Monday, February 15, 2010

Ghost Sudoku - Kaye Morgan

Ghost Sudoku
A Sudoku Mystery
Kaye Morgan
Berkley Prime Crime


When you come home from a vacation, you should feel rested and ready to tackle your normal life again. When Liza Kelly arrives home, she finds that she’s inexplicably running for office. So much for de-stressing. Someone has put Liza’s name up for mayor. She’d much rather concentrate on her syndicated sudoku column and run her PR firm.

At the board of elections office, she finds an old high school classmate, Chad Redbourne. Chad is very evasive about exactly who put Liza’s name in the ring and why. And he seems strangely unnerved by her appearance. Liza suspects a political dirty trick and decides to visit Chad at home to discuss it. She arrives to find Chad hanging, dead. Even more creepy, there’s someone skulking around who claims to be Liza’s political consultant. But he doesn’t even recognize her. It’s pretty clear that the political machine is set to grind up Liza unless she acts fast.

The inclusion of small town politics gives this installment (DEATH BY SUDOKU, MURDER BY NUMBERS, SINISTER SUDOKU, KILLER SUDOKU) a bit of a different flavor, and that’s a good thing. It must be difficult to keep a series fresh and interesting, and this author does it very well. For the puzzle-solving reader, Liza introduces the idea of sudoku puzzles using symbols instead of numbers, and delves into the idea of coding information into a puzzle.

It turns out that Chad designed a slew of sudoku puzzles in his spare time. Liza, appropriately, takes that to mean he couldn’t have been all bad, despite being part of the machine of politics. Her involvement in the investigation makes perfect sense, since she may be the next victim. These are fast, fun reads with enough intrigue to satisfy any mystery reader, and the added bonus of included puzzles. If you’re not up on your sudoku-solving skills, there are tips and clues to help you get started. If you’re already a puzzle person, you’ll enjoy the puzzles (and solutions) included here.

Rating: 7
January 2010
ISBN# 978-0-425-23262-0 (paperback)


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