Last week we had an entry about a caterer who solves mysteries on the side. Today we have a couple of new paperbacks with the same amateur sleuth theme: You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled by Parnell Hall (Bantam, 349 pages, $6.99) and Who's Kitten Who? by Cynthia Baxter (Bantam, 336 pages, $6.99).
Puzzled is the latest in Hall's series of brain-teasing mysteries, which also includes ......
Stalking the Puzzle Lady, Last Puzzle & Testament, Puzzled to Death, A Puzzle in a Pear Tree and With this Puzzle, I Thee Kill.
In You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled, Cora Felton aka The Puzzle Lady is arrested for the murder of Benny Southstreet, a small-time crook who, like Cora, also creates crossword puzzles. (Well, Cora isn't really the creator. Her niece Sherry does the creating but she's shy and uses her grandmotherly aunt as a face for The Puzzle Lady.) Benny had accused Cora of stealing one of his puzzled before ending up murdered. Now it's up to Cora to find the real killer, clear her name and try to do it without blowing her niece's cover.
Baxter's "Reigning Cats & Dogs" series includes the following titles: Dead Canaries Don't Sing, Putting on the Dog, Lead a Horse to Murder, Hare Today, Dead Tomorrow and Right From the Gecko.
Who's Kitten Who? features part-time crime-solver Jessica Popper, a Long Island veterinarian who this time gets caught up in the drama-filled world of community theater when an up-and-coming playwright is found dead in a costume trunk. How kittens fit in I'm not sure. I read far enough to discover that Jessica is standing up in her friend's wedding, where dogs are welcome and expected to dress appropriately.
Both these books would make great rainy-day reads and could easily get a mystery-lover hooked enough to read the other titles in the series.