By Becky Clark
Rating: 4.5/5 Stairs
And it starts like this:
The perfection of a pristine crossword puzzle grid always made Quinn Carr’s pleasure center buzz. Like being touched by the hands of a lover, but better. Not that she’d felt that in a while, but she had a vague memory.
The puzzle was orderly. Symmetrical. No chaos. No mess. No negotiation. Only one correct answer.Puzzling Ink by Becky Clark
Set in a small town just outside of Denver, Colorado, Puzzling Ink is a fun, easy cozy mystery to read. I enjoyed getting to know the characters in this new series, and the fact that Ms. Clark incorporated a crossword puzzle author into the story. I liked learning more about the process that goes into creating a crossword as the story unfolded.
I really liked that the book’s protagonist is, for lack of a better word, flawed. Quinn Carr has been diagnosed with OCD and depression, and she is aware of her diagnosis and it’s limitations. (As a side note, see Ms. Clark’s blogpost “I’m So OCD” for more insight into Quinn’s character.) In this mystery, Quinn at times finds herself overwhelmed and in over her head, but her OCD also becomes a strength in certain situations too.
Without giving any spoilers, I will say the mystery did get a little convoluted and I think it is difficult for the casual reader to solve on their own. For me, I enjoyed the characters and the humor throughout, even though I didn’t figure out whodunit on my own.
In a year full of heaviness, I think cozy mysteries are a great escape. Puzzling Ink is a fun escape for a few hours, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Quinn is up to in her next crossword puzzle adventure.