prove him in
...more
Mary
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in a new crossword puzzle mystery. Quinn Carr is back home in hometown living with her parents and working at the local Chestnut Diner. Quinn creates crossword puzzles for the local newspaper and suffers from OCD and is struggling to get handle it with medication and then on the night of the town fireworks for July 4th a death occurs in the diner with her being the only way there. The death is deemed suspicious and although her boss Jake was not at the diner he is charged with ...more
Grace Koshida
Oct 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Quinn Carr has returned to her small hometown of Chestnut Station, Colorado to live with parents while trying to better control her OCD. Quinn keeps herself busy by creating crossword puzzles for the local paper and working part-time at Jake's diner as a waitress. When Quinn is left working solo during the Fourth of July, a stranger in costume arrives at the diner with a buddy, orders food and dies on the spot. Quinn is relieved that her cooking was not the cause of death but is shocked when her ...more
Autumn
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quinn Carr is not your average cozy mystery protagonist. She works as a waitress in the Chestnut Diner in Chestnut Station, Colorado, where she lives with her parents. One night, as she is frantically attempting to run the diner on her own after her boss Jake leaves her alone, a mystery man in disguise enters with a male companion who is not feeling well. Things get really serious after Quinn comes back to check on them and finds one of the gentlemen gone and the other face down in his mashed po ...more
Alicia Kozak
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"She was like a human Ebola virus, planting herself in my spleen until I was able to shake her loose.”

This is how Quinn's boss, Jake, describes his ex-wife. But that's the least of his problems when an old adversary suddenly dies and all fingers point to Jake. Crossword puzzle designer and waitress Quinn must save her boss and her job, all while managing her OCD and trying to keep the diner running. She's aided by her friend Rico and kooky parents.

Questionable culinary exploits aside (honestly,
...more
Myarn
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark 3 stars

This is the first in the Crossword Puzzle Mystery and features Quinn Carr, a person with OCD and suffering bouts of depression. At the beginning of the book, Quinn has moved back home to Chestnut, CO after falling the join the Denver PD. She is currently creating crosswords for the local paper and working as a waitress at Chestnut Diner. When her boss, Jake leaves her in charge while he is cooking at a special event; things go wrong when two guys come into the
...more
Cozy Cat Reviews
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark is the 1st book in the Crossword Puzzle Mystery. I so enjoyed this fun new series and look forward to the next in series. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My review opinion is my own.

Quinn Carr has moved back home to Chestnut Colorado after flunking out of the police academy and is working as a waitress and living with her parents. She has OCD which is very common and interesting to read about. She is diagnosed with OCD and also depre
...more
Tari
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-ebooks, won-book
I love the Mystery Writer's Mystery series from this writer, and this series is starting off a winner just like that series. It was so funny, and I did find myself laughing out loud in parts. There's just something so fun about her writing style! Quinn was a great character, and I got a kick out of her wanting to help her boss Jake when he was accused of murder. And boy did she go to some lengths to help him, but I couldn't blame her for wanting that diner to get back to normal.

Oh her parents es
...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Without a Brew (Sloan Krause #4)
  • Candy Cane Crime (Amish Candy Shop Mystery #5.5)
  • Death at a Country Mansion: A Smart British Mystery with a Surprising Twist (A Daisy Thorne Mystery Book 1)
  • Cake Popped Off (Cupcake Catering Mystery Book 2)
  • Open for Murder (A Happy Camper Mystery, #1)
  • Candy Slain Murder (A Country Store Mystery Book 8)
  • On Borrowed Crime (Jane Doe Book Club Mystery, #1)
  • A Page Marked for Murder (Beyond the Page Bookstore Mystery, #5)
  • Cold Conviction (Aspen Adams, #3)
  • Booked for Death (Booklovers B&B Mysteries #1)
  • Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder (A Kebab Kitchen Mystery #5)
  • 15 Minutes of Flame
  • From Beer to Eternity (Chloe Jackson, Sea Glass Saloon Mystery #1)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Big Fat Greek Murder (A Goddess of Greene St. Mystery #2)
  • Christmas Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #26)
  • GEAR, GRILLS, & GUNS
  • Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past (A Salem B&B Mystery, #3)
See similar books…
217 followers
Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Her stout-hearted dog keeps her safe from menacing squirrels, leaves, and deer, but not plastic bags. Those things ...more

Other books in the series

Crossword Puzzle Mystery (2 books)
  • Punning with Scissors (A Crossword Puzzle Mystery)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
25 likes · 21 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »