Bantam, Nov 2004, 24.00, 320 pp.
Cora is known as the puzzle lady but it is really her publicity shy niece who is the puzzle constructor. Cora's favorite pastime is solving real life murder mysteries, which is why she agrees to lawyer Becky Baldwin's proposition. Becky wants Cora to find out if convicted murderer Daryl Daigue really killed seventeen year old Anita Dryer two decades ago. Depending on what Cora digs up, Becky will decide whether she wants to take the case.
Sara visits Darryl in prison; he acts like a criminal but insists that he was working at the time Anita was killed and he was covering for Ricky Gleason, the actual killer. Before leaving the prison, Warden Profack subtly warns Cora not to work on Darryl's case. Sara find that admonition suspicious and keeps digging which leads to her being followed by a private detective who is murdered at Cora's birthday party. Later, someone throws a rock through her window and she is arrested for absconding with a toy poodle which belongs to a woman who was also murdered because she had something that the killer wanted. The truth about who hired Becky and the two murders comes out when Cora has her day in court.
The protagonist is in fine form as she breaks into offices and homes, steals what turn out to be significant, winds up spending a night in jail, and refuses to conform to court etiquette.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner