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By Kaye Morgan

Berkley, January 2010 ($6.99)
ISBN-10: 042523262X
ISBN-13: 978-0425232620

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Liza Kelly, protagonist of this series, creates Sudoku puzzles for a local newspaper. For those unfamiliar with Sudoku, it's a numbers based puzzle with fairly standard rules. Of course there can be variations in the puzzles. Some may be design based instead of numbers based and there are rule variations possible for players who find the traditional puzzles too confining or boring. The author covers several of these variations, at the end of the book in a section entitled "Sudo-cues," which I found to be the most interesting portion of the book.

But back to Liza. She returns home from a two-week absence to discover that someone is running a campaign for her to become mayor, without her permission. She is furious. She has her suspicions about who and why this is happening but is unable to confirm it with an old classmate when she discovers he's been murdered. Now she has to unravel the clues he left behind.

I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. I grew up in Oregon. I didn't find the author's description of the area interesting or believable. (Yes, I know it's supposed to be a fictional town.) I also didn't find the smalltown political theme interesting. And, although I do like to work sudoku puzzles, for me, that aspect of the book wasn't interesting enough to compensate for my dislike of the author's writing style. If you have read one of the books from this series and enjoyed it, then you might like this one.

GHOST SUDOKU is the fifth book in this series. Previous titles are DEATH BY SUDOKU, MURDER BY NUMBERS, SINISTER SUDOKU, and KILLER SUDOKU. If you would like to read a review of KILLER SUDOKU, please click here.

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