Many mystery readers also enjoy completing crossword
puzzles so this clever idea for a book lets fans combine
clues and solutions. THE CROSSWORD MURDER is set in a
coastal town in Massachusetts where Thompson Briephs
arrives at the newspaper office on a sweltering day. He's
the Newcastle Herald's crossword editor, and some unknown
person is blackmailing him. Briephs however defies the
blackmailer and pays the price.
A private investigator is called by the mother of Briephs
to look into his death and this is where the story really
starts. The older, well-off lady can't believe the
line that her son died of a heart attack, but at the same
time she isn't very forthcoming with information. Rosco
normally looks into insurance fraud, but he gets to grips
with his task. The cops tell him unofficially, that it
looks like Briephs was accidentally killed in a
game of sorts, but his Senator uncle wants it kept quiet.
Just in case, Rosco decides to investigate the man's co-
workers, including a crossword compiler, Annabella Graham.
He finds that the crosswords in progress are missing from
the dead man's home. Could clues be factored in to the
Not knowing who the story would follow at the start, I
tried to get to like Thompson Briephs but didn't, so while
I was sorry for the unfortunate man I was also pleased
there were more sympathetic characters on the way. The
crossword creators all seem to like showing off word
knowledge, while Briephs indulged a habit of collecting
ancient artworks in dubious taste. Several scenes are set
aboard boats or islands, the sea being always near at
Only fifty pages in we are given a cryptic crossword
puzzle, which can be fun to solve, but luckily for those
with less patience, Annabella is at hand to extract the
useful information. Annabella is married, so Rosco keeps a
lid on his growing attraction to her. Both of these
characters develop during the story.
There are more puzzles and while any cosy mystery fan can
have a good time with this story, it's safe to say that
crossword enthusiasts will get the most from it. THE
CROSSWORD MURDER by Nero Blanc is first in a series
called The Crossword Mysteries.
That's right....Thompson C. Briephs is dead. D-E-A-D. The
body of the flamboyant crossword editor was found under
very suspicious circumstances--and now it's up to private
investigator Rosco Polycrates to come up with some
answers, with the help of the beautiful and brainy
crossword editor from the victim's rival newspaper.
They'll need to look everywhere...including up, down, and
across...to stop the killer from striking again....