Berkley, July 2003, 13.00, 320
The small rural town of Taneysville in Massachusetts is usually a very quiet place but the residents are now in an uproar over outsider Alex Gordon buying the Quiqley farmhouse. The xenophobic townsfolk's don't want an outsider moving in and building more structures on the property. Members of the Trinity Church vestry are afraid the construction equipment will damage the structure of the church and local residents resent the fact that the contractor isn't hiring local people. All building is abruptly halted when a body is unearthed and the skeletal remains are found to be human body.
Forensics tests prove that the remains are that of a woman and that she was murdered. Newcastle private investigator Rosco Polycrates is hired to discover the identity of the woman and the person who killed her. Roscos's wife Belle Graham, a puzzle constructor for the local newspaper is being sent puzzles by a resident n a nursing home and that person seems to have some knowledge of the skeletal remains. While the duo pursue separate investigative paths, somebody torches the Gordon place and while trying to connect the arson to the homicide, Belle and Rosco solve an unrelated double homicide but are totally clueless about the identity of the murder victim,
Mystery fans that like a light, small town regional mystery is going to have a lot of fun reading CORPUS DE Crossword. The crossword puzzles scattered throughout the novel contain the clues that will enable the reader to solve the mystery. The two protagonists make a great investigative team in the tradition of Nick and Nora and their connubial bliss lightens the mood when they hit a bump in the investigation. Nero Blanc is a master when it comes to constructing puzzling mysteries.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner