Poaching is Puzzling by Daryl Wood Gerber is a diverting cozy mystery. We return to the scenic Crystal Cove, California where Jenna Hart and her Aunt Vera own the Cookbook Nook. The story is well-written with developed characters. This is a character driven series. Jenna is back as well as her Aunt Vera, her husband Rhett, Bailey, Kate, Cary as well as Tigger and Rook. I enjoyed the crossword puzzle theme for this story. There are daily crossword puzzles for the townspeople to solve, a crossword puzzle tournament, crossword themed merchandise (cookie jars for example), and the murder of a cruciverbalist (crossword puzzle designer). The death of Wesley Preston, a renowned crossword puzzle designer, puts Aunt Vera in the crosshairs of Chief of Police Cinnamon Pritchett. Aunt Vera asks Jenna to investigate. She knows that the crossword puzzle visitors and contestants will talk to Jenna because she speaks their language. There are multiple suspects in Wesley’s death. Wesley managed to antagonize several people in the days leading up to his death. Jenna asks questions, searches for helpful clues, and gets useful gossip. The whodunit can be solved before the reveal (the devil is in the details). The case is neatly wrapped up at the end (thanks to Jenna).
|A crossword puzzle cookie!|
I learned a couple of novel words while reading Poaching is Puzzling (like cruciverbalist and turophile) and I enjoyed the addition of the fifty cent words (my favorite type). There are details on how crossword puzzles are crafted along with the crossword puzzle trivia. I also learned about the different types of knives and their names (there is one for each type of cheese—soft, hard, smooth, and semi-hard). There is some repetition of minutiae (a pet peeve of mine). We get to spend time with the cutie Tigger and the clever Rook. I like that the author includes adorable furbabies in her books. I look forward to my next visit to Crystal Cove. Poaching is Puzzling is the twelfth A Cookbook Nook Mystery. It can be read as a standalone, but you will miss out on the background of the characters and how the couples came together. Poaching is Puzzling is a crossword centric cozy with clever conundrums, a slain cruciverbalist, enticing appetizers, luscious cheeses, a sparkly spirit staff, shrewd wordsmiths, and a triumphant tournament victor.
The Avid Reader
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.