"For 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 private life.

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."

-The Sun-Sentinel

"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."

-Harriet Klausner - Director of Reviews,

"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..."

-Publishers Weekly

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