some devotees of mystery fiction, deciphering clues
becomes as important - and equally entertaining -
as discovering whodunit. And the clues come fast as
author Nero Blanc uses a crossword puzzle to move
the plot in Two Down. The second novel in this series,
Two Down is a snappy, well plotted story that combines
the best elements of the puzzle mystery and the village
mystery. Six crossword puzzles that reveal the clues
also are featured, a gimmick that works well for this
light, lively series.
Private eye Rosco Polycrates is hired by investment
banker Tom Pepper to help find his wife and a famous
actress when the two women's boat is missing at sea
off the Nantucket coast. The boat's disappearance
seems like an accident until crossword puzzle editor
Belle Graham, who happens to be Rosco's girlfriend,
receives anonymous puzzles on her doorstep. Soon Rosco
and Belle are sharpening their pencils as they look
into the actions of a paparazzo who has been stalking
the actress, Tom's business holdings and his wife's
Two Down works well as an homage to Agatha Christie
and Ngaio Marsh as the solid plot never strays from
its course and features a surprising yet plausible
ending. And Two Down is replete with the requisite
village characters such as the grand dame whose regal
attitude and 'indomitable facade' belie a sense of
adventure and a skill at sleuthing. The growing relationship
between the appealing Rosco and Belle is the gentle
kind often found in old-fashioned British mysteries,
but no less authentic or sincere because of its decorum.
Nero Blanc is the nom de plume of married authors
Cordelia Frances Biddle and Steve Zettler. Regardless
of which name is on the book, Two Down is the perfect
solution across and down."
"Nero Blanc's second crossword puzzle mystery,
TWO DOWN, is as entertaining as the series debut tale,
THE CROSSWORD MURDER. The novels are originals...
The story line is smooth... Readers who enjoy a different
type of who-done-it, starring two likable characters
and six puzzles, will fully relish Mr. Blanc's latest
across and down novel."
Klausner - Director of Reviews, Bookbrowser.com
"The case of two women lost at sea off Nantucket interferes
with the burgeoning romance of crossword puzzle editor
Belle Graham and her beau, PI Rosco Polycrates, in
this second engaging crossword mystery from Blanc...
The [six puzzles] are an interactive touch that add
to the problem solving fun..."
to Two Down