On the day after Thanksgiving, everyone in Newcastle, Massachusetts, gathers around to deck the halls of the beloved Paul Revere Inn; noted, among other things, for their signed copy of Longfellow’s poem about the New England patriot. In the midst of the holiday revelry, Belle finds something very special indeed--a handmade, and obviously unused, book of dessert recipes written in the form of crosswords, and dedicated from mother to daughter. Movie and song references in the clues date the book to the 1940s, the midst of the Second World War. How did such a sumptuous treasure come to be abandoned?

While Belle follows the book’s trail, some foul play is added to the mix--the inn’s “revered” icon goes missing and the owners call Rosco to investigate. A twelve-year-old boy, E. T. Whitman, is thrilled to have fellow wordaholics to talk to, and eager to assist; although his constant punning can make him more of a hindrance than a help. At first, Belle and Rosco think the case is a piece of cake, and gently roll their eyes at the fantastic scenarios that E. T. is cooking up to explain the theft. But in this case, they just might measure up to the truth...
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The day after Thanksgiving begins the annual Holiday Decoration Competition for the Paul Revere Inn located in the coastal town of Newcastle, Massachusetts. Belle Graham, the crossword puzzle editor for The Evening Crier, walks through each room viewing its magical holiday transformation, feeling the ambience of the history the Inn is known for. The Sisters-in-Stitches, a church sewing group, which is headed by 80 year old plus Sara Briephs, has been assigned to adorn the parlor where the signed original printing of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Paul Revere’s Ride hangs so proudly. As Belle wanders from room to room finally ending in the Inn’s library, a black book catches her attention. Carefully she opens it up only to discover it was a book written by a mother for her daughter filled with uncompleted crossword puzzles, with the clues belonging to recipes. Wanting to find the ownership of this book, Belle sets out on a journey leading her on a puzzling trail.

In the meantime, the Inn’s most prized possession the “Paul Revere” poem has vanished. Belle's husband, Roscoe Polycrates, a PI, becomes involved to locate this priceless antiquity. Suddenly, the poem returns to its rightful place on the wall, but ET Whitman, a twelve-year-old boy hired by the Inn to shovel snow, discovers yet another mystery surrounding this honored piece.

“A Crossword’s Delight” is a book filled with fascinating characters in a warm colorful setting telling of a delightful story. Anyone who loves mysteries, crossword puzzles, and recipes will find this book a must have. As my first Nero Blanc book, it was a journey well enjoyed, and I can assure you, it will not be my last.

Skye Lindborg