Bantam, Dec 2003, 23.95, 384 pp.
Sherry Carter is the real puzzle lady who constructs them for a syndicated column but because she is so shy, everyone thinks her aunt Cara Felton is the puzzle maker because she takes the credit and makes public appearances. The truth of the matter is she couldn't solve a crossword puzzle let alone construct one but she is very good at solving homicides.
Murder is the last thing from Cora's mind as she gets ready to marry California businessman Raymond Harstein III but Sherry is frantic because she knows nothing about the man. Matters become much worse when Sherry's best friend announces she is marrying Sherry's physically abusive ex-husband Dennis and they want her to be the maid of honor. A series of cryptograms threatens Raymond if the wedding isn't stopped. When the messages are ignored he is murder with Dennis charged for the crime. Cora is positive Dennis didn't kill anyone and she sets out to prove it to make sure Sherry doesn't soften towards him and to get her mind off her own grief.
WITH THIS PUZZLE I THEE KILL is the best book in the series because there are two separate, fulfilling sub-plots and the antagonist from either one could be the killer. This amateur sleuth novel will be a thrill for those who like a cerebral puzzle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner