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Monday, October 26, 2020

Puzzling Ink (Crossword Puzzle Mystery #1) by Becky Clark

Puzzling Ink

(Crossword Puzzle Mystery #1)

by Becky Clark

Kindle Edition, 227 pages

Expected publication: November 3rd 2020by Kensington Books

Goodreads synopsis: 


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 biscuits and gravy—Quinn needs to get a clue to find whodunit . . .


It turns out that solving a murder is a lot harder than a creating a crossword. Quinn has plenty of suspects—up, down, and across. One of them is her boss, the owner of the diner who shares a culinary past with the victim. Two of them are ex-wives, her boss’s and the victim’s. A third complication is the Chief of Police who refuses to allow much investigation, preferring the pretense their town has no crime. To solve this mystery, Quinn has to think outside the boxes—before the killer gets the last word . . .

“FRESH, FAST, AND FURIOUSLY FUN . . . Becky Clark writes with wry wit, a keen eye, and no shortage of authority.”

—Brad Parks , Shamus Award-winning author (on Fiction Can Be Murder)

Includes original crossword puzzles!


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 needed to investigate some of the clues.

I thought it was weird that the man seen with the victim wasn’t looked into until near the end of the story.  And even though the failed date between Quinn and Rico went sideways, I think the romance between the detective and the amateur sleuth is always a good choice. I am hoping maybe she and the chief might find some common ground in future books.

This was a fun mystery to follow.

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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